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Story by Brian Rossiter - Fruit-Powered

Earthy and hearty, walnuts are among the world’s most popular nuts and a choice selection for its omega-3-to-omega-6 ratio, which is about 1:4. They are available in at least 30 cultivars, with English the market leader. A nut, the walnut scores a 97 out of 100—among the very highest ratings—in Dr. T.C. Fry’s “A General Guide to Food Selection.”

Walnuts are ready for harvesting by August when the green hull begins to crack open. A walnut half weighs 2 grams and contains 13 calories.

Walnuts belong to the family Juglandaceae. They are rounded, single-seeded stone fruits of walnut trees. They have been connected to symbols of intellectuality because their kernels’ surface resembles a brain.

Walnuts are a rich source of fat, protein, B vitamins and minerals. They contain 4 percent water by weight.

China produced 1.7 million metric tonnes of walnuts in 2012, making it the worldwide leader. Iran and the United States round out the list of top three producers, in the same year, with a combined 876,000 metric tonnes.

Stats for 100 Grams of Walnuts

  • 654 calories

Notable Nutrients

Percentages based on the Reference Daily Intake for a 2,000-calorie diet

  • Fiber: 18%
  • Omega-3: 568%
  • Omega-6: 224%
  • Saturated Fats: 31%
  • Protein: 26%
  • Vitamin B1: 28%
  • Vitamin B2: 12%
  • Vitamin B5: 11%
  • Vitamin B6: 41%
  • Folate: 25%
  • Calcium: 10%
  • Copper: 176%
  • Iron: 36%
  • Magnesium: 38%
  • Manganese: 148%
  • Phosphorus: 49%
  • Zinc: 28%


  • Carbohydrates: 8.5%
  • Protein: 8.1%
  • Fat: 83.4%

Food Type

  • Nut


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