Walnuts are rich in Protein

Walnuts can help us meet our protein needs. A handful provides up to 11% of the recommended daily intake! Protein in walnuts isn’t complete, but it’s a highly bioavailable vegan source.

How much Protein is in Walnuts?

Most walnut varieties have 15.2 grams of protein per 100g or 4.3 grams of protein per handful (about 7 walnuts). Walnuts are 15% protein, 65% fat, 14% carbs, and 4% water.

English nuts are the most popular walnut variety, containing 15 grams of protein per 100g. A cup of chopped walnuts contains almost 18 grams of protein, while 1/4 cup contains 4.5 grams of protein.

But, there are walnut varieties with a much higher protein content. For instance, black walnuts have 24.1 grams of protein per 100g. They have 58% more protein than English walnuts.

Black walnuts are 24% protein, 59% fat, 10% carbs, and 5% water. A handful of black walnuts provides 6.8 grams of protein, while 1/4 cup provides 7.5 grams of protein.[1]

A single walnut contains slightly less than 1 gram of protein.

What’s the amino acid profile of walnuts?

Walnuts aren’t a complete protein. They don’t contain all essential amino acids. They contain a relatively low content of lysine and methionine! However, they’re considered a great plant-based protein source because they have adequate amounts of most essential amino acids.

grams
per 100g
Histidine2.38
Leucine7.13
Lysine2.58
Methionine1.16
Phenylalanine4.94
Threonine3.58
Valine4.18
Isoleucine3.28
Amino acid profile of walnuts.[2]

Benefits of amino acids in walnuts

Histidine is involved in various functions, including blood cell production and wound healing.

Isoleucine plays a role in muscle growth and repair, energy metabolism, and immune function.

Leucine is important for muscle protein synthesis, blood sugar regulation, and wound healing.

Phenylalanine is a precursor to various neurotransmitters and hormones, involved in mood regulation and pain perception.

Threonine is important for protein synthesis, collagen formation, and immune function.

Tryptophan is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which influences mood, sleep, and appetite.

Valine plays a role in muscle growth and repair, energy metabolism, and coordination.

Walnuts offer a good source of all essential amino acids, but not in ideal proportions. Combining them with other protein sources is crucial to ensure your body gets the complete amino acid profile it needs for optimal protein synthesis and overall health.

Walnuts have negligible amounts of:

  • Methionine which is involved in protein synthesis, tissue growth, and detoxification.
  • Lysine wich is essential for protein synthesis, hormone production, and immune function.

How to eat walnuts to get complete protein?

We should consume foods high in methionine and lysine with walnuts to get all essential amino acids.

with foods rich in Methionine: Beans, quinoa, tofu, Brazil nuts, hemp, pumpkin, and chia seeds are great plant-based foods high in methionine!

with foods rich in Lysine: Spinach, green peas, soybeans, tofu, edamame, lentils, navy, white, red kidney, and pinto beans are common plant-based sources of lysine.

All animal-derived foods are rich in methionine and lysine.

Protein-rich Recipes

Walnut Crusted Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts (30g protein): Salmon is a protein powerhouse, and walnuts add a delicious crunch. Roast Brussels sprouts for a complete and satisfying meal.

Quinoa Salad with Walnuts, Cranberries, and Goat Cheese (25g protein): This protein-packed salad combines the heartiness of quinoa with the sweetness of cranberries and the creaminess of goat cheese. Walnuts add a delightful textural contrast.

Greek Yogurt Parfait with Walnuts, Berries, and Granola (22g protein): My favorite! Layer Greek yogurt, walnuts, berries, and granola for a protein-rich and refreshing breakfast or snack.

Walnut Pesto with Whole-Wheat Penne and Grilled Chicken (35g protein): Homemade pesto made with walnuts adds a unique flavor to this dish. Grilled chicken provides additional protein, making it a well-rounded meal.

Roasted Sweet Potato with Walnut Crumble and Goat Cheese (20g protein): Roasted sweet potatoes are a perfect base for a protein-rich topping. Top with a crumble made of walnuts, breadcrumbs, and spices for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Walnut Crusted Chicken with Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad (30g protein): Chicken breasts coated in a walnut crust add a delightful texture and flavor to this dish. Serve with a salad topped with arugula for a complete meal.

Vegan Recipes

High Protein Walnut & Spinach Salad (15g protein): Combine spinach, crumbled walnuts, sliced strawberries, sunflower seeds, and a balsamic vinaigrette. Add chickpeas (15g protein boost) for extra protein.

Creamy Vegan Walnut Pasta (18g protein): Blend soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, and lemon juice for a creamy sauce. Toss with cooked whole-wheat pasta, spinach, and chopped walnuts.

Trail Mix with Walnuts, Dark Chocolate Chunks, and Dried Cranberries (15g protein per ¼ cup serving): A perfect on-the-go snack, this homemade trail mix provides protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants for sustained energy.

Mediterranean White Bean & Walnut Burgers (20g protein): Mash cooked cannellini beans, add chopped walnuts, breadcrumbs, spices, and shape into patties. Pan-fry or bake, serve on whole-wheat buns with your favorite toppings.

Warm Walnut & Lentil Buddha Bowl (25g protein): Cook brown rice, lentils, and roast vegetables. Combine in a bowl with spinach, crumbled walnuts, a tahini dressing, and a squeeze of lemon.

How much Protein is in Walnuts?Pin

Spicy Walnut & Black Bean Tacos (22g protein): Mash black beans with spices like chili powder and cumin. Sauté with chopped onion and bell pepper. Serve in warmed tortillas with chopped walnuts, salsa, and avocado slices.

Vegan Walnut & Seed “Meatballs” (18g protein): Combine cooked brown rice, mashed chickpeas, chopped walnuts, flaxseed meal, and spices. Form into balls and bake or pan-fry. Serve with marinara sauce and a side salad.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Walnuts & Spinach (17g protein): Remove portobello mushroom stems, brush with olive oil, and roast. Sauté chopped spinach, walnuts, breadcrumbs, and garlic. Stuff the mixture into the mushroom caps and bake until heated through.

Lemony Walnut & Quinoa Salad (12g protein): Cook quinoa. Combine with chopped walnuts, chopped cucumber, crumbled feta cheese (optional for non-vegans), and a lemon vinaigrette dressing.

Vegan Walnut & Flaxseed Brownies (8g protein): This recipe uses ground flaxseed and walnuts for a healthy twist on brownies. Protein content can vary depending on the recipe used. You’ll skyrocket your omega-3 intake, as both walnuts and flaxseeds are among the best dietary sources.

Walnut & Chia Seed Overnight Oats (10g protein): Combine rolled oats, chia seeds, chopped walnuts, plant-based milk, and a drizzle of maple syrup in a jar. Refrigerate overnight for a grab-and-go breakfast.

Protein estimates are based on general recipe ideas and can vary depending on specific ingredients and portion sizes.

You don’t have to eat walnuts at the same time as other protein-rich foods, though. Just eat a wide variety of foods throughout the day to get all the essential amino acids you need.

Is the Protein in walnuts Bioavailable?

Walnuts have a low-to-moderate protein bioavailability. Actually, walnuts are not a quality source of protein as compared to animal-derived protein. The protein digestibility score of raw walnuts is about 86%. For comparison, eggs, beef, or casein protein have a very high protein digestibility score of 98%. These are three of the best dietary sources of protein.[3]

How much protein is in your favorite walnut-based foods?

Furthermore, almost all products containing walnuts have protein. Walnut butter and bread have 5 grams and 4 grams of protein per serving, respectively. Walnut salad with other dried fruits is also a good dietary source of plant-based protein!

protein
(grams per 100g)
protein
(grams per serving)
walnut butter16.65
walnut flour13.32
walnut soft cake11.12
walnut bread6.94
walnut granola6.72
walnut brownie6.52
walnut salad5.98
walnut cookies3.61
Protein content of common walnut-based foods.

Only walnut oil has no protein. As a vegetable oil, it’s almost 100% fat. You should consume it in moderation. It can make you gain weight.

Factors affecting the protein content of walnuts

Besides walnut variety, growing conditions and methods may affect the protein content of walnuts.

For instance, the availability of essential nutrients like nitrogen in the soil can influence protein synthesis in walnut trees. Nitrogen is a building block for amino acids, the components of protein. Nutrient-rich soil might contribute to slightly higher protein content in walnuts.

Temperature and rainfall patterns can affect protein content indirectly. Hot and dry climates might stress walnut trees, potentially leading to lower protein production compared to moderate climates with adequate rainfall.

Do Organic walnuts have more protein than Conventional ones?

Organic farming practices focus on avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, but these don’t directly influence protein synthesis in the walnut itself.

While organic walnuts might offer some advantages like reduced pesticide residue, the protein content is likely to be similar to conventionally grown walnuts of the same variety.

Does the storage method affect protein concentration?

Protein is a relatively stable molecule, and minor variations in storage methods might not significantly affect its concentration in walnuts.

Long-term storage, especially in hot and humid environments, can lead to oxidation of fats and oils in walnuts. While this might not directly affect protein content, it can impact overall nut quality and taste.

Fluctuations in moisture content during storage could potentially affect protein concentration, but the extent is likely minimal with proper storage practices.

Roasting walnuts can slightly decrease moisture content, but it’s unlikely to significantly impact protein levels. It might even enhance protein digestibility in some cases.

Recommendations for maintaining walnut quality:

  • Store in a cool, dry, dark place: This helps prevent oxidation and spoilage.
  • Airtight containers: Keep walnuts in airtight containers to minimize moisture fluctuations and preserve freshness.
  • Refrigeration: Refrigerating walnuts can further extend their shelf life and potentially slow down any potential protein degradation.
  • Freezing: Freezing is a great option for long-term storage. Frozen walnuts can last for up to a year or more with minimal quality loss.

Focusing on storing walnuts in cool, dry, airtight containers and avoiding excessive heat or light exposure will help maintain their overall quality and nutritional value.

Do other Nuts have more Protein than walnuts?

Most common walnut varieties have a moderate protein content as compared to other popular nuts. They have 40% less protein than peanuts, which are the richest nuts in protein. Only black walnuts have a similar protein content to peanuts!

On the other hand, walnuts have 138% more protein than chestnuts, which are the nuts with the lowest protein content.

protein
(grams per 100g)
protein
(grams per serving)
peanuts25.27.1
almonds21.26
pistachios20.25.7
cashews15.34.3
hazelnuts154.3
walnuts15.24.3
Brazil nuts14.34.1
pine nuts13.73.9
pecans9.22.6
macadamia
nuts
7.82.2
chestnuts6.41.8
Protein in common nuts.

Almonds have more protein than walnuts

Walnuts and almonds are the two most popular nuts. Almonds have more protein than most common walnut varieties. In fact, almonds have 40% more protein than walnuts. Moreover, almonds and walnuts have the same protein quality. Both nuts have the same protein digestibility score!

How much protein do we need a day?

The recommended daily intake of protein for most people is 0.8 grams per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight. Only active people need more protein. People with minimal, moderate, and intense physical activity should get at least 1.0 grams, 1.3 grams, and 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight, respectively.[4,5]

For instance, an 80 kg (177 lbs) person doing moderate physical activity should get approximately 100 grams of protein a day. On the other hand, a 59 kg (130 lbs) person who follows a sedentary life needs only 59 grams of protein a day.

Walnuts are a great vegan protein source.Pin

Protein deficiency is rather unlikely, though. Healthy people, who consume adequate amounts of calories and follow a well-balanced diet, probably consume more than enough protein.

If you really want to boost your protein intake, you could take a protein powder supplement from iHerb. Whey protein is the most popular powder. But, there are also high-quality, complete, plant-based protein powders.

Can Walnuts Help us Meet our Daily Needs for Protein?

Walnuts can help us meet our daily protein needs. A handful of walnuts provides 4.3-6.8 grams of protein, or 4-11% of the required daily intake!

Adding walnuts to favorite food recipes, such as cakes, ice creams and desserts, could significantly increase your daily protein intake.

However, you should be very cautious with portion sizes. Overconsumption of walnuts could make you fat. Walnuts have too many calories.

As a rule of thumb, consume up to a handful of walnuts a day. Reasonable amounts of walnuts, as part of a well-balanced diet, can help you lose weight. Protein and fiber in walnuts promote satiety! In addition, walnuts are particularly high in minerals, such as potassium, and iron, which are involved in energy metabolism!

The best time to eat walnuts for weight loss is between meals, as a healthy snack. As they’re low in carbs and sugar, walnuts don’t spike blood sugar if eaten on an empty stomach. Also, walnuts may improve sleep quality! So, you can eat them before bed as a late-night snack.

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Quiz: Benefits of Walnuts for Weight Loss!

Unveiling the secrets and true power of Walnuts for Weight Loss & good Health | Fun Facts & Myths!

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Walnuts are rich in Fiber.

walnuts are low in carbs & sugarPin

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Are organic walnuts a better food option for burning fat?

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Can walnuts make you fat?

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Raw walnuts are better for weight loss than roasted walnuts.

walnuts have moderate amounts of calciumPin

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Walnuts are among the richest foods in Copper.

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Can walnuts protect from saggy skin while dieting?

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Can walnuts increase the antioxidant capacity of the body?

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Are walnuts a good vegan source of Calcium?

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Walnuts contain Protein.

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How many calories are in a serving of walnuts?

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Does Fat in walnuts support weight loss?

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Walnuts support weight loss because they improve gut health.

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Walnuts are the healthiest nuts for weight loss.

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Are walnuts a good dietary source of Iron?

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Walnuts are rich in B vitamins.

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Are walnuts worth the cost if your goal is to lose weight?

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Are Walnuts worth the cost?

No, eating walnuts isn’t a cost-effective way to consume protein. Other foods are cheaper options for getting protein.

  • Chicken Breast: A 3-ounce cooked chicken breast provides around 25 grams of protein. Depending on the price per pound, chicken breast might be a more cost-effective protein source per gram.
  • Lentils: A cooked cup of lentils offers around 18 grams of protein at a potentially lower cost per serving compared to walnuts.
  • Eggs: One large egg provides around 6 grams of protein, and eggs can be a very affordable protein source.

Include a variety of protein sources in your diet to ensure you get a complete amino acid profile and all the essential nutrients your body needs.

Either way, walnuts are among the healthiest foods you can eat every day! They’re packed with omega-3s, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.

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