Scientific Name: Juglans nigra
Black walnuts (Juglans nigra) are native to the eastern United States. Like English walnuts, the fruits of black walnuts are edible. One should be careful in removing the hull (exterior) of the black walnut as it can stain the skin and in some cases cause allergic reactions. The hull and leaves are sometimes used in herbal medicine. Black walnuts contain many more nutrients than regular walnuts.
Black walnuts contain high amounts of vitamin B6 (29% daily value [DV]). Vitamin B6 is important for the immune system. This B vitamin may also reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and support nerve health. Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause a type of anemia. The fruits are especially rich in antioxidant minerals such as zinc, manganese, and selenium.
Black walnuts contain many beneficial minerals in which magnesium (50% DV) and phosphorus (51% DV) play important roles in the body's metabolic processes. Magnesium helps regulate nerve and muscle activities and keep bones healthy. Phosphorus works to regulate heart rate, support nerve conduction, bone formation, and maintains the body's acid-base balance. Zinc (22% DV) is also one of the essential elements to sustain life, especially the immune system and physiological function. Copper (68% DV) promotes heart health and helps maintain bones and nerves. Manganese (195% DV) affects cellular respiration, bone growth, glucose metabolism, and brain activity. Selenium (24% DV) is essential for thyroid and immune system function. People can eat black walnuts raw or use them in cooking because of their rich flavor.