Health Benefits of Walnuts

Walnuts Walnuts are a delicious way to add extra nutrition, flavor and crunch to a meal. While walnuts are harvested in December, they are available year round a great source of those all-important omega-3 fatty acids.

“That’s Nut the End of Walnut’s Health Benefits” “Walnuts are a very good source of manganese and a good source of copper, two minerals that are essential cofactors in a number of enzymes important in antioxidant defenses. For example, the key oxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase, which disarms free radicals produced within cell cytoplasm and the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells) requires both copper and manganese. ” “Walnuts also contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid, which blocks the metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer. Ellagic acid not only helps protect healthy cells from free radical damage, but also helps detoxify potential cancer-causing substances and helps prevent cancer cells from replicating.

In a study of over 1,200 elderly people, those who ate the most strawberries (another food that contains ellagic acid) were three times less likely to develop cancer than those who ate few or no strawberries. ” It is no surprise that the regal and delicious walnut comes from an ornamental tree that is highly prized for its beauty. The walnut kernel consists of two bumpy lobes that look like abstract butterflies. The lobes are off white in color and covered by a thin, light brown skin. They are partially attached to each other. The kernels are enclosed in round or oblong shells that are brown in color and very hard. If you associate walnuts with cinnamon buns and other rich pastries, you might not realize what a healthy food they really are. These delicious little packages are dense with nutrients, an excellent source of manganese, copper and tryptophan. Particularly noteworthy for their omega-3 fats, walnuts are also high in antioxidants.

In a recent Spanish study, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with walnuts was shown to significantly lower risk factors for heart disease. Walnuts are used in sweet and savory dishes throughout the Mediterranean. Along the Italian Riviera, a rich ricotta and walnut sauce traditionally is served with ravioli filled with greens. In Turkey, a thick, garlicky walnut sauce called tarator is served with cooked vegetables, much as aïoli is in the South of France. In France, walnuts are added to salads, breads and many desserts, and they are eaten fresh as well as dried – a great delicacy in the fall, just after the harvest. I’ve never encountered creamy, fresh walnuts in American farmers’ markets, but if you know a walnut farmer, perhaps you could request some the next time they’re harvested.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
“Mix crushed walnuts into plain yogurt and top with maple syrup.
Add walnuts to healthy sautéed vegetables.
Walnuts are great in baked goods and breakfast treats. Some of our favorites include zucchini walnut bread, carrot walnut muffins and apple walnut pancakes.
Purée walnuts, cooked lentils and your favorite herbs and spices in a food processor. Add enough olive or flax oil so that it achieves a dip-like consistency.
Sprinkle walnuts onto salads.
Add walnuts to your favorite poultry stuffing recipe.
To roast walnuts at home, do so gently-in a 160-170°F (about 75°C) oven for 15-20 minutes-to preserve the healthy oils. For more on the effect of high heat roasting on nuts, please see the following article.
Make homemade walnut granola: Mix together aproximately 1/2 cup of honey, 3 to 4 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses, a tablespoon of vanilla, a dash of salt, and a teaspoon each of your favorite spices, such as cinnamon, ginger and/or nutmeg. Place 6-8 cups of rolled oats in a large bowl and toss to coat with the honey-blackstrap mixture. Then spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 275°F(135°C) for 45 minutes. Cool and mix in 1/2 to 1 cup of walnuts. ” “Individual Concerns” “Allergic Reactions to Tree Nuts (Such As Walnuts Although allergic reactions can occur to virtually any food, research studies on food allergy consistently report more problems with some foods than with others. For example, according to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 90% of food allergies are associated with 8 food types: wheat, cow’s milk, hen’s eggs, peanuts, soy foods, fish, crustacean shellfish, and tree nuts. (Crustacean shellfish include shrimp, prawns, lobster, and crab. Tree nuts include almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and chestnuts.)

These foods do not need to be eaten in their pure, isolated form in order to trigger an adverse reaction. For example, yogurt made from cow’s milk is also a common allergenic food, even though the cow’s milk has been processed and fermented in order to make the yogurt. Ice cream made from cow’s milk would be an equally good example.

Food allergy symptoms may sometimes be immediate and specific, and can include skin rash, hives, itching, and eczema; swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat; tingling in the mouth; wheezing or nasal congestion; trouble breathing; and dizziness or lightheadedness. But food allergy symptoms may also be much more general and delayed, and can include fatigue, depression, chronic headache, chronic bowel problems (such as diarrhea or constipation), and insomnia. Because most food allergy symptoms can be caused by a variety of other health problems, it is good practice to seek the help of a healthcare provider when evaluating the role of food allergies in your health.

Nutritional Profile” “Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Walnuts are also a very good source of the manganese and a good source of copper. In addition, walnuts contain the antioxidant phytochemical, ellagic acid.

For an in-depth nutritional profile : Health Benefits
Take Walnuts to Heart, Walnuts Antioxidants Play Key Role in their Heart-Healthy Benefits Walnuts Improve Cardiovascular Function by a Variety of Mechanisms Walnuts Help Prevent and Control High Blood Pressure Walnuts Improve Cholesterol Profile in Persons with Type 2 Diabetes Walnuts Found to Reduce Levels of Several Molecules that Promote Atherosclerosis Walnuts Protect Arteries after High-Fat Meal Food for Better Thought Help Prevent Gallstones A Source of Bio-Available Melatonin Omega-3-rich Walnuts Protect Bone Health Protective Omega-3 Levels Greatly Improved by Eating Just 4 Walnuts a Day Eating Nuts Lowers Risk of Weight Gain “Individual Concerns” “Allergic Reactions to Tree Nuts Such As Walnuts” “Although allergic reactions can occur to virtually any food, research studies on food allergy consistently report more problems with some foods than with others.
For example, according to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 90% of food allergies are associated with 8 food types: wheat, cow’s milk, hen’s eggs, peanuts, soy foods, fish, crustacean shellfish, and tree nuts.
(Crustacean shellfish include shrimp, prawns, lobster, and crab. Tree nuts include almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and chestnuts.)

These foods do not need to be eaten in their pure, isolated form in order to trigger an adverse reaction. For example, yogurt made from cow’s milk is also a common allergenic food, even though the cow’s milk has been processed and fermented in order to make the yogurt. Ice cream made from cow’s milk would be an equally good example.

Food allergy symptoms may sometimes be immediate and specific, and can include skin rash, hives, itching, and eczema; swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat; tingling in the mouth; wheezing or nasal congestion; trouble breathing; and dizziness or lightheadedness. But food allergy symptoms may also be much more general and delayed, and can include fatigue, depression, chronic headache, chronic bowel problems (such as diarrhea or constipation), and insomnia. Because most food allergy symptoms can be caused by a variety of other health problems, it is good practice to seek the help of a healthcare provider when evaluating the role of food allergies in your health. ” the worlds healthiest foods

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *