Are Walnuts Good For You?

Are Walnuts Good For You?

Why Are Walnuts Good For You?

Sometimes in nature we come across a nearly perfect compliment of protein, healthy fats, fiber, plant sterols, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Such is the case with Walnuts. Belonging to the tree nut family, along with Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and pistachios, walnuts may certainly be included among the most perfect of all foods.

 

Where Do They Come From?

Cultivated for thousands of years, the different types of walnuts and the trees they come from have varying origins and uses, such as for food, medicine, shelter, dye and lamp oil.

The two most common major species of walnuts are the Persian or English walnut originating in Persia, and the black walnut, a native to Eastern North America. Native American Indians are known to have eaten them, as well as the early settlers.

Currently China, (the largest producer) the US, Iran,Turkey, Ukraine and Romania all commercially produce walnuts for consumption.

 

Health Benefits Of Organic Raw Walnuts

Walnuts contain antioxidants that are extremely powerful at free-radical scavenging. They are a nutrient dense food containing powerful antioxidants that combat free radicals. You can take advantage of these potent antioxidant benefits by eating just six to seven of the shelled nuts a day.

note*100 grams of walnuts contain 15.2 grams of protein, 65.2 grams of fat, and 6.7 grams of dietary fiber. 

 

  • Walnuts contain powerful antioxidants that are available in only a few other commonly eaten foods.
  • The amino acid l-arginine, contained in walnuts, offers vascular support to people with heart disease.
  • Containing  alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an anti-inflammatory that may prevent the formation of pathological blood clots, walnuts may help to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death.
  • Walnut consumption supports healthful cholesterol levels.
  • Consuming walnuts may reduce the risk of  prostate cancer and breast cancer.
  • Over time, adding walnuts to your diet can help you to maintain an ideal weight.
  • Research shows that walnut consumption may support brain health, decreasing the enhanced vulnerability to oxidative stress that occurs in aging.
  • Walnuts improve metabolic parameters in people with type 2 diabetes, because of the  beneficial dietary fat.
  • Improve sperm quality, including vitality, motility, and morphology in those consuming walnuts daily.
  • Nutrients in walnuts may play a role in support of bone health.
  • Improve sleep -walnuts contain a compound called melatonin.
  • Eating walnuts reduces stress.

 

The outermost layer of a shelled walnut, the whitish, flaky part has a bitter flavor but it’s thought that up to 90 percent of the antioxidants in walnuts are found there in the skin, making it one of the healthiest parts to consume.

The kernel of the walnut looks like two partially attached lobes, off white in color and covered by a thin, light brown skin. The hard shells are brown in color and the kernels reside within.

Only consume nuts that are organic and raw, not irradiated or pasteurized.

Walnuts should be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator or freezer, whether they are shelled or unshelled.

Are Walnuts Good For You?

Other healthy nuts you may want to include in your diet are raw macadamia and pecans, which provide the highest amount of healthy fat, while being on the lower end in terms of carbohydrates and protein.  

 

Final Thoughts

Approximately one ounce of tree nuts per day is the minimal amount needed to provide significant health benefits, and that’s the amount I recommend that you incorporate into your daily diet.

I have not found a food yet that walnuts don’t compliment or improve, and I personally eat them everyday combined with most foods, or on their own. Walnuts taste delicious, and are a wonderful way to add extra nutrition and flavor to any meal.

 

PS: I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and please don’t hesitate to share it with friends and family. Join the conversation and let me know of your experiences with walnuts – share your stories below and join me on other interesting articles at healingbodyandmind.org

 

To your good health,

Tom

images courtesy of pixabay.com and commons.wikimedia.org


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