Walnuts and Its Health Benefits
Come winter and markets are abuzz with nuts and dried fruits. Walnut is always associated with a small hammer my mom used to sit with and break the hard shells off this wonder food. The reason I avoided eating walnuts during my childhood days. I was more for pine nuts with thin and delicate shells.
Now that there is good quality of shelled walnuts available in the market, this health nut is a must in my pantry especially in the baking goodies.
Composition: The inside kernel of walnut with all the folds and curves, resembles the anatomy of human brain. The shell is hard or delicate depending upon the variety of walnuts.
- Omega 3 the key component present in this wonder nuts is what has made this nut a very sought after food. Omega 3 is a type of essential oil which our body cannot produce by itself.
- The presence of Omega 3 makes walnuts a great food for curing many cardiovascular diseases.
- Good against high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
- Omega 3 helps curing many skin diseases and is anti inflammatory in nature.
- The anti oxidant Ellagic acid in walnuts is good against cancer and improves the immune system.
- Walnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E.
- The other important minerals present in walnuts are calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, zinc, selenium etc.
- Walnuts have folate and Vitamin B6 in it.
- Another important health source in walnuts in the presence of monounsaturated fats in it. This in turn helps control the cholesterol levels and many heart diseases.
- Thus eating a handful of nuts can reduce weight gain.
Prudent ways to include walnuts in your diet;
- Easy and trouble free way is to have it straight from the shell, as it is.
- Roast the walnuts slightly in a skillet or oven and crush it. Sprinkle the same over your morning healthy breakfast porridge.
- Sprinkle crushed walnuts over you veggies salads to give a crunchy texture to it.
- Make a healthy breakfast by sprinkling the roasted and crushed walnuts over a cup of fresh yogurt and honey.
- Sprinkle them over sautéed veggies.
- Make a dip by grinding walnuts, herbs and some boiled lentils together.
- Walnut butter could be a great spread for sandwiches and pita bread.
- Add the nuts in the mixture for making granola for the kids.
- Baked recipes get a makeover with the addition of chopped and crushed walnuts. Bread, cakes, muffins and walnut cookies are a delicacy.
- Just a tablespoon of crushed walnuts over your favorite ice-cream or dessert can make it taste heavenly.
- The essential oil in the walnuts get rancid very soon. The kernels should be stored in a refrigerator for more shelf life.
- People allergic to nuts should take advice from their physician before consuming walnuts.
- Avoid walnuts which are stored for very long, as it may taste bitter.
- A handful of these nuts is good enough for getting the most out of this wonder food – Walnuts.