Walnuts

Jul
2012
01

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Walnuts are the nutritional superstars of nuts. They have an abundance of nutrients for health and especially for the brain. They look like a brain and have been a sign of the intellect since ancient times.

About – The walnut comes from a beautiful ornamental tree. There are numerous species of walnut trees, but three main types of walnuts consumed, which are:  the English walnut, the black walnut and the white walnut. The English walnut is the most popular in America and has a thinner shell easily opened with a nutcracker. The black walnut has a thicker shell and a stronger, more pungent flavor and the white walnut is sweeter and oilier than the other two. Oil, extracted from the nuts is used in cooking, as well as a bare, or carrier oil, in medicine and aromatherapy.

walnut

Nutrition – Walnuts are a great source of many nutrients essential for optimum health.  They are packed with many important B vitamins, such as: thiamin B1, riboflavin B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid(B5), vitamin B6, and folic acid (B9). Walnuts are also an excellent source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. They also very are rich source of minerals, such as: manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Walnuts are also a rich source of many phyto-chemical substances that contribute to their overall anti-oxidant activity, including carotenoids, tannins, flavonols, melatonin, ellagic acid, and poly-phenolic compounds. Research at University of Scranton, Pennsylvania has recently shown that walnuts have highest levels of popyphenolic antioxidants than any other common edible nuts. They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (about 72%) like oleic acid and an excellent source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid and arachidonic acids.  Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein and are rich in fiber.

Walnuts contain an abundance of powerful antioxidants and have shown measurable anti-cancer benefits.  They have strong anti-inflammatory properties which have shown benefits for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, psoriasis and in bone health. And as well, their abundance of healthy omega 3 fatty acids have been found to protect the heart and aid in better cognitive function. Walnuts are incredibly healthy for the heart and according to studies they reduce LDL, bad cholesterol, levels and improve the elasticity of arteries, shown by 64 percent.

Their nutritional benefits far outweigh any high calorie or high fat concerns. In fact, walnuts have a good track record in research of being a desirable food to support weight loss. While overconsumption of high fat and high calorie foods is a main contributor to weight gain, obesity has been clearly shown by researchers to involve chronic inflammation and walnuts are unique in their collection of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Walnuts have been shown to protect against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.

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