It’s a tasty treat
Walnuts not only taste great, but are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids. Like most nuts, they can easily be added to your everyday meal either as a snack, chopped and added to your favorite salad or vegetable dish, or used as a fruit or dessert.
A very nutritious nut
There can be a slight bitterness in the skin, but the nutritional benefits of walnuts cannot be overemphasized especially when consumed in whole form, including the skin. Approximately 90% of the phenols in walnuts are found in the skin, including key phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids.
Walnuts, being an excellent source of anti-inflammatory, omega-3 essential fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) has repeatedly been shown to help improve a wide variety of cardiovascular functions, including blood pressure. In a particular research study, adults have shown significant increase in their blood levels of ALA with as few as 4 walnuts per day. The antioxidant properties of walnuts help lower risk of chronic oxidative stress, and the anti-inflammatory properties help lower risk of chronic inflammation, and it is precisely these two types of risk, that, when combined, pose the greatest threat for cancer development. [quote_box_right]The risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer has been found to be reduced by consuming appreciable amounts of walnuts.[/quote_box_right]
No wonder it looks like the brain..
Walnuts are a natural source of melatonin (MLT), which is a widely-active messaging molecule in our nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) in the area of cognitive processes, walnuts are not left out because a number of studies have shown potential health benefits for walnuts when it comes to memory and general thought processes. It’s also very hormone-like in its regulatory properties. MLT is critical in the regulation of sleep, light-dark adjustments in the eye, and other processes.
Fights cancer too
In terms of phytonutrients, walnuts contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, including more than a dozen phenolic acids, numerous tannins and a wide variety of flavonoids. The anti-inflammatory nutrients in walnuts may play a special role in support of bone health. A recent study has shown that large amounts of walnuts decrease blood levels of certain collagen components which provide a good indicator of bone turnover. Their decreased blood level in response to walnut intake is an indication of better bone stability and less mineral loss from the bone.
Vitamin E for heart health
The vitamin E composition of walnuts is also of special mention, since there is an unusual concentration of the gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E in this tree nut. This form of vitamin E has been found to provide significant protection from heart problems especially for men.
Walnuts are very good sources of heart healthy minerals like manganese and copper. Other minerals provided by walnuts in valuable amounts include calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, vanadium and zinc.
Have a walnut today!