Walnuts

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Walnut kernels are enclosed in hard oblong shells which are brown in color. The kernels themselves are off-white in color and covered with a thin brown skin.The walnut was introduced from Italy and Gaul. The word walnut quite literally means “foreign nut” in Old English. There are several varieties of walnuts which include the Persian Walnut, the Butternut, the Black Walnut and the Japanese Walnut.

Ancient Romans regarded walnuts as food for the gods. They believed walnuts could treat head ailments, boost intellect and induce calm. lHGCCT <a href="http://yirdedceqebo.com/">yirdedceqebo</a>, [url=http://ufinpggbwxhk.com/]ufinpggbwxhk[/url], [link=http://qtaokbjhdlti.com/]qtaokbjhdlti[/link], http://ywlhzebfccho.com/

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[edit] Walnuts and health

Walnuts also contain ellagic acid which is known to have anticancer properties. Ellagic acid protects healthy cells from the damage inflicted by free radicals and also prevents cancer cells from replicating.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts make blood less likely to clot inside arteries thus reducing the chances of a heart attack. Walnuts also improve the ratio of the good cholesterol (HDL) to the bad cholesterol (LDL). Walnuts are believed to improve artery functioning after a meal with a high fat content, making it beneficial for the heart.

Walnuts contain high amounts of l-arginine, an essential amino acid. L-arginine gets converted to nitric acid in the blood vessels and helps the blood vessels to relax. This reduces hypertension.

[edit] Health risks

  • All nuts are high in calories so eat them in moderation.
  • Never eat bitter walnuts as this can have a harmful effect. The bitter taste means the process of oxidation has started.
  • Although walnuts are very good for health, a small percentage of people can be allergic to them.

[edit] All about walnut

Walnuts make excellent “brain food”. This is not because of the resemblance of the kernels to the brain but because of the high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. The membranes of the cells, or neurons, in the brain are composed mostly of fat. Nutrients have to pass through this membrane to get into the cell and waste products have to pass through as well, while being eliminated. Omega-3 fatty acids are fluid, making this entire process a lot easier.

Unfortunately most diets are practically devoid of the substances that provide omega-3 fatty acids to our diet such as walnuts, fish and flax. Scientists feel that there is a definite connection between a low dietary intake of omega-3s and hyperactivity, sleeping problems, tantrums and behavioral problems in children. Many health problems can also be related to a diet deficient in the omega-3s.

Including walnuts in the diet in of patients with type 2 diabetes is known to lead to a significant improvement in their overall cholesterol profile.

Walnuts contain melatonin which helps to induce sleep. Eating a small handful of walnuts for dessert may well help people suffering from insomnia to get a good night’s sleep. The amount of melatonin produced by the body decreases after the age of 40, which may explain why sleep disorders increase as we get older. Eating a handful of walnuts triples the blood levels of melatonin.

[edit] What can I do?

[edit] Selecting and storing

Choose whole walnuts which have clean shells with no cracks, molds or stains. The walnuts should feel heavy for their size. It is also possible to buy shelled walnuts. Ensure that they are covered and look fresh and not shriveled or moldy. It is also important to ensure that the walnuts do not smell rancid. Walnuts have a high fat content which makes them highly perishable. Heat, light and humidity will hasten the process of spoilage. Chopped or ground walnuts turn rancid more easily. Shelled walnuts should be stored in airtight containers and placed in the refrigerator. They have a shelf life of six months in the refrigerator and one year in the freezer. Unshelled walnuts should also be stored in the refrigerator or in a cool dark place.

[edit] How to get your daily handful

  • Eat walnuts as a snack instead of cookies or other high calorie foods
  • Add walnuts to salads for that extra crunch and nutrition
  • Add chopped walnuts to pizzas
  • Add walnuts to cakes, desserts, muffins and cookies
  • Add chopped walnuts to breakfast cereal
  • Add walnuts to smoothies
  • Add walnuts to sautéed vegetables
  • Crush walnuts finely and add to thick dips
  • Add walnuts into rice or pasta dishes
  • Use walnuts in poultry stuffing

[edit] CopperBytes

  • The seed hulls of walnuts can give dogs diarrhea. Walnuts can sometimes have small amounts of fungus due to dampness. This produces toxins which can be fatal to dogs.
  • Research has shown that eating a few walnuts at the end of a high fat meal can reduce the damage that the fat can do to the arteries.
  • Walnuts have far more health benefits than olive oil.
  • Walnuts contain a good amount of dietary fiber making them useful for people who suffer from constipation.
  • 100 g of walnuts contain as much protein as 100g of chicken.

[edit] References

  • The World's Healthiest Foods
  • Walnuts
  • Health Castle
  • Walnut Info
  • Vegan
  • Lower Cholesterol Today
  • Cooking Nook
Discussion
Walnuts pair well with many healthy foods -- sprinkle them on breakfast cereal, stir fried vegetables, salads. Or make a banana-walnut smoothie for that perfect breakfast energy fix....Read more inside