walnut1.jpgYes, the delicious nut is an excellent way to include nutrition, taste and crunch to a simple meal. By including a small handful of walnuts in your routine diet, you will realize their health benefits. Walnuts contain many nutrients, some of which include plant protein, folacin, dietary fiber, magnesium, iron, thiamine, niacin, vitamin E, vitamin B6, potassium and zinc amongst many others. In fact, an In-depth Nutritional Profile for Walnuts features over 80 nutrients for this ‘power’ food.

Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, and Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), both of which offer many health benefits to our body. They range from providing cardiovascular protection, to anti-inflammatory benefits helpful in asthma, to providing improved cognitive function, rheumatoid arthritis treatment and to ease itchy skin conditions.

Besides that, walnuts contain an antioxidant called ellagic acid. This antioxidant has been found to aid the body in strengthening the immune system and also appears to provide several anticancer properties.

In a recent research published in Phytochemistry, researchers identified 16 polyphenols, including three new tannins, with antioxidant activity so protective they describe it as “remarkable.” This was in addition to earlier research conducted which found that walnuts contain various polyphenols which demonstrate anti-oxidant activity.

The walnut also contains a good amount of proteins and calories. In a 100 g serving, walnuts contain approximately about 1523 grams of protein.

People who have small appetites or are underweight can include some walnuts in their daily diet. It is helpful in maintaining the total amount of calories needed per day.

Caution: Walnuts that have bitter taste should not be eaten.

To lower your risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, enjoy a handful of walnuts, or other antioxidant-rich nuts, at least 4 times a week. Add chopped walnuts to your muffins or simply have them with fruit and yoghurt as your breakfast.

More ways to include walnuts in your meals:walnut2.jpg

• Eat delicious fresh shelled walnuts.

• When toasted or roasted, they are taken as healthy snacks.

• When raw, you can add them to salads

• When cooked, enjoy them in pasta or rice pilaf.

• When chopped, can be added to yoghurt and cut fruits.

• They can also be used in preparing cakes, cookies, muffins and breads.walnutoil.jpg

Note that walnut oil is very nutritious when added to salads, but it is advisable not to heat walnut oil.

Walnuts can be chopped by:

1. Hand

2. Blender

3. Food processor

Chop them only when ready to use to maintain its freshness.

Ways to roast walnuts include:

1. Spread them on baking sheet.

2. Put them in oven for some time till color turns light brown.

3. Put them in little oil to toast.