By Grace Cherian Scientists from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania say walnuts are the healthiest of all nuts. And should be eaten more as pa...
By Grace Cherian
Scientists from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania say walnuts are the healthiest of all nuts. And should be eaten more as part of a healthy diet. Scientists say walnuts contain the highest level of antioxidants compared to other nuts. Dr Joe Vinson analysed the antioxidant levels of nine different types of nuts and discovered a handful of walnuts contained twice as many antioxidants as a handful of any other commonly eaten nut.
Here are some of the benefits of eating walnuts:
1. Walnuts are packed with nutrients including protein, poly- and monounsaturated fats, vitamins such as E, A and B, minerals such as potassium, iron and calcium, and fibre.
2. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fats, which are essential for normal brain function.
3. Walnuts are rich in antioxidants, particularly a compound called ellagic acid, which helps support the immune system and has anti-cancerous properties.
4. Walnut oil helps reduce blood pressure, decrease stress and improve cardiovascular health. Walnuts are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is known to help lower “bad” cholesterol and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
5. Walnuts also contain a form of melatonin. This a hormone produced by the pineal gland to regulate and induce sleep. Maintaining a healthy level of melatonin is important, especially for people over the age of 40, when melatonin production decreases.
Reap the health benefits of walnuts by doing the following:
• Eat them straight out of the shell.
• Roast the walnuts slightly in a skillet or oven and crush it. Then sprinkle them over your breakfast porridge.
• Make a healthy breakfast by sprinkling roasted and crushed walnuts over a cup of fresh yogurt and honey.
• Sprinkle crushed walnuts over your salads to give them a crunchy texture.
• Sprinkle them over sautéed veggies.
• Make a dip by grinding together some walnuts, herbs and boiled lentils.
• Walnut butter could be a great spread for sandwiches and pita bread.
• Add the nuts in a mixture for making granola for your 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 favourite ice cream or dessert can make it taste heavenly.