Although it is commonly known that walnuts originated in various locations, the first were in Persia, where it was believed that the health advantages of walnuts were well known. In the humid areas around the Caspian Sea, walnuts are thought to have been grown as far back as 7000 B.C. Today, California walnuts are among the highest-quality nuts available; in fact, California accounts for about 90% of the nation’s walnut production. The United States currently comes in second place to China in terms of global walnut production.
Pick Your Favorite Walnut Variety
The English walnut, the black walnut, the white walnut, or the butternut, are the three varieties of walnuts that you have undoubtedly encountered at least once. These white walnuts have an oily texture and a sweet flavour, but they are more difficult to find in conventional grocery stores. The English or Persian walnut has the classic shell that may be cracked with a nutcracker and is the most prevalent variety to be seen in markets. Native to America, black walnuts are grown primarily in the south of the country and have a rich, smokey flavour.
You may have noticed that some recipes call for either black or English walnuts while your pantry only contains one or the other if you are interested in the health benefits of walnuts and how you can incorporate them into your diet. Don’t worry; the two walnuts are structurally pretty similar. Black walnuts are frequently used in recipes because of their smokey, wine-like flavour. However, you can use any walnut without worry if you simply want to add some crunch to your salad or a baking recipe.
Benefits of Walnuts for Health
Some individuals believe that every nut is the same. This is particularly untrue for walnuts, which are distinct from other nuts in that they are mostly constituted of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6. Additionally, walnuts are the only nut that has a sizable amount of ALA, a seed oil that can only be obtained through food. Antioxidants are also unusually abundant in raw walnuts.
Walnuts are well known for being healthy for your heart and circulatory system in addition to being a delicious treat. Walnuts help lower cholesterol, which enhances blood quality. They also reduce the likelihood of excessive blood clotting and blood vessel irritation. Walnuts are a consistent source of omega-3, helping to improve numerous cardiovascular functions and even lowering blood pressure.
According to studies, adults’ body fat may be used more healthfully if they consume raw walnuts since they may improve fat oxidation and decrease carbohydrate oxidation. A ScienceDaily article from 2006 suggested that consuming a handful of raw walnuts together with meals heavy in saturated fat appears to reduce the amount of short-term artery damage. Walnuts are a worthy complement to any diet, but they do not completely eliminate the health concerns associated with consuming poor food.
Walnuts Join The Battle To Cure Cancer
Researchers are now focusing on the function that walnuts play in lowering the chances of prostate and breast cancer in addition to their cardiovascular advantages. A 2009 American study that showed smaller tumour growth in mice who took the equivalent of two ounces of walnuts daily in humans was presented to the American Association for Cancer Research. Despite the fact that the study was done on mice, cancer patients whose endothelin levels are elevated will undoubtedly benefit from the walnut’s ability to lower endothelin levels and reduce blood vessel inflammation.
How To Choose And Store Your Walnuts
The method of picking walnuts is quite simple. Choose whole walnuts that feel weighty for their size, check that the shell is undamaged and free from piercings or cracks, and toss any that are stained as this may indicate that the nutmeat is beginning to mould. Walnuts that have been shelled are frequently sold in packs or containers. Simply consider how fresh the walnuts seem when using these. Avoid walnuts that are rubbery or shrivelled, and if you can, give them a brief sniff to be sure they haven’t gone bad before you buy them.
Although they are perishable, walnuts’ nutrients and health advantages can be kept for up to a year when stored properly. Keep your walnuts cool to preserve their flavour the best. You can keep your walnuts in the refrigerator if you intend to use them within a month. The freezer is your best choice for longterm storage. Because they can pick up flavours from other meals, walnuts should be kept out of the reach of foods with potent odours and in sealed containers.
Save the cutting or shelling of your walnuts until you are ready to utilise them as a healthy and flavorful tip. Walnuts contain polyunsaturated lipids, which oxidise quickly when exposed to heat or air, in addition to losing flavour. By carefully storing them, you can keep your walnuts healthy and tasty from the moment you buy them.
Making walnuts delicious is simple.
The easiest approach to get this healthy nut into your diet is frequently to simply sprinkle it on your favourite dish, though there are many recipes that praise walnuts. When drizzled over yoghurt, English walnuts and maple syrup form a delicious topping. For a wonderful new experience, try sautéing your favourite vegetables with some black walnuts that have been chopped. Additionally, walnuts are a lovely addition to any classic stuffing recipe. Here are a few useful methods for calculating the weight of walnuts in recipes.
One half of a walnut weighs two grammes.
A pound of walnuts equals 14 halves.
120 grammes are equal to one cup of chopped or pieced walnuts.
100 grammes, or 50 halves, are equal to 1 cup of shelled walnuts.
For breakfast, treat yourself to a banana-nut muffin, and for supper, get creative by adding ground walnuts to a variety of sauces. A few excellent places to begin incorporating walnuts into your diet include parsley-walnut sauce, walnut-lemon vinaigrette, and cranberry-walnut marmalade.
Allergies to walnuts
Avoiding walnuts is probably healthier for you if you have allergies to tree nuts. Despite the health benefits of walnuts and other tree nuts, allergic responses to their proteins can include hives, rashes, itching, swelling, breathing problems, dramatic decreases in blood pressure, and other potentially fatal symptoms. Before including walnuts in your diet, talk to a doctor if you’re unsure whether you have a tree nut allergy.
The health advantages of walnuts, which are known as the “heart healthy nut” and are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, go hand in hand with their great flavour, whether you enjoy them in cakes, brownies, or as a salad garnish.