Generally, the simplest foods are best for your health and you sometimes tend to ignore them. Mother nature has crafted a nearly perfect package of protein, healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants and many vitamins and minerals and put it all together in NUTS. Also, among this vast family of nuts, WALNUTS are the king when it comes to boosting your health, immune system and safeguarding yourself against many diseases. And eating just about one ounce of walnuts a day i.e. about seven shelled walnuts, maybe all it takes to take the full advantage of their beneficial properties.
Walnuts are known for their crunchy and oily texture and are a foodie’s delight!! Bakers also are in love with them as they gel so well in cakes and cookies. For a common man, it won’t be too hard to inculcate a habit of consuming these magical drops of heaven even in a simple daily routine diet. I will come back to that in the later bit of this post. But first let me point out the benefits that we all can drive out of this nature’s gift.
“Walnuts rank above peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios and other nuts. A handful of walnuts contain almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut. But unfortunately, people don’t eat a lot of them.”- Dr Joe Vinson
Why consume Walnuts?
1. For the heart- Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are very beneficial for the cardiovascular system. These fatty acids also assist in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol in the body and encourage the production of good cholesterol, which in turn is again beneficial for the heart.
2. For the skin- Walnuts are packed with B-vitamins and are super foods for the skin. Vitamin B is a great stress and mood manager, and lower stress means better skin. Walnuts also help in keeping skin moisturized, applying warm walnut oil on dry skin will help in keeping those cells nourished and healthy. Also, application of warm walnut oil is magical for under eye dark circles and can also help reducing the puffiness under the eyes.
3. For the hair- Walnuts have super moisturizing powers, so application of warm walnut oil on the scalp and hair will not only help in keeping dandruff at bay but will also keep the hair glowing and strong. These nuts are rich in omega 3, omega 6, omega 9 fatty acids and potassium, which help in keeping the hair follicles strong, so if you are facing the problem of hair-fall, warm walnut oil might just be the answer.
4. For the brain and the bones– These nuts are also very rich in alpha linolenic acid which are associated with stronger bones. As the fatty acids present in these nuts also decrease inflammation problems, the bones can thus grow healthier and stronger. Walnuts are also very rich in vitamin E and many antioxidants and can support brain health in a good way. It is a belief that as walnuts are good for your memory and can also enhance cognitive and motor function in aging.
5. For the immune system- Where antioxidants are present, there will always be a healthy immune system. Walnuts are a very rich in antioxidants, so people who tend to fall sick very quickly and have a weaker immune system, must add these wonders to their diet.
6. For protection against many deadly diseases- Walnuts have been proven to keep deadly diseases like breast cancer, prostrate cancer at bay as they have cancer-fighting properties.
7. For the digestive system- These nuts are rich in fiber and are a great way to keep your digestive system function right. The common sources of protein like meat, dairy products etc lack in fiber, so walnuts can be added to the diet to keep the digestive system happy!
8. For better sleep- Walnuts have melatonin and this compound is said to be associated with better sleep patterns.
How to add Walnuts to your daily diet?
– I love walnuts for their crunchy texture and sweet taste, so just a handful of these can be a wonderful snack especially in the earlier part of the day. You can also improve the benefits of walnuts by soaking them in water overnight, and consuming them the next morning as that helps in increasing their nutritional value and also reducing some of the enzyme inhibitors, so making them easy to digest.
– You can also add these whole or chopped to your everyday bowl of salad, or to a healthy mix of sautéed vegetables.
– Add 2-3 walnuts to your morning smoothie. Walnuts go very well with banana and yogurt smoothie.
– Try adding these to your yogurt with some maple syrup on the top, this should be one healthy and delicious dessert.
– Make a healthy homemade granola by using walnuts- Mix 6-8 cups of rolled oats in a large bowl with half cup of honey, some raisins, a tablespoon of vanilla and some cinnamon powder. Mix all these well and spread on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes at 150°C temperature oven. Once it is cool, add a cup or half a cup of chopped/whole walnuts.
Some things to keep in mind while adding these to your diet!!
–Try and get your hands on organic or very fresh unshelled walnuts, as their shelf life is much longer. Once shelled store them in an airtight container in your fridge/freezer and use within three months.
–If you are allergic to nuts, please ask your medical practitioner before using them.
— All nuts and especially walnuts are high in calories; so they should not be a complete add on to your diet (check that weight if you are adding them). Make sure, you replace some protein foods with them and not eat big quantities in one go.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post the way i loved writing it. I will be back soon with some more magic foods, till then eat healthy and live healthy!!
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