Walnuts are very valuable and highly-priced nuts that come from a deciduous plant of the family Juglandaceae. There are several varieties of the plant, of which the most popular ones are the California black nut, butternut, demon walnut, English walnut, American Black walnut and so on. The meat of this nut or the kernel consists of two bumpy lobes that add delightful crunchy flavor to dishes. These lobes are off-white in color and covered by a thin, light brown colored skin. Although these nuts are harvested around the month of December, they can be availed and consumed all round the year and are considered as a good source of Omega-3-fatty acids. When stored properly, they can be kept fresh for as long as one year. To know all about the diverse health and medicinal benefits of walnuts, read the pointers given below in this article.
Health Benefits Of Eating Walnuts
- Walnuts are a rich source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, hence are very beneficial in reducing the risk of heart diseases as well as certain types of cancer.
- Consumption of walnuts helps lower the blood cholesterol levels, by lowering the LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol.
- These nuts are rich in antioxidants and are particularly high in ALA (alpha linolenic acid), a plant-based omega-3-fatty acid renowned for its health promoting qualities.
- Walnuts are also associated with a degenerative, incurable and terminal disease called Alzheimer's. It has been established that the regular consumption of walnuts can reduce the risk or delay the onset of this degenerative condition.
- As the nuts are a high source of the amino acid, arginine, they help maintain the flexibility and elasticity of arteries, regardless of the cholesterol levels in the body.
- Studies have indicated that the intake of walnuts towards the end of a meal can help prevent the hazards that fatty food can do to the arteries.
- Walnuts also help strengthen the general constitution of the human body, prevent morning sickness, get rid of morning sickness and even prevent weight gain.
- These nuts are very low in sugar and high in dietary fiber. This unique combination is very useful for people who want to lose weight, as it provides satiety with a fewer calories.
- A good source of vitamin B, walnuts are known to help enhance the production of energy and aids in the process of digestion.
- Apart from the benefits mentioned above, walnut oil is ideal for those who want to treat colic, dandruff, dry hair, gangrene and even open wounds. Also the green rind of the nut is used in the treatment of ringworm.
- Allergic reactions may sometimes occur on consumption of walnuts. These allergic reactions are sometimes immediate and specific, like swelling of lips, itching, eczema, skin rash, dizziness and nasal congestion etc. In some cases, the reactions are more delayed and general, like chronic headache, depression, insomnia, chronic bowel conditions and fatigue.
- Walnuts are often used to prepare sautéed vegetables. You can also add crushed walnuts to yoghurt, along with maple syrup.
- You can also sprinkle crushed walnuts on salads, to enhance their taste.
- Walnuts are particularly good with baked recipes and breakfast treats. Some such recipes are carrot walnut muffins, walnut pancakes, walnut bread, etc.