Develop the jaw,
But walnuts, stewed,
Are more quietly chewed.
—with a gentle nod to Ogden Nash
I’m nuts for walnuts…
I lied, when I promised I’d stop waxing poetic about nuts. I forgot about the walnut, one of nature’s treasures! Carrying on with my nutty soliloquy, I present verse 4.
Crunchy or pureed, if we’re smart, walnuts will be found hiding on our plates in everything from soup to salads! I’m so impressed with walnuts’ healthy benefits, I hardly know where to begin… perhaps with the letter A.
Have you heard of the quinone juglone, the tannin tellimagrandin, or the flavonol morin? I hadn’t, until recently.
But we don’t have to remember their names. We just have to remember where they hang out… in walnuts! Some of these nutrients are so rare that they’re found in no other common food.
These valuable nutrients are powerful antioxidants. If you forget just how antioxidants protect your tissues, check back to Vinny’s post starring Auntie O.
These rarities mightily reduce the inflammation of your tissues that contributes to your risk of chronic disease. Eating just 1 ounce of walnuts a day significantly reduces your chances of suffering from heart disease, diabetes, and prostate and breast cancers. That’s potent medicine.
Omega-3 fatty acids
They don’t act alone, though. That same ounce of walnuts also provides you with your daily requirement of omega-3 fats. Remember how great these polyunsaturated fats are for your health? And also how difficult it can be to get enough of them in your diet these days, especially if you gorge on processed and fast foods? Check back to read Vinny’s post on macadamia nuts and almonds, if you need a refresher.
Vitamins and minerals
The vitamin E in walnuts is also special, and it’s especially good for the men in the family. The rarer, gamma form found in walnuts is shown to shield men’s hearts from disease.
Then there are all those valuable minerals in walnuts to mine for. .. copper, calcium, magnesium and manganese are all needed for bone health. As well, they work with the other nutrients in walnuts to prevent oxidation and inflammation, the underlying cause of so many of our modern, chronic ailments.
Do you miss out on all this goodness because nuts have a high calorie count? Well I’m here to tell you, we can’t afford to leave them out. That 1 ounce a day I was talking about contains around 200 calories. But people who add nuts regularly to their meals in moderate amounts stabilize their weight. And if they also cut out sugar, white flour, and saturated fats, they’ll even lose weight by eating nuts!
Don’t peel off the outer layer, as that’s where some of walnuts’ best nutrients cling. If you store them for any time, keep them in the fridge to prevent the oils from going off.
Walnuts are truly a super-healthy food. Along with other tree nuts and seeds they make a wonderful contribution to your meals, while boosting your well-being.
Where’s walnuts in your meal plan? Let us all know how you like to tap into this nutritional super-food.
See my next two posts for great recipes starring walnuts, both raw and stewed.
- Walnuts raw: Crunchy party salad comes packed with nutrition Walnuts, broccoli, cranberries, and barley join forces on your buffet table for a hearty salad.
- Walnuts stewed: An earthy walnut and mushroom soup An unusual and delicious soup full of omega-3
- Auntie Oxidant rides to the rescue Demystifying antioxidants.
- I had a little nut tree… ode to almonds Almonds have the fewest calories of the tree nuts.
- Miss Macadamia takes the crown. Fats demystified Macadamias are the creamiest and crispest of the nuts, as well as having the lowest amounts of the overly pushy omega-6 fats.