Walnuts are packed with nutrition including healthy fats and an array of vitamins and minerals. The depth of nutrition of the walnut has the gained so much attention that for fifty years, scientists meet annually to discuss the latest research of the walnut.
These nuts are a good source of omega-3 fats, which help in preventing cancer, heart disease, and brain disorders. They are delicious alone as well as when combined with salads, cereals, and baked goods.
Walnuts are rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fats and vitamin E. Much of the research conducted in regards to health benefits of the walnut are geared towards that of the heart and circulatory system.
- Rich in Antioxidants: The walnut is at the top of this list in comparison to the antioxidant benefits of other nuts and seeds. These antioxidants present help to prevent damage of the bad, LDL cholesterol. What is important about this is if LDL oxidizes and builds up in your arteries, then you risk developing atherosclerosis.
- Omega-3: Packed with 2.5 grams of healthy omega-3 fats, eating walnuts may help reduce heart disease.
- Anti-inflammatory: The walnut contains polyphenols, which are highest in the skins of the walnut and contains both vitamin E and melatonin. Polyphenols are known to fight against inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Healthy Bacteria: Walnuts help the body produce butyrate, which is a fat that is necessary for healthy digestion. Poor digestion is often caused due to low levels of healthy bacteria in the gut, which can lead to disease, obesity, cancer, and inflammation. A study conducted on a group of adults, who consumed 1.5 ounces of walnuts daily over the course of 8-weeks, showed improved healthy, probiotic bacteria in comparison to the same period of time not eating walnuts.
- Weight Control: Because of the healthy fats and protein found in the walnut, along with it being a calorie-dense snack, consuming them may help reduce cravings and hunger pains.
Where Are Walnuts Grown?
Walnut trees, specifically the English walnut, originated in India but have been grown in European countries since the 4th century. The English walnut is the most popular and California produces approximately 90% of the U.S. nut supply, while Iran, Turkey, Ukraine and Romania being large produces overall.
The black and white walnuts are native to North America, primarily in the Appalachian area and the Mississippi area and were introduced to Americans by the Native American Indians as a food source.
The walnut is a great addition to a variety of culinary dishes and a well-rounded source of nutrition.