Walnuts have always been held in high esteem as the ancients had assumed that the apparent similarity between the elaborate shape of walnut and that of the human brain is indicative of its positive influence on intelligence. Thus this notion made walnut an instant favorite even in the older times. The botanists recognize the walnut as Juglans regia.
The walnuts have been named so because they came from outside the United Kingdom, hence the foreign nut. Originally the walnuts were typical to Iran and America, particularly North America. However today walnuts are cultivated all over the word and are one of the most popular nuts consumed.
The walnuts are monocots that come in hard, creased shells which are usually dull brown in color. The walnut seed itself is encased within a brown skin which coats the black or white embryo underneath.
Walnuts can be stored and eaten in a variety of ways which changed its taste as well e.g. the fresh walnuts may be pickled in a sweet or sour preserver. Walnuts taste best when reaped because the flavor is richest than at any other time.
Nutritional Value of Walnuts
Walnuts have always been the nutritionist’s pick because of the nutritional value of walnuts. The intensive researches have shown that the nutritional value of the walnuts is even enhanced if they are consumed whole without being blanched so as to remove the skin. Walnuts contain nutritional components of an immense value as listed below:
- Vitamins: Walnuts are a source of vitamins A, C, E, K, B6 and B12.
- Essential Nutrients: Walnuts contain many essential nutrients including floate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, choline and betaine.
- Minerals: Walnuts supply vital mineral to the body including Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Ferrum (Fe), Natrium (Na), Phosphorus (P), Cuprum (Cu), Selenium (se), Zinc (Zn) and Kalium (K).
Caloric Ratio Pyramids
The CRP shows that the walnuts are rich in fats that make up more than 80% of it while both carbohydrates and proteins are less than 10%. Thus the fat content of walnuts provides upto 640kJ of energy while cars and proteins together make up 120kJ of energy.
The Miracle of Omega 3
Omega 3 is the miracle nutrient which is hard to find. However, luckily for us, the walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Specifically the walnuts contain the alpha linolenic acid, commonly abbreviated as ALA, which has been proven to be of great help for the patients of cardiovascular problems. The patients of hypertension have shown remarkable improvement on addition of walnuts to their diet. The active intake of walnut reduced the risk of heart stroke due to increased amount of HDL. Its health benefits further enhance the nutritional value of walnuts.
Magic of Walnut Oil
Walnut oil has a number of uses. It can be used for cooking and seasoning. Apart from the common use, walnut oil is used for medicinal purposes as well. Aromatherapy also employs walnut oil, thus recognizing its benefits. Walnut oil gives shine to your hair as well as adds glow to your skin.
Protection against Cancer
Apart from being useful in treatment of heart diseases, the omega 3 has also shown promise in the domain of cancer prevention. By the virtue of its nature, this nutrient is anti-inflammatory. The researchers have conclusively proven its protective effects against colon and breast cancers.
Walnuts are used as an ingredient in almost all kinds of dishes ranging from sweet to spicy. The walnuts can be consumed in unprocessed or raw form as well as in the roasted form. Walnut is a popular part of salads and may also be used in bakery items such as to bake a walnut cake.