Friday, March 13, 2015

Food Focus: Walnuts

A few weeks ago my friend gave me a sandwich bag filled with these black walnuts from her yard. Amazing! They have such a nice fruity flavor unlike the kind at the grocery store.

I knew walnuts are one of the top nuts as far as nutrition, but just how nutritious are they?

Walnuts are high in fiber, protein, healthy fats, plant sterols, antioxidants, contain many vitamins and minerals and are anti-inflammatory.

A one-ounce serving provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of plant-based omega-3 fats, along with high amounts of copper, manganese, molybdenum, and biotin.

Walnut Nutrition
  • Walnuts, 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup):
  • Calories: 183
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbohydrate: 4 g
  • Vitamin B6: 8%
  • Vitamin E: 35%
  • Folate: 7%
  • Magnesium: 11%
  • Copper: 22%
  • Manganese: 48%
  • Omega 3 Fats: 113%

Benefits of Eating Walnuts
  • Fights Cancer (breast, prostate, colon)
  • Healthy for Your Heart
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Reduces Risk of Stroke
  • Helps to Control Weight
  • High in Antioxidants
  • Improved Brain Health
  • May Help Prevent Chemical-Induced Liver Damage
  • Helps Control Metabolic Syndrome
  • Improved Bone Health
  • Improved Memory
  • Improved Sleep
  • Supports Immune System Health
  • Anti-inflammatory (asthma, arthritis, etc.)

It's best to look for raw since roasting reduces the antioxidant quality. Also, if possible, eat them with the skin on, as that seems to be where most of the antioxidant nutrition is. And for optimum health benefits, avoid the sugar-coated walnuts. (Although they would still be better than none at all!)

Ways To Use Walnuts
  • Mix with Fruit, Yogurt, Honey and Cinnamon
  • Sprinkle on Salads
  • Add to Brown Rice or Quinoa
  • Add to Pasta
  • Ice Cream Topping
  • Add to Chicken Salad or Egg Salad
  • Stir into Oatmeal
  • Add to Sautéed Vegetables (like Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, broccoli and/or asparagus, etc)
  • Pizza Topping
  • Chopped or Ground into Soups or Smoothies
  • Walnut-Crusted Chicken (with fresh, chopped rosemary)
  • Added to Homemade Trail Mix

See the recipes I pinned on my Walnut Pinterest board here: Walnuts

For specific walnut recipes, do a search on Pinterest or Google - there is no shortage of them! (My favorite search was on Pinterest: walnuts+recipe+vegetables)

Read my previous post: Take Time: Learn