Archive for April, 2010

Walnuts are not only tasty when added to anything from cereal to yogurt to casseroles but they’re also good for you because they contain heaps of omega-3.

Walnuts are one of the healthiest plant sources of protein. Walnuts are rich in B vitamins, fiber, the minerals copper, manganese and magnesium, antioxidants such as vitamin E, ellagic, gallic acids and phenols.

These tasty nuts are very high in omega-3 fatty acids in comparison to other types of nuts.

Walnuts, as well as other nuts in general, are high in fat and plant sterols. But don’t worry – the fat that makes up walnuts is mainly the good fats which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These good fats have been found through research to lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood as well as the C -Reactive Protein (CRP).

CRP has recently been acknowledged as one of the predictors of future heart disease.

A great deal of research has been done on the health benefits of walnuts, this champion of nuts. In fact over 10 years of scientific evidence points to the fact that adding walnuts to a diet will reduce the potential for heart disease because it lessens plaque accumulation and it improves the elasticity of the blood vessels.

The FDA endorsed the benefits of walnuts to health by approving the following claim in March of 2004. The claim states that, “Supportive but not  conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 oz of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”  (http://www.healthcastle.com/walnuts-benefits-heart.shtml)

Add Crunch to Your Meals:

Walnuts can add crunch and flavor to your life in more ways than one. Here are some very basic ways to incorporate walnuts into your daily diet.

Instead of snacking on potato chips or cookies, eat some walnuts. Once you get use to the yummy factor you will be sold on them! Use walnuts as a meat substitute in your pasta dishes and salads. Try toasted walnuts for that little extra bit of taste. Start your day right by using walnuts as a morning protein source. Instead of devouring bacon, eggs or both sprinkle some chopped walnuts onto your cereal or in your oatmeal.

Go light on the pepperoni on your pizza or go without pepperoni all together and instead treat your pizza to chopped walnuts.

Word of Caution:

Walnuts do not have any cons to speak of. However, along with other nuts they do tend to be high in calories and for that reason it is important to eat them in moderation.

This means eat them but go easy on the servings. The wisest thing to do is to use walnuts to replace foods that are high in saturated fats such as cheese for example, or a selection of meats. You should also keep your daily intake of walnuts to 1.5 ounces per day. That works out to be approximately 20 walnut halves.

Walnuts have become a consistent part of my daily diet and I invite you to do the same. Your body will love you for it!

Becca Scott

Read Full Post »