They originated in the Mediterranean region and Central Asia and have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. They are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than many other foods and are known as a superfood. Now I always thought ‘superfoods’ were something more exotic like ‘the debatable’ wheat grass or pomegranates. Walnuts to me, have been around forever, when we were kids they were fun but a pain to open with the nutcracker but as I learn more about foods, I realise that something I thought was a bit boring, a staple and messy is yet again another example of a wonderful food.
Some of the amazing things about walnuts are;
- They support immunity and help in lowering the risk of cancer. I have never heard of ellagic acid but it is in rich supply in walnuts. Dr Kristi Funk, a well respected breast cancer surgeon, who has make it her job to prevent breast cancer and Dr William Li (Brain health expert) has stated that ellagic acid (also found in berries) has the power to block carcinogenic action, uncover cancer cells so the immune system can eliminate them.
- They contain 65% of good fats, 15% protein and very low carbs much of which are fibre.
- They contain vitamins and minerals such as copper, folic acid, phosphrous, Vitamin B6, Manganese & Vitamin E.
- They are good for brain health as they contain a significantly high concentration of brain-healthy fat called DHA a type of Omega3 Fatty Acids. Walnuts also contain a number of other neuroprotective compounds, including vitamin E, folate, melatonin, and antioxidants, they may support brain health, cognition, and memory.
- They may increase Longevity due to being high in antioxidants. A study called Predimed, completed in Spain, looked at 7,400 healthy people who are at risk for heart disease. And what they actually found is that eating about one tablespoon of nuts (about 7 walnuts) each day, reduced mortality by 39% compared to people that didn’t eat any nuts.
- They support detoxification. 3 ways walnuts support our bodies wondrous detoxification pathways are, with the amino acid arginine in walnuts assists the liver to detox ammonia, high glutathione, omega 3 good fats support natural liver cleansing, and lastly Vitamin E can help improve liver health and consequently enhance your body’s detoxifying capabilities.
I love walnuts in salads and we posted onto our website a Beetroot and Walnut Salad some time ago so click here to check it out.
Warning: walnuts are among the eight most allergic foods. Symptoms of a walnut allergy are typically severe and can include allergic shock (anaphylaxis), which can be fatal without treatment. Individuals with a walnut allergy need to avoid these nuts completely.