Health Benefits of Walnuts, How to Use Walnuts in our Diet? Fresh Walnut: How to choose and store?

Incorporating walnuts in our daily diet is one of the easiest ways to keep ourselves healthy. Scientific studies have shown that walnuts reduces the risk of heart diseases. One of the best sources of protein, walnuts, also referred as akhrots, are also rich in fiber, vitamin B, magnesium. They are also rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fats and alpha linoleic acid. Hence, walnuts have been shown to aid in lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and the C-Reactive Protein (CRP). CRP was recently recognized as an independent marker and predictor of heart disease. 

Health Benefits of Walnuts 

  • Healthy heart: There have been various studies that show that eating walnuts benefit the heart and circulatory system tremendously. Walnuts contain healthy fats (omega 3), which improve artery functions. Regular eating of walnuts helps lowers your total as well as LDL or bad cholesterol and increases your good cholesterol levels in the blood. 
  • Brain: For your brain to operate at its highest efficiency, it is necessary that the surrounding fat is healthy and omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts surely constitute healthy fat. 
  • Mood alleviator: Many studies show that if kids do not have adequate omega 3, it can lead to hyperactivity, irritability – leading to more tantrums. So by supplementing their diet with walnuts you’ll sure do them and yourself good. The same goes for adults too. 
  • Insomnia: Eating walnuts could help in relieving insomnia. The body produces melatonin, a hormone, to ensure we feel tired. Walnuts are a natural source of this hormone, thus eating them can make you feel tired and help you sleep. 
  • Prevent gallstones: Consuming walnuts decreases the risk of gallstones. 
  • Protecting bones: Walnut or akhrot has anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to your bones. It helps keep your bones strong as it decreases in strength with age. 
  • Weight loss: Walnuts have also earned an important place among the desirable foods that support weight loss and prevent obesity. Eating the right amount of walnuts can prevent natural weight gain. 
  • Anti-cancer benefits: Given the wide variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients found in walnuts, these nuts have measurable anti-cancer benefits. 

How to Use Walnuts in our Diet? 
Walnuts, infact all nuts in general, are high in calories, so moderation is the key. The best approach is to get the maximum health benefits of walnuts by not adding excessive calories to our daily intake but to eat them in replacement of foods that are high in saturated fats (such as cheese and meat). Walnuts add a flavorful crunch to dishes. Here are some simple ways to use walnuts in our diet to get their health benefits:   
  • Eat walnuts as snacks instead of snacking on cookies.
  • Instead of using meat, toss toasted walnuts in your salad or pasta to add some crunch. 
  • Instead of layering pepperoni or cheese, use chopped walnuts in your pizza.
  • Instead of eating eggs or bacons, use walnuts as a protein choice by sprinkling chopped walnuts in your oatmeal or breakfast cereal 
  • Get your protein from roasted walnuts instead from sausages, eggs and processed meat. 

Fresh Walnut: How to choose and store? 
Shelled walnuts should be brittle. Avoid the rubbery ones. Opt for the ones with a darker skin. Store the un-shelled in the refrigerator for a couple of months.