Walnuts are known as the best nuts we can eat because of their high levels of antioxidants, which help protect our cells. They're an easy, nutritious snack on their own, or add them to a homemade trail mix.
Walnuts can be used to make things like pesto or plant-based chorizo, even desserts. These tacos are one of my favorite ways to use them.
Just like almonds, they can also be made into a nut butter or milk. They're also a great way to flavor up salads. Seriously, if you haven't tried them in a salad yet, do. I think you'll be shocked at how they spruce it up!
A few servings of walnuts are enough to help your body fight inflammation. They are a great source of omega-3s, which are the healthy unsaturated fats. In fact, just 25 grams of walnuts can provide 90 percent of your recommended daily intake of omega-3s.
Omega-3s boost heart health by lowering blood pressure and stroke risk. They also help reduce your body’s bad cholesterol, while increasing the good cholesterol. Have you ever noticed they actually look like our brain? Well, they're considered a brain food as they help fight off dementia and stress levels.
They are good for your tummy because they promote fast metabolism, and help maintain healthy weight.
They have anti-cancer properties, too, which may help lower your risk of dying from certain types of cancers, such as breast, prostate, pancreatic and colon cancer, by up to 40 percent.
Other nutrients include vitamins A, B6, E and K, as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, potassium, zinc, manganese, selenium and sodium.
As for their medicinal purposes, walnut oil is used in massage therapy and aromatherapy. They contain a compound called melatonin, which aids in improving your sleep. As for beauty purposes, they help strengthen hair, and improve its growth. They also promote younger looking skin.
Did you know that walnuts have been around since the 7000 B.C.? With a longer lifespan than a human, their trees have been long used as food, shelter, medicine and more. They are a part of the nut family, along with cashews, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia, pecans, pistachios and pine nuts.
Around 90 percent of walnuts in the US are grown here in California. The three main types are the English or Persian walnut, black walnut, and white or butternut walnut. The black and white walnuts are native to North America, but the English walnuts are the most commonly consumed.
Walnuts are harvested in December, but you can buy them all year round at the grocery store or farmers’ market.
There are prepackaged walnuts available, but it’s cheaper if you buy them in bulk. Always make sure that you buy those that are heavy for their size. Don’t pick the ones with cracks or stains as these are often the signs of mold.
When storing, keep them in an airtight container and put in the fridge. They can last up to six months there, even up to a year when put in the freezer.