They're brown, they're crunchy and they usually come encased in a hard shell that resembles the human brain. Toss them around in salads or use them in sinful desserts, they taste absolutely delicious every time. Walnuts are perhaps one of the most effective superfoods and can play a remarkable role in improving an individual's health.
Among nuts, they stand out for their unique nutrient content and phenomenal health benefits; they're rich in fiber, protein, essential fats, vitamins and antioxidants. (More: Eat nuts to control blood sugar & fat)
What makes them so super?
- Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acid or polyunsaturated fatty acid. Omega 3 fatty acids are considered absolutely essential, and can only be obtained only by consumption of certain kinds of food.
- Walnuts are a good source of protein and dietary-fibre
- Walnuts are loaded with Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, folate and thiamin
Unique benefits of eating walnuts
1. Help prevent cancer: Studies have shown that walnuts contain many nutrients like omega 3 fatty acid, phytosterol and antioxidants which not only prevent growth of tumors but also reduce the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer.
2. Good for a healthy heart: Walnuts help in lowering cholesterol levels. They're rich in L-arginine (amino acid) and omega 3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid) - two compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties and prevent the formation of blood clots. (More: Heart benefits decoded)
3. Help with weight-loss: Eating walnuts makes you feel full, which reduces appetite and helps with weight management.
4. Walnuts help in building resistance for insulin, control blood glucose levels and lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
5. Eating walnuts during pregnancy helps in reducing the symptoms of nausea and in proper brain development in children.
6. Walnuts work wonders for the hair; they're rich in biotin, prevent hair fall, improve hair texture and strengthen them.
7. Walnuts prevent ageing because of their antioxidant properties.(More: Eating nuts is tied to lower risk of death)
How to include walnuts in your daily diet:
- Add walnuts to your breakfast cereals like porridge, oats or muesli
- Crush some walnuts and sprinkle them salad or cooked vegetables
- Take 1-2 walnuts with 2 soaked almonds every day in the morning
- Sprinkle them over a bowl of curd or yogurt
- Add them to muffins, breads, brownies, chocolates etc.
What things healthy can you cook with walnuts?
1. Baked mushrooms with walnuts
10 -12 mushrooms
7-8 whole walnuts
1 Small onion
Half cup of tomato puree
1 small Capsicum
1 garlic clove
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp olive oil
Few coriander leaves
Salt for seasoning
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
2. Clean and wash mushrooms. Partially boil them for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Once they are cooled, cut and remove the stems.
For the stuffing:
4. Add one teaspoon of oil in a pan, saute finely chopped garlic and onions for five minutes, add finely chopped capsicum and pureed tomatoes.
5. Add washed and crushed walnuts to the above mixture.
6. Spice up the mixture with salt and crushed red pepper.
7. Cook for 10 minutes on a medium flame, garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
8. Sprinkle little salt over the mushroom caps and fill them with sautéed walnut mixture.
9. Finally grease the baking dish with one teaspoon of olive oil. Arrange stuffed mushrooms in the dish.
10. Bake for 20 minutes and serve it hot.
2. Cucumber and Walnut Raita
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 cup sliced cucumber
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup plain curd
Salt as per taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. In a small pan heat oil over medium heat; add cumin and garlic. Stir for 1 minute until toasted and fragrant.
2. Set cumin oil aside to cool completely.
3. Stir together cucumber, 1/4 cup walnuts, lemon juice, yogurt, salt, and pepper.
4. Stir in cumin oil and top with additional 2 tablespoons walnuts.
3. Walnut salad
50 grams walnut
3 apples, chopped finely
2 sticks, celery pieces
Half tsp sugar
A bowl of cabbage, grated
1. Cut the apple into small pieces and mix the sugar.
2. Add celery and walnuts.
3. Soak grated cabbage in cold water for an hour and strain the water.
4. Place the grated cabbage in a serving bowl.
5. Decorate with apple slices and whole walnuts.
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