Walnuts are considered a heart-healthy snack that is rich in protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Many studies have explored the numerous health benefits walnuts have to offer, and the versatility of these tree nuts makes it easy to incorporate them into your diet. Walnuts have a rich, nutty flavor and crisp, buttery texture that makes them a common ingredient in candies, cookies, breads, and other baked goods. They also work well on salads and in soups.
1) May Lower Cholesterol: Walnuts are one of the richest food sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid. A 2009 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the effects of walnuts and fatty fish on coronary heart disease. Both of these food sources are rich in different types of Omega-3 fatty acids. The research showed that walnuts were more effective at lowering LDL «bad» cholesterol in healthy patients than fatty fish.
2) Ideal Balance of Essential Fatty Acids: The 1999 Lyon Diet Heart Study demonstrated the importance of having a balanced intake of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA), which have been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer mortality. Walnuts are one of the few foods that contain an ideal balanced EFA ratio of 4:1. The typical American diet can be in excess of 16:1 or more, which can increase the risk of chronic diseases.
3) Antioxidant Powers: A 2012 study published in the journal Food & Function found that walnuts contained the highest total polyphenols from an analysis of nine different types of raw and roasted nuts. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that have been linked to the prevention of degenerative diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and cancers.
4) Stress Relief: Findings from a 2010 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition demonstrated that supplementing the diet of adults with elevated LDL cholesterol levels with walnuts and walnut oil reduced blood pressure both at rest and during times of stress.
5) Reduce Blood Pressure: Walnuts are a natural food source of the amino acid L-arginine, which has been linked to reducing blood pressure. A 2010 study published in the journal Medical Science Monitor found that L-arginine supplementation plays an important role in blood pressure reduction. High blood pressure can lead to serious conditions like heart disease.
1) English walnuts, formerly known as Persian walnuts, have a mild, delectable taste that makes them the most widely used variety of walnut. They have a thin, light brown shell that is easy to crack. Their pleasant flavor makes them ideal for snacking, as well as for use in baked goods and other recipes.
2) Black walnuts have a rich, nutty flavor that is stronger than that of English walnuts. Their shells are thick and hard to crack, and contain an oil that can easily stain hands so it is recommended that one wears rubber gloves when handling these walnuts. Some find the taste of these nuts too strong for snacking, but love using them for a bold, nutty flavor in cookies, baked goods, and ice cream.
3) Red walnuts are the most rare kind of walnuts. They are achieved naturally by grafting Persian red walnut trees onto English walnut trees to produce a nut similar to the large, creamy English nut, but with a gorgeous red skin. In fact, the flavor of red walnuts is even more appealing than the English variety because they contain more oils and less bitter tannins for a unique, buttery treat.
How are walnuts harvested?
The harvesting season can begin as early as September and run through the end of November. The walnuts are ready for harvesting when the outer green husk enclosing the walnut fruit begins to split. Walnuts are cleared from the orchard floors and mechanical shakers come in to collect the nuts from the trees. Any remaining husks are completely removed, revealing the walnut’s wrinkly shell. The walnuts are then dried, cleaned, and packed for sale as «in-shell» walnuts, or moved to the hulling process to be deshelled. After the hulls are removed, the walnuts are further sorted by size. Buy walnuts