Walnuts are seeds of a drupaceous fruit, or drupe, as well as any tree of the genus Jugins from the family Juglandaceae. Usually, it is added to food after full ripening for its nutmeat and after being processed while green. The following are the health benefits of walnuts, along with a sample recipe.
One health benefit of walnuts is protein, since nuts are rich in this nutrient. Protein is one of the three macronutrients, with carbohydrates and fats as the other two. Protein is responsible for the growth and repair of tissues and cells. So, consuming protein allows growth and development, as well as repair of damaged parts of the body. Athletes include high amounts of protein to their diet, since this nutrient grows their muscles and allows them to perform well in sports. To add, protein serves as one of the body’s energy sources; when carbohydrate and fat reserves are low, the body extracts energy from protein to carry out systemic functions and activities of daily living.
Another health benefit of walnuts is the promotion of heart and blood vessel health. According to Organic Facts, walnuts are rich in omega-3 and monosaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid. As per the publication, walnuts are also sources of arachidonic acid, alpha linoleic acid (ALA), and linoleic acid. As per clinical researches, including walnuts in various diets help prevent coronary artery disease by reducing low-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol and increasing high-density lipoproteins of good cholesterol. It is added that daily intake of 25 grams of walnuts would provide 90 percent of the recommended daily intake of fatty acids.
Walnuts also help prevent cancer. According to Mercola, the nuts can reduce the risk of having prostate cancer and breast cancer. In a study, as cited by the publication, mice that consumed 2.4 ounces of whole walnuts for 18 weeks had considerably smaller and prostate tumors, as opposed to the mice that ate the same amount of fat from other sources. It is added that the walnut diet allowed prostate cancer growth reduction by 30 to 40 percent.
Another health benefit of walnuts is the promotion of bone health. According to Medical News Today, walnuts are rich in copper, which is associated with high bone mineral density and lower risk of osteoporosis, a condition where the bones become thinner, brittle, and less dense, making them faster to break or fracture. Thus, in addition to drinking milk and eating cheese, drinks and food that are high in calcium, one may also consider eating walnuts.
A recipe that uses walnuts as one of its ingredients is Walnut Taco Bowl. According to Walnuts website, the ingredients are two cups of California walnuts, three cups of cauliflower florets, two chipotles in adobo sauce (roughly chopped), a tablespoon of chili powder, a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of salt, and two tablespoons of lime juice. For the toppings, the ingredients include three cups of rice, three cups of tomatoes, three cups of black beans, two jalapenos, and three avocados.
To prepare, as per the publication, the oven is preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, the walnut taco meat ingredients are pulsed in a food processor until the mixture is thoroughly ground. The consistency is similar to that of rice; however, it should be mildly pasty. Then, the mixture is spread on a greased baking sheet and is baked for 30 minutes and stirred halfway through to prevent over-browning. Finally, the bowls are assembled with taco fixings.
With their many health benefits, walnuts are considered nutritious. They can be added to various meals for families and groups of friends.