by Jaie Obillo 2 min read
Nuts are fun, nutritious, and convenient snacks. It’s always a good idea to keep them handy for instant healthy snacking, instead of having chips or cookies. Try filling a small, clear, plastic, compartmentalised, container with different nuts in small serving sizes. They’re great for quick snacks, road trips, picnics, or instant snacks to serve to guests.
One of the most popular and versatile snackable nuts are walnuts. They’re those wrinkly nuts that come in a shell. Most of the time, they come pre-shelled and ready to eat. Walnuts are a misnomer because they are, in fact, not nuts!
Walnuts come from any tree of the Juglandaceae family. Botanically speaking, they are seeds of a drupe (like coconuts,olives, peaches, and plums). They are eaten raw or roasted. They make their way into baked goods such as cookies, cakes, bread, nutrition bars and are even used as cereal toppings.
Walnuts are incredibly rich in antioxidants, those substances that prevent or delay cell damage caused by damaging oxidizing agents. In fact, walnuts are second only to blackberries in the list of antioxidant rich foods. Antioxidants are famous for helping keep our cells young and healthy. Among the antioxidants found in walnuts are: ellagic acid, catechin, melatonin, and phytic acid.
The presence of these antioxidants in walnuts helps support healthy ageing by combating free radicals and slowing down age related deterioration. It also helps promote good brain function including faster processing speed, more mental flexibility and better memory. Studies also prove that walnuts can treat cognitive disorders such as dementia and epilepsy.
Walnuts can also support weight control. How? By curbing your appetite. They’re also very rich in fibre which can make you feel full for longer and can help maintain regular bowel movement. As an added bonus, walnuts have probiotic properties that can help improve your gut health by increasing beneficial bacteria (like probiotic bacteria such as: Lactobacillus, Ruminococcus, and Roseburia) in your gut. This can greatly aid in the cleansing and detoxification of your digestive system.
Walnuts can also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by helping control your blood sugar. They’re also found to help decrease bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and even alleviate high blood pressure.
Walnuts are a great snack for expecting mums. They are an excellent source of Vitamin B complex groups like folates, riboflavin, thiamin, necessary for fetal development. Walnuts also support male reproductive health by improving sperm shape, vitality and mobility.