By: Leanne Ely
Walnuts are like nature’s perfect little packaged food. Chock full of healthy fats, antioxidants, protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins, walnuts reign supreme in the kingdom of nuts.
Just a quarter cup of walnuts a day is plenty for you to reap their health benefits.
And just what sorts of health benefits are we talking about?
Reduced cancer risk. Walnuts reduce the risk developing cancer, particularly, breast cancer and prostate cancer. In a study conducted on mice, two handfuls of walnuts (the human equivalent!) cut breast cancer risks in half and slowed tumor growth by 50% .
Increased heart health. The amino acid l-arginine in walnuts benefits anyone with heart disease, or those who are at risk for developing heart disease. Walnuts also contain omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is an anti-inflammatory and can prevent the formation of pathological blood clots. Eating a diet rich in ALA, you may reduce your risk of having a fatal heart attack.
Antioxidants. Walnuts contain unique and powerful antioxidants available only in a few common foods. These antioxidants can fight damage caused by free radicals and may also prevent liver damage.
• When you’re eating your walnuts, don’t discard their bitter outer skin. That’s where 90% of a walnut’s antioxidants are found!
• When shopping for walnuts, look for organic raw nuts.
• Walnuts are quite perishable, so you should store them in the freezer in an airtight container.
• Walnuts make a great snack, but if you don’t enjoy their flavor, try blending them into smoothies, or adding them to baked goods.
• Walnuts do contain phytic acid, indigestible by humans. To further enhance their health benefits, soak walnuts overnight in water. To crisp them up again, heat them up in a 100 degree Fahrenheit oven.
Pass the nuts!
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