Walnuts to the Rescue!


by Erin McCleary

Nutrition Facts

 

Amount per 1 oz (14 halves) (28 g)

 

 

Calories

185

 

Total Fat

18 g

27%

     Saturated Fat

1.7 g

8%

     Polyunsaturated Fat

13 g

 

     Monounsaturated Fat

2.5 g

 

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Sodium

1 mg

0%

Potassium

125 mg

3%

Total Carbohydrate

3.9 g

1%

     Dietary Fiber

1.9 g

7%

     Sugar

0.7 g

 

Protein

4.3 g

8%

 Heart Disease Prevention 

            Currently, cardiovascular disease is a growing health concern and leading cause of death in the United States. With a family history of hypertension and arrhythmia, I am always looking for ways to keep my heart healthy and to prevent any issues from arising as I get older. An increased consumption of nuts especially walnuts, have been shown to decrease the incidence of death related to cardiovascular disease and other heart conditions. This can be attributed to its fiber content, which has been found to have a positive impact on heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol (or bad cholesterol) levels in patients who started consuming walnuts regularly in their diets.

 Keeping the Pounds Off

             You’re probably thinking “All that fat in walnuts is just going to make me fat!” But it is quite the opposite. The healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in walnuts help eliminate bad fats in the human body, therefore not negatively affecting us like saturated fats and trans fats would. To maintain a healthy weight, you must consume healthy fats. Not all fats are created equal! Studies have been conducted where people added walnuts to their daily food intake over a course of 6 months and it did not result in weight gain in the participants. Research has also been conducted with overweight men and women who incorporated regular walnut consumption into their diets and it actually aided weight loss! Because of the protein, fiber, and healthy fat content of walnuts they are filling little nuts and can provide that much-needed satiety or feeling of fullness in less than 200 Calories! Talk about a healthy, beneficial snack!

  Antioxidant Powerhouse

             Not only do walnuts help our aesthetics, they protect our bodies from oxidative processes that result in cell damage and potentially cancer. According to research, “walnuts contain massive amounts of antioxidants, i.e. more than 20 mmol antioxidants per 100g” (“Health Benefits of nuts: potential role of antioxidants”). Basically, walnuts provide the most amounts of antioxidants per 100g than any other nut on the market! There is still tons of research that needs to be completed on antioxidant capabilities in the human body, but the general consensus for now is to consume foods rich in antioxidants and walnuts are at the top of the list!

 Recipes

 Healthy Trailmix

Simple, flavorful, and to help you survive a day of classes and studying!

Combine equal parts of:

  • Raw Walnuts
  • Banana chips
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Raw Cashews

 Walnut-Blueberry Oatmeal Energy Bites

Image

  • Ground walnuts
  • Whole wheat pastry flour
  • Oats
  • Shredded coconut
  • Maple crystals
  • Blueberries
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Sea salt

1) Bring butter, maple syrup and 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a simmer.

2) Add baking soda to heated ingredients, bring to a boil. Add liquid mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir together.

3) Spoon out about 1 tablespoon per bite onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Flatten into hockey puck-shaped bites.

4) Bake at 350° F, for 10-12 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack when done baking. Enjoy!

 Resources

 “Health Benefits of nuts: potential role of antioxidants” By Rune Blomhoff, Monica H. Carlsen, Lene Frost Andersen, and David R. Jacobs Jr.

 “Nuts, especially walnuts, have both antioxidant quantity and efficacy and exhibit significant potential health benefits” By Joe A. Vinson and Yuxing Cai

 www.walnuts.org

 

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