Walnuts are a big hit at the holidays, but here is why it should be all year long!
The first historical accounts of walnut trees growing under civilized cultivation was in ancient Babylon (Iraq) about 2000 B.C.; however, walnuts have evidently been attached to mankind much earlier by excavations from cave fossils as suggested by archeologists. The Greeks were credited with the first certified improvements in the size and quality of the Persian (Iran and Iraq) today called English walnut trees through selection and cultivation. The Romans soon established the Persian walnut trees throughout most of Europe and much of North Africa, that have most popularly become known today as the English walnut trees. English Walnuts, ‘Juglans regia,’ were brought into the United States by Spanish missionaries in the early 1800’s by Franciscan monks, who settled along the California coast. Because the English walnut orchards, that were rapidly established in Central California came from the seeds planted from those walnuts that grew in the Catholic missions, the walnuts were sold and distributed under the name ‘Mission Walnuts.’
Why eat this robust nut? According to naturalfoodseries.com here are 10 reasons why:
1. Healthy Cardiovascular System
Walnuts are one of the healthiest foods for the cardiovascular system. This can be attributed to the fact that they are rich in potassium which is a natural vasodilator for the heart. Moreover, the presence of oleic acid, omega 3s, alpha linoleic acid and linoleic acid make it very beneficial for managing coronary heart disease. Walnuts also reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
2. Bone Health
Walnuts are excellent for increasing and maintaining bone density. This is because they are rich in copper, zinc, Vitamin B, and calcium. Walnuts contain about 98 mg of calcium per 100 grams of shelled walnuts. The vitamin B, copper and zinc increase the calcium absorption and retention in the body.
3. Healthy Metabolism
Walnuts have been observed to show a positive effect on the metabolic rate of the body. The combination of magnesium, manganese, calcium, folate, copper, and iron are very effective in promoting a healthy metabolism. Moreover, the healthy fats help break down proteins much faster and promote cell regeneration.
4. Diabetes Management
Type-II diabetes patients can safely consume walnuts almost every day without any side effects. This is due to the impressive balance between good fats and nutrients found in Walnuts. A recent study conducted in Australia proved that walnut consumption and type-II diabetes have an inverse relation.
5. Cancer Prevention
Cancer is a fatal disease and leading a healthy lifestyle can prevent its onset. Walnuts are a treasure of antioxidants. From their fruit core to their hard shell, walnuts are rich in phenolic acids. Oxidative stress can be a potential cause of cancer acceleration in the body and have a handful of walnuts every day just might prevent you from this life-threatening disease.
A recent study concluded that walnuts being rich in phenolic compounds and antioxidants reduce inflammation in all parts of the body and also prevents it from occurring. The phytochemicals present in walnuts show some anti-inflammatory properties that are very effective in reducing inflammatory symptoms.
7. Healthy Skin
The good fats, vitamins, and minerals make the perfect skin-cocktail. Especially vitamin E is known for its wonderful effects on the skin. The shells of walnuts are used by cosmetic brands to create physical exfoliants for the skin. Moreover, the Vitamin B complex increases cell renewal and promotes collagen production.
8. Healthy Sleep Cycle
Walnut consumption promotes melatonin production in the body. This is a hormone that induces sleep and can help you maintain a healthy sleep cycle. Having trouble sleeping? Add a few walnuts to your breakfast porridge or afternoon lunch to stimulate melatonin.
9. Stress Management
Foods rich in magnesium and zinc have a positive effect on stress levels. They help the mind relax and think clearly. It provide a combination of these minerals to help keep the brain functioning properly without succumbing to anxiety or stress.
10. Weight Loss
Contrary to the popular belief that high-fat content can result in weight gain, walnuts do otherwise. They are high in good fats and also contain a good amount of fiber. The right kind of fat can stimulate the metabolic process and reduce the retention of bad cholesterol and unwanted fat. Walnuts can be a perfect snack between meals, which helps you stay full and reduces the craving for junk food.
Outside of health, they are a portable snack that doesn’t need refrigeration. You can eat them on the run or sneak some in a meeting (if you are in the back) and they go with sweet and savory. seems like the perfect food!
Happy Healthy Eating! Dana
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/260033