Walnuts have been around since about 7,000 B.C. Walnuts contain much higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids than any other nut. Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for brain and nerve function. They help build new cells and keep them strong, as well as help with normal growth and development. Our body does not make this particular fatty acid so we must get it through our foods. Walnuts also have tons of fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants.
Incorporating walnuts in your diet may help lower your LDL “bad cholesterol” and help increase your HDL or “good cholesterol”. Walnuts may also improve the elasticity of blood vessels because of their anti-inflammatory action thus may help lower blood pressure, decrease coronary artery disease, decrease strokes and lower your risk of some cancers such as breast, colon and prostate.
In general nuts tend to be high in fat so should be consumed in moderation in order to not add excessive calories to your daily intake. Walnuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are healthier fats and very little saturated fats which are not so healthy. Walnuts have no cholesterol.
Nutritional Information for Walnuts
Serving Size: 14 halves
Fat: 18.5 grams
Carbohydrates: 3.9 grams
Protein: 4.3 grams
Fiber: 1.9 grams
Low glycemic index
They should be eaten as a protein replacement food such as:
- Sprinkle some chopped walnuts into your oatmeal in place of bacon or sausage
- Add to a muffin or pancake batter
- Enjoy as a snack
- Add some chopped walnuts to your yogurt
- Use them in a trail mix made with your favorite dried fruits
- Use them as a protein replacement in a salad
These salads are favorites of my sister and myself. If you are counting carbohydrates, read your label. A serving of dried cranberries is about 1/3 cup and have 33 grams of carbohydrates. Each section of grapefruit has about 1 gram of carbohydrate and 1 ounce of Mandarin oranges is 3.5 grams carbohydrates.
Spinach Walnut Salad
1 bag of fresh spinach
Shredded purple cabbage
Quartered mini carrots
Grape tomatoes halved
Mandarin oranges, chopped
Grapefruit slices chopped
Lite Lime Dressing
1 package Broccoli Slaw
Lite Ranch Dressing