Friday, February 3, 2012

3 Wonderful Reasons to be Wild about Walnuts!

Top Health Benefits of Walnuts -- what makes them SO Wonderful?!

Walnuts are the Best of the Nuts!

1. Highest in OMEGA-3 fats - while ALL unsalted, un-sugared nuts, are nutritious, healthy fats, none contain any significant levels of omega-3.

Omega-3 fats are amazing, helping our bodies to work better from HEAD to TOE!

NEARLY ALL Americans are deficient in this nutrient!

Here is a comparison of omega-3 sources from Tufts University.

2. Highest in ANTIOXIDANTS - chemicals that bind with free radicals, so that free radicals cannot bind to our body which would cause damage.  Free radical damage leads to aging, in many parts of our bodies, and diseases including dementia, heart disease, diabetes, and more!

Antioxidant levels in nuts were completed as part of a research study and reported at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.  Here is the abstract.

3. Walnuts improved MEMORY and motor skills in aged rats.  This study fed them walnuts and saw improvements in memory via maze navigation and balance by having them walk on rods and planks.  The benefits were the result of the walnuts as a whole with all components potentially responsible, rather than singling out a particular nutrient.

Time after time, walnuts have similarly been found to decrease risk of heart attack and stroke, and be beneficial to cardiovascular health, overall.

ALL nuts are AMAZING SUPERFOODS -- filled with healthy macronutrients (fat, protein, carbs, and fiber), and vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, such as STEROLS.  Here is a chart comparing the vitamin and minerals content in tree nuts (click on chart to see better!):

Note the highlighted numbers indicate the richest source of each nutrient!  Almonds win for many, but omega-3 aren't on the list and WALNUTS are basically the ONLY NUT source!

SO eat walnuts, and if you don't like them, I suggest you keep trying (read this post to see why), and if you really can't swallow walnuts, eat WHICHEVER nut you do enjoy because they are ALL NUTRITIOUS!

ALL LARABALL recipes contain nuts, and Cranberry Cinnamon Confections and Cranberry Cookies and No-Bake Carrot Cake contain Walnuts.  You can try substituting walnuts in any Laraball recipe, or add them to anything, casseroles, cereal, yogurt!

If you eat Miniwheats, try adding them to your morning bowl of cereal.  Walnuts can sort of cancel out some of that sugar that tops Miniwheats, at least improve the nutrient content of the meal!  Heck, try them with any cereal!  Walnuts taste great WITH MILK!

Here is a muffin recipe to try!

Savory Fruit and Nut "Muffin Tops"

2 omega-3-rich eggs
1 T vanilla
4 bananas, ripe, mashed
2 T canola oil
2 T cinnamon
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c soy protein isolate
1/4 c flaxseed, ground
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 c walnuts, ground
1/2 c cherries
1/2 c blueberries

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine eggs, vanilla, bananas, and oil in large bowl.  In smaller bowl, combine remaining ingredients, adding baking soda and powder last.  Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix just until no dry ingredients remain.  Fold in remaining fruit.  Drop scoops onto baking sheet (silicone type work great) and bake until tooth pick comes out clean, about 14-18 minutes.  Remove muffin tops when cool, and enjoy!

Or make your own Practical PESTO Sauce!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you enjoy silicone bakeware or prefer more traditional metal and glass options? Do you use your silicone bakeware for anything else? I use them for freezing sometimes!

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