Walnuts have the power to reduce bad cholesterol and support the memory and cognitive abilities of those who study and work.
Nuts belong to the broad category of dried fruit. Rich in benefits, with interesting nutritional values but not without contraindications, it would be a shame not to include them in your diet. In addition to being able to be tasted naturally, they can be used in sweet and savory recipes that are good for the palate and our well-being.
What are the benefits of walnuts? And how to use them in the kitchen? Let’s go in order.
Walnuts: Nutritional Values, Properties, And Benefits
Their harvesting period is approaching (from late September to late autumn), but this does not mean that the nuts are available, and therefore consumable, all year round. Their nutritional values speak for themselves; they are a concentrate of beneficial substances for our health, including vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. That’s right, 100 grams of walnuts provide:
- 582 Calories
- 19.2 g of water
- 10.5 g of protein
- 57.7 g of lipids (including omega 3 fatty acids)
- 1.9 g of starch
- 3.4 g of soluble sugars
- 3.5 g of fiber
To those interested in knowing what vitamins are in walnuts, we can answer that the most abundant are niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin A, and vitamin E, in the form of gamma-tocopherol. Of course, let’s not forget the vital contribution of mineral salts.
From their nutritional values come valuable properties: the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ones are among the most relevant. But among the benefits of consuming walnuts is the reduction of bad cholesterol. This was demonstrated by an international study conducted by the universities of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona and the Loma Linda University in California (United States). From what emerged, together with the reduction of cholesterol and the improvement of the tone of blood vessels, the consumption of walnuts would positively affect the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Another study has shown, however, how the regular consumption of walnuts affects the intestinal microbiome of man by causing protective cardiometabolic effects. Finally, walnuts would help in the management of type 2 diabetes, the prevention of some cancers, and the promotion of bone health. Like all dried fruit, they are allies of a good memory and cognitive abilities: it is no coincidence that they are recommended for students and those who practice sports.
How Many Nuts Can You Eat A Day? Do They Have Contraindications?
How many nuts a day can you eat to benefit from their virtues? The fact that they are beneficial does not mean that they can be eaten lightly, given the calories and fat content. For this reason, the general recommended daily dose is 3/4 of nuts per day.
What do 4 nuts do a day? They provide the benefits we have just discussed without causing unwanted weight gain.
Perhaps not everyone knows, but walnuts can interfere with the action of drugs taken against hypothyroidism; for this reason, they should not be consumed if you are following such therapy. In addition, the contraindications of walnuts lie in their high-calorie content. Drinking them in moderation is necessary, especially if you are overweight. Be careful even if you are allergic to this food.
Recipes With Walnuts
We anticipated how nut recipes are a great way to introduce them to our diet. Therefore we suggest three different types to integrate into your daily diet without difficulty. Without forgetting how they also find space for breakfast, perhaps added to porridge, scattered on pancakes, or inside a cake. And how they can be munched at any time as a snack.
Vegan Walnut Pesto
- 4 cups of basil leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3/4 cup of walnuts
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast
- 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Wash the basil leaves and place them in a mortar or inside the bowl of a food processor.
- Peel the garlic cloves and add these to the food processor as well. Blend a few seconds, then add the rest of the ingredients.
- Blend again until you get a creamy but not too smooth, coarse consistency.
- Collect and transfer what has been obtained to a glass jar and then to the fridge.
Pasta With Walnut Pesto
- 4 tablespoons of nut butter (or pureed walnuts)
- 160 g of buckwheat spaghetti
- ½ cup of unsweetened soy milk
- A handful of walnut kernels
- Fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Edible yeast to taste
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by pouring the soy milk, nut butter, and a little nutritional yeast into a pan.
- Melt everything over low heat.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it, transfer it to the pan with the sauce and mix well.
- Top with fresh parsley and chopped walnuts, and serve.
Bread With Walnuts
- 300 grams of flour 00
- 200 gr of spelled flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 g of dry yeast
- 1/2 l of water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 100 g of walnuts
- 1 level tablespoon of barley malt
- Pour the flour, oil, barley malt, and salt into a bowl and mix with the yeast.
- Add the water a little at a time, continuing to mix as it is absorbed.
- Now transfer to a floured surface and knead with your hands until it is no longer sticky.
- Cover and let it rest for an hour and ½ in a warm place, then add the chopped walnuts and knead again. Give the dough the shape of a loaf or more rolls, and let them rise in a warm place for another hour.
- Bake at 170-180 ° C for about 15 minutes if you have made sandwiches; otherwise, up to 25 minutes in case of the loaf.
Also Read: Protein Porridge: Recipes For All Tastes