The heart friendly nut!

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Diwali must’ve brought home a lot of nuts, we mean the edible kind! Here’s raising a toast to the king of nuts, walnuts! Packed not just with taste, it has some amazing health benefits you probably didn’t know about. Here’s the skinny on walnut health facts.

  1. Dil ka dost: For over two decades, walnuts have been shown to improve cardiovascular risk factors by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol by 9-16% and diastolic blood pressure by 2-3 mmHg. These two risk factors are major contributors to heart disease risk.
  2. Helps you age healthy: Everybody ages, but aging need not be accompanied by health issues. What prevents this? Antioxidants. Antioxidants have the ability to control free radicals that has a negative influence on aging. This is where walnuts come in, walnuts contain a variety of antioxidants that can help protect from certain chronic diseases of aging, including cardiovascular and neurological ailments
  3. Easy mornings: An ounce of walnuts provides 4 grams of proteins and 2 grams of fiber. Dietary fiber promotes healthy bowel function and helps you feel full, a key component in maintaining a healthy weight. Walnuts are also a good source of magnesium (44 mg/oz) and phosphorus (98mg/oz) both important minerals involved in the body’s processes.

How can you include walnuts in your meals?

  1. Snack on one ounce (a handful) four to five times a week.
  2. Sprinkling walnuts on salads, sabzis, dips and soups is a healthy and delicious option.
  3. Replace croutons with walnuts in your soups and salads.

Walnuts are a low-carb food choice, one ounce has only 4 grams of carbohydrates and 190 calories.

Oldest tree food  

  1. Walnuts are the oldest tree food known to man as it was being consumed from as far back as 7000 B.C.
  2. It is difficult to trace where the walnut tree originated but ancient Romans believe that it originated from Persia and then spread from southeastern Europe to Asia Minor to the Himalayas. Greeks used walnut oil as far back as 4thcentury B.C., nearly a century before the Romans.
  3. Researchers are convinced about the nutritional benefits of walnuts when consumed in whole form, including the skin.  Nearly 90% of the phenols in walnuts are found in the skin, including key phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids.
  4. Walnuts are part of the tree nut family. This food family includes Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts.

Walnut wine and cheese

  1. Walnut oil has a strong flavour and is not suitable for preparing certain foods, such as mayonnaise. It is more expensive than extra virgin olive oil, but like olive oil can be used to dress salads. Walnut leaves are used for wrapping cheese and tea since they contain antibiotic substances. The husks of the walnuts are used for a French liqueur known as brou de noix and also there are walnut flavoured wines.
  2. Walnuts are used in many world cuisines, from Middle Eastern chicken entrees, to Asian dishes and Italian pesto.
  3. Walnuts are extremely versatile in the kitchen and can be used to good effect asa condiment, in various appetizers, main courses and desserts.It is extensively used in baking, being second only to almond. It is either ground or chopped as an ingredient or used halved as a decoration.

Here are some easy recipes with walnuts for you to try.

Akhrot Ka Raita,  Braised Chicken with Walnuts,  Walnut Baklava,  Walnut Burfi,  Walnuts and Carrot Cup Cakes,  Walnut Crusted Sweet Potatoes,  Walnut Biscotti,  Walnut And Spice Cake,  Walnut And Grape Raita,  Walnut Coffee Biscuits

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.