We all know how important proteins are for us, don't we? They build muscle, repair our tissues, make us leaner and stronger, reduce the risk of heart-related ailments and best of all keep us full so we do not overeat! But, in a world where everyone is constantly on the run, getting enough protein through our meals is becoming increasingly difficult.
Wouldn't it be great if Mother Nature gave us bite-sized protein nuggets that could be eaten anywhere, anytime? Well, of course, she did! Nuts are nutritional powerhouses with concentrated proteins, calories and vitamins all embedded in a tiny seed. And the healthiest of them all - Walnuts!
There is a good reason for walnuts being called a superfood. The health benefits of walnuts are derived from its nutrients:
1. Plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids, like alpha linolenic acid and amino acid
2. Plant sterol
3. Proteins and calories
4. Minerals like magnesium and copper
5. Vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin B6
6. Dietary fibre
The many benefits of walnuts for brain and body are well documented in various medical journals.
• Helping in prevention of cancer: With omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants, walnuts are proven to be effective in limiting the growth of tumours. They also lower the risk of breast cancer occurrence in women.
• Making your heart stronger: Amino acids and alpha linolenic acids are two compounds that are anti-inflammatory and hence prevent the formation of clots in our blood. Walnuts assist in lowering our cholesterol levels, thus helping us lead healthier lives.
• Lose-weight by staying full: These protein-rich nuts are ideal to help us stay full longer, thus automatically reducing our impulse to binge or snack on unhealthy foods. Thus, they are highly effective in weight management.
• Lowering sugar levels: In today's unhealthy and stressful world, raised sugar levels have reached epidemic proportions. Walnuts build insulin resistance and control our blood-sugar levels thus reducing the risk of sugar-related diseases like diabetes.
• A healthier glow: Walnuts, like all nuts, are rich in antioxidants. Thus they act as natural anti-ageing products, giving our skin a younger look and a healthier glow. Additionally, walnuts are rich in vitamins that prevent hair loss and improve its texture, giving it a healthy appearance.
• Walnut benefits for brain: Walnuts ward off depression due to the presence of omega 3 acids and are proven to increase serotonin levels in our blood. Folic acid in these nuts helps us cope with stress better and delay the onset of brain-related ailments like Alzheimer's.
Walnuts, like all nuts, are high in calories with 1 oz of walnuts providing about 150 to 200 calories. Of course, these are the healthiest fats you would find, but for those counting calories, remember to adjust your intake accordingly.
So, how do we eat walnuts raw? It is suggested to eat 1 ounce (around 7 shelled) of walnuts, 5 times a week.
• Sprinkle them liberally on your breakfast cereals like muesli, porridge or oats every morning.
• Crushed walnuts can be added to your salads that you eat at lunch. If you like, you can eat them with chopped fruit too. Or, you can sprinkle chopped walnuts over your bowl of curd.
• Organic walnut butter, when blended in with fruit smoothies, can also provide you with all the nutrition.
• Raw walnut oil in pasta or as a salad dressing, will help you reach your quota.
• Some swear by soaked almonds and walnuts kept overnight, and eaten first thing in the morning as it helps in reducing birth defects.
• If you love baking, add walnuts to your muffins, breads and cakes to add that dash of raw nutrition.
So, your favourite recipe helped you figure out how to eat walnuts raw. But, what is the best time to eat walnuts? Well, let's find out.
Research suggests that the best time to eat walnuts is before meals, preferably on an empty stomach. While some prefer eating them first thing in the morning, others prefer eating them in the evening. Let us understand why:
• One of the health benefits of walnuts are their high protein content, you will feel fuller at your actual meal and will automatically eat lesser, thus regulating your weight better.
• Omega acids are always better absorbed by your body on an empty stomach. This is why, including walnuts with meals may dilute their impact a little.
• Similarly, amino acids and their anti-inflammatory properties are observed to be at their peak when they are consumed on an empty stomach.
Now that you know how a walnut benefits your brain, and gives you not only a healthier heart, but also glowing skin and hair, shouldn't you experience this wonder food for yourself? A simple online search can provide you with amazing recipes that give you delicious alternatives on how to eat walnuts raw.
So, create an opening in your daily schedule based on the best time to eat walnuts and get started today!