When we think of nuts, classics like almonds, cashews or peanuts often come to mind.
But when it comes to health benefits, the walnut reigns as the ‘Superstar Nut.’
Which is why we are celebrating National Walnut Day on May 17th.
Let’s find out a bit more about the wonderful walnut.
Where Does the Walnut Come From?
The common walnut (known scientifically as Juglans regia) is a medium to large tree that grows slowly. The walnut tree was originally native to a wide belt of Asia, stretching all the way from the Balkans to China.
While records show that walnut cultivation dates to Babylon in 2000 BC, archaeological excavations in the south of France suggest that walnuts were being eaten in Europe as far back as 8000 years ago.
Today walnuts are grown in many countries, and China, the US, Turkey, and Iran are the world’s four largest producers.
The global annual walnut harvest is at least 1.5 million tons.
Why Walnuts Are so Wonderful for You
Walnuts are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and the perfect ratio of omegas -3 and -6 fatty acids. Their many potential health benefits include:
- Boost Brain Health: The results of the Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) study indicate that regular walnut consumption may delay the onset of age-related cognitive impairment.
- Support Cardiovascular Health: Walnut consumption helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and improving endothelial (arterial) function.
- Inhibit Cancer Formation: Walnuts contain antioxidant and anticancer components that may help prevent the growth of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer cells.
- Satiate: Walnuts fill you up because of their high fat and protein content. They are a high energy-dense food and as such, a little goes a long way.
To enjoy National Walnut Day in style, here is our recipe for Sweet and Savory Walnut Snacks.
A wonderful taste brought to you by the wonderful walnut.