6000 years ago, our ancestors were roasting chestnuts on open fires in the Mediterranean mountains. Chestnuts were key to their survival thanks to their complex carbohydrates and B vitamins. These ingredients contribute to both brain function and energy levels, which was of course, essential in keeping them alert and fit for hunting in the harsh environment.
Nuts? Are they friend or foe? I can't tell you how often I hear clients say they avoid nuts because they think they are fattening. So, today, we are going to focus on the many benefits that walnuts have to offer, dispelling the myth that they are our enemies!
Most nuts have both Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids. Walnuts themselves have 8 times more omega 3 than any other nut. These fats are called 'essential' because, like vitamins, we must include them in our diet for survival. Omega 3, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, helps protect against arthritis, eczema and asthma. In addition, it is believed to increase elasticity in our arteries, resulting in lowering blood pressure as well as increasing HDL 'good' cholesterol. The walnut has been labelled cardio protective.
Did you know that 60% of our brain is made of fat? So, with that in mind, the fats found in walnuts are key to our cognitive function, memory and concentration as well as influencing our moods.
It doesn't end there - walnuts are packed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, including vitamin E, zinc and magnesium. B6 is especially important, for burning carbohydrates, protein and fat to give us energy. This explains its link to weight loss. Contrary to popular opinion, recent research has shown that eating a handful of walnuts a day helped participants to lose weight. Another study showed, eating a few nuts with breakfast will keep you fuller for longer and helps control both insulin and blood sugar levels, reducing the need to graze all day.
Even the Romans 2000 years ago, used nuts as a cure against poisons, gangrene and hair loss!!! So, folks of the 21st Century, crack open the walnut and make it your friend.
Why not try this simple, tasty recipe and remember nuts are an excellent source of protein.
Beetroot and walnut salad In a bowl mix 3 chopped, cooked beetroots, a handful of walnuts and herbs of choice (parsley, chives, etc), 2 chopped spring onions and a sprinkle of pomegranates (optional). Season with olive oil and cider vinegar. Enjoy
If you have concerns about either weight management or inflammatory issues please contact Naturally High.