The Wonderful Walnut

April 12th, 2010

walnutThe tasty product of the beautiful deciduous tree, walnuts are nutritional powerhouses packed in a slender shell. The crunchy interior of the walnut looks like brains for a reasontheir omega-3 fatty acid content has been shown to improve cognitive function and decrease your risk of depression. And that’s not the only reason these nuts are a smart choice! Even a handful of walnuts holds powerful benefits for your heart.

Adding walnuts to your diet can help you enjoy a long, healthy life with reduced risk of heart disease. This nut is high in monounsaturated fats, which can help lower LDL, or the bad cholesterol that increases your risk of heart troubles. Walnuts also contain polyunsaturated fatty acids –which aid in lowering blood pressureand are chock full of antioxidants that protect against heart disease and other health woes.

Because of the healthful content of unsaturated fatty acids, walnuts are especially perishable, and you must take care to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer after purchasing.

The wonderful thing about walnuts is that there are so many ways to enjoy them! Sprinkle chopped walnuts on your oatmeal, or add them to a delicious granola like our Maple Walnut Cranberry Granola.  For dinner, walnuts pair especially well with the equally nutritious sweet potato. Serve up our Maple Sweet Potato Ravioli or try making your own sweet potato casserole with walnuts. For a rich and savory pasta dish with all the benefits of walnuts, sample this week’s featured Carrot Walnut Tagliatelle.