Healthy nibbles

WALNUT

WALNUT

DID YOU KNOW?
WALNUT Considered to be one of the oldest fruit trees known to man.
Walnut trees are one of the oldest fruit trees known to man, dating back to 7,000 B.C. In Rome, walnuts were considered the food of gods and received the name of Juglans regia, in honor of Jupiter. There are several species of walnuts but the most common and commercially important one is Juglans regia, also known as the Persian or English walnut. The production of walnuts is spread across many countries, with the main producers being the USA, China, Ukraine, Iran, Chile and Turkey. They are marketed in both shelled and in-shell form and are used as a snack and salad topping, and as an ingredient in desserts, baking and confectionery, as well as main courses.
BENEFITS
Nutrients
English walnuts are high in fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese. They are also a source of iron and potassium.1,2
Omega-3
Of all nuts, English walnuts contain the highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid. As one of the best plant food sources of omega-3s, a one-ounce serving of walnuts provides 2.5 grams of ALA.
Cardiovascular health
A daily intake of 30g of walnuts contributes to the improvement of the elasticity of blood vessels.3 Walnuts have been studied due to their potential effect on the reduction of the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Regular walnut consumption has been associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and has been shown to decrease LDL “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure, two major risk factors for CVD. In addition, walnuts may improve endothelial function, decrease both oxidative stress and some markers of inflammation.4,5
Brain health
According to a 2014 study, walnuts may offer potential benefits to brain health due to their polyphenolic compounds, which may reduce the oxidant and inflammatory load on brain cells.6
FUN FACTS
The Greeks called the walnut KARYON (head), because it looks like a human brain. For this same reason, the Chinese have believed for centuries that walnuts are good for the brain.7 Recent Western research suggests that walnut consumption may benefit brain health.
For ancient Greeks and Romans the walnut was a symbol of fertility. The nuts were commonly distributed in wedding ceremonies as good luck wishes.8
In California, the walnut was first cultivated by the Franciscan Friars in the late 18th century.9 WALNUT
References:

1)    USDA Food Composition Databases. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28 slightly revised May, 2016: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list.
2)    Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32006R1924&from=en.
3)    Comission Regulation (EU) No 432/2012: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32012R0432&from=EN.
4)    Wu L, Piotrowski K, Rau T, Waldmann E, Broedl UC, Demmelmair H, Koletzko B, Stark RG, Nagel JM, Mantzoros CS, Parhofer KG. Walnut-enriched diet reduces fasting non-HDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein B in healthy Caucasian subjects: a randomized controlled cross-over clinical trial. Metabolism. 2014 Mar;63(3):382-91.
5)    Kris-Etherton PM. Walnuts decrease risk of cardiovascular disease: a summary of efficacy and biologic mechanisms. J Nutr. 2014 Apr;144(4 Suppl):547S-554S.
6)    Poulose SM, Miller MG, Shukitt-Hale B. Role of walnuts in maintaining brain health with age. J Nutr. 2014 Apr;144(4 Suppl):561S-566S.
7)    Keown, D. (2014). The Spark in the Machine: How the Science of Acupuncture Explains the Mysteries of Western Medicine. Singing Dragon.
8)    Avanzato, D., McGranahan, G. H., Vahdati, K., Botu, M., Iannamico, L., & Assche, J. V. (2014). Following walnut footprints (Juglans regia L.): cultivation and culture, folklore and history, traditions and uses. Following walnut footprints (Juglans regia L.): cultivation and culture, folklore and history, traditions and uses.
9)    California Walnut Board & Commission: https://www.walnuts.org/about-walnuts/walnut-history/