Saturday, August 1, 2009
Walnut trees have been cultivated for thousands of years. Today, the leading commercial producers of walnuts are the United States, Turkey, China, Iran, France and Romania. They are widely grown in temperate zones and are also very hardy against drought.
Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Nuts in general are also high in plant sterols and fat - but mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 fatty acids - the good fats) that have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. Walnuts, in particular, have significantly higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids as compared to other nuts.
Walnuts have often been thought of as a "brain food," not only because of the wrinkled brain-like appearance of their shells, but because of their high concentration of omega-3 fats. Your brain is more than 60% structural fat. For your brain cells to function properly, this structural fat needs to be primarily the omega-3 fats found in walnuts, flaxseed and cold-water fish. This is because the membranes of all our cells, including our brain cells or neurons, are primarily composed of fats. Cell membranes are the gatekeepers of the cell. Anything that wants to get into or out of a cell must pass through the cell's outer membrane. And omega-3 fats, which are especially fluid and flexible, make this process a whole lot easier, thus maximizing the cell's ability to usher in nutrients while eliminating wastes--definitely a good idea, especially when the cell in question is in your brain.
The health benefits of Walnut:
1.Walnut is a good source of all important omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids has a lot of health benefits ranging from cardiovascular protection, better mental function, anti-inflammatory benefits in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
2.Walnut helps improve body's metabolism.
3.Walnut has a mild laxative effect, it is beneficial in cases of constipation.
4.Walnut contains vitamins and minerals thus making it an excellent food for body and muscle building.
5.Walnut is recommended for patients with liver ailments.
6.Walnut contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant compound that helps supports the immune system and contain several anticancer properties.
This article will give you a deeper understanding why food, beauty products and medicine like to include walnut as one of the ingredient.