We talked a lot about walnuts at Shopping for Health this year and with good reason: With more than 150 health studies on head-to-toe health conducted around the glove, the evidence supports walnuts as a leading nut for nutrition.
Keep in mind these fast stats about a fourth of a cup of walnuts (about 14 walnut halves):
- 190 calories
- 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber
- 5 grams of monounsaturated heart-healthy fats, and
- 13 grams of polyunsaturated fats
- 10% of the daily value of magnesium and phosphorus
- At least 10 phytochemicals, including melatonin
Here are some examples from studies concerning walnut consumption and cancer, infertility and cognitive health:
- Daily consumption of about 2.5 ounces of walnuts helps to improve sperm motility, morphology and vitality.
- To assist the brain and cognition, walnut consumption helps preserve or improves cognitive reasoning, balance/ coordination, learning ability and inferential reasoning.
- New research in the area of walnut consumption and brain health is exciting. A December 2014 cross-sectional study at UCLA showed that consumption of one-half ounce of walnuts increased performance across six cognitive tests.ᴬ
- In cancer prevention, walnut consumption is associated with reduction in size of tumors (breast cancer, prostate cancer) and tumor growth reduction in prostate cancer (speed of growth and size of growth).
The California Walnut Commission offers these tips to add tasty walnuts to your daily diet:
- Add a handful to morning oatmeal or Greek yogurt;
- Make a homemade trail mix;
- Sprinkle walnuts on salad;
- Bake walnuts into bread or muffins;
- Mix chopped walnuts into grain dishes;
- Make a pesto sauce using walnuts;
- Add walnuts to any stir-fry dish.
And check out the California Walnut Commission recipe site at www.walnuts.org for great recipes like this Dried Fruit and Walnut Granola:
- 4 cups oats, rolled, quick cooking (not instant)
- 2 cups natural wheat bran
- 1 1/2 cups California walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups raisins (or dried cranberries, chopped dried apples, apricots or other mixed dried fruit)
- In a large bowl, stir together oatmeal, bran, walnuts and sesame seeds.
- In small microwaveable bowl, combine honey, and vanilla; microwave on high for about 20 seconds or until runny. Stir to mix; pour over dry ingredients and toss to coat well.
- Spread evenly in large, shallow baking pan and bake at 300°F for about 30 minutes, or until golden, stirring two or three times. Cool completely. It will crisp as it cools. Stir in raisins and store in airtight container.
Serve for breakfast with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, or as a dessert sprinkled over ice cream.