The nuts are the fruit of the tree nut, native to the Middle East but also very popular in our country. The walnut is typically autumnal, has a high energy value and many nutritional characteristics. It is rich in polyunsaturated acids, excellent for the human body and its leaves are considered a noteworthy aromatic ingredient, often used in cooking, for example for the ageing of some types of cheese.

Walnuts also contain proteins and simple carbohydrates. They are also rich in fibre and mineral salts abound: calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Thiamine is the most important of the vitamins.

NUTS: NUTRITIONAL VALUES

Walnuts are a really important food for our health, a veritable mine of beneficial properties. Inserted daily into the diet, they are able to control cholesterol levels  and cardiovascular risk; they also seem to limit the onset of some tumours and help keep blood pressure low; therefore they are characterised as an important natural remedy in case of  hypertension.

The important thing is not to overdo the quantities: it is a fairly caloric food that counts 650 calories in 100 grams. 3 walnuts a day are enough , to be enjoyed also with salads or with breakfast with yogurt, to cover our daily requirement of essential nutrients for health.

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PROPERTIES AND BENEFITS OF NUTS

  • The walnuts also contain a high quantity of good fats, especially Omega 3 and  Omega 6, essential fatty acids, which are essential for the good health of our cardiovascular system. These good fats prevent the formation of blood clots and greatly improve circulation. The heart also benefits, thanks to the presence of arginine inside the nuts, excellent for those suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
  • And again, walnuts are an excellent source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin E, B1, B2, folic acid and fibre and contain a high quantity of antioxidants that can control free radicals. The consumption of walnuts has been shown to reduce the vulnerability to stress that occurs during ageing. Therefore, those who want to keep young not only the skin but also the brain, need only eat a handful of nuts a day, to remove the risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • Those with type 2 diabetes can include nuts in their diet, as these, with their healthy fats, regulate metabolic parameters and reduce fasting insulin levels.
  • Walnuts contain melatonin, so they are also excellent for those who want to sleep well all night long.
  • Walnuts are a strongly energetic food , perfect also for pregnant women  (unless you are allergic): polyunsaturated fats promote the correct development of the nervous system and some parts of the fetus’s eyes.
  • Walnuts are also good for skin and hair: in particular, an oil with moisturising and nourishing properties is extracted from the nuts. Nut oil is indeed rich in unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 which have antibacterial, antioxidant and antiviral properties. This oil is used as a pre-shampoo pack, so that the hair is stronger and more shiny. It also fights dermatitis and dandruff. Walnut oil is rich in vitamin C and for this reason it is highly recommended for face and body skin, especially when the skin is oily and does not tolerate other types of oils. It also promotes tanning, stimulating the production of melanin that protects from the negative rays of the sun. You can add walnut oil to your day cream or to an aloe vera cream.

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VARIETY OF NUTS

The varieties of nuts are really many and all with intrinsic characteristics and valid for the organism. Among these are:

  • The nuts Pecan originating of North America rich in antioxidants and fatty acids and monounsaturated.
  • The  Brazil nuts contain high amounts of selenium and macadamia nuts and coconut from quite sweet and greasy and oily composition.
  • The of Mongongo nuts, originating in Namibia and South Africa’s Western, sweets and many nutrients.
  • The nuts Kemiri (or candle), who come from Indonesia and are rich in oils. These are very used in cosmetics and local cuisine.
  • The red nuts , which are like walnuts but have red kernels and a mild oily taste, because they are born from the intersection of a common walnut and a Persian.

CALORIE OF NUTS

Walnuts are very high in calories because they contain about 610 kcal. Certainly, those on a diet must be careful to consume a non-excessive dose. The nut induces a sense of satiety because it is rich in fibre and therefore can be a panacea for those who must lose weight or for those who are already in a healthy and balanced diet. Small doses are always recommended because nuts are certainly fattening if abused.

HOW MANY NUTS A DAY

Precisely because they are very high in calories, nutritionists strongly recommend consuming only 3 nuts a day for a total of 15 grams and 100 calories. Walnuts should be eaten in moderation because the weight gain they cause is a risk factor for those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases. Therefore it would be a contradiction to consume walnuts to help the heart and arterial system and then gain weight by increasing the above risks even further. The caloric intake was therefore kept under control, avoiding excesses.

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CONTRAINDICATIONS OF NUTS

The nuts, we have said, are very caloric and therefore the first contraindication to be emphasised is certainly the weight gain. They can also cause real inflammation in the mouth or intestinal tract , with the onset of diarrhoea. Furthermore, food allergies linked to this fruit, like all dried fruits, are not infrequent. In fact, walnuts contain antibodies that stimulate white blood cells to produce histamine in the body. Histamines promote allergic reactions and cause nausea, diarrhoea and stomach pain. Those who are pregnant and suspect some allergy to nuts and dried fruit in verberal, should refrain from consuming them.

NUTS AND HIGH PRESSURE

Eating walnuts helps lower high blood pressure and especially helps those who suffer from cardiovascular disease, improving heart health. Of course, this happens when the diet is low in fat and particularly healthy. At this conclusion came a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, walnuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid ( ALA ) which results in enormous benefits on blood pressure. The study conducted by the US university really wanted to show if a diet in which there was this “ALA” could improve the heart conditions and if the polyphenols, another component of the nuts, was able to regulate the pressure, which happened successfully .

NEC PECAN: PROPERTY AND BENEFITS

The Pecan nuts are originally from Texas and are very well known for their remarkable therapeutic properties. In fact, they are rich in fats with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities . Eating Pecan nuts means taking care of your body, keeping away diseases like diabetes, arteriosclerosis, biliary diseases and even protecting your brain. The vitamin Econtained in them, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension especially in those who are overweight. Those who have to lose pounds, can consume these nuts, which have a good fibre content and at the same time increase the sense of satiety, favouring the decrease in food intake during the day. Pecan nuts promote intestinal motility and help prevent constipation. These nuts contain L-arginine , an amino acid that improves the elasticity of blood vessel walls, promoting blood circulation and therefore the flow of blood also into the scalp. This is why Pecan nuts also help treat baldness .

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NUTS AND CHOLESTEROL

Walnuts are cholesterol- free , so they can be safely consumed by those who must keep high cholesterol at bay . Consuming 40/60 g of walnuts per day lowers bad LDL cholesterol and keeps the levels of good HDL unchanged. Walnuts are rich in unsaturated fats, polyphenols, polyunsaturated fats and in some cases, in addition to reducing bad cholesterol, they are also able to raise the levels of the good one, thanks also to the action of oleic acid. The important thing is not to associate them with fatty or highly caloric foods, because walnuts are caloric and promote weight gain.

ALTERNATIVE USES OF NUTS

Walnuts are not only excellent fruits to eat but have, and have had in the past, also alternative uses in everyday life:

  • With unripe nuts , for example, an excellent liqueur called Nocino is produced . The walnuts must be chopped and soaked in white wine and water for about 40 days. The dose of the recipe is 2 kilograms of nuts per 5 litres of liquid and ½ kilogram of sugar. After 40 days the food alcohol must be added, which is then filtered. The liqueur must then rest in the dark for a short time and is finally ready to be drunk.
  • With the walnut husk , that is the fleshy part of the fruit, rich in tannin, fabrics and furniture are dyed and in the Middle Ages it was used as ink. The leaves macerated in half a glass of red vinegar, are an excellent darkener for hair, while if left in water for ten minutes, they are good for making foot baths.
  • With the leaves is also prepared an excellent decoction which helps in the treatment of diabetes , obesity and gout. The oil extracted from the green husk, on the other hand, is protective against sunburn.
  • The juice of walnut leaves, mixed with angelica, saponaria and fibrino clover, seems to have been, in the past, a holy hand for the preparation of pills and syrups with anti venereal action.

And here is also our recipes with walnuts, a collection of unmissable preparations, from appetisers to desserts:

  1. The salad with citrus fruits, olives and walnuts
  2. Homemade bread with walnuts
  3. Risotto with pears and walnuts
  4. Risotto with walnuts and radicchio
  5. Bresaola rolls with ricotta, rocket and walnuts
  6. The walnut sauce
  7. Banana smoothie with walnuts and cinnamon
  8. Cookies with nuts
  9. Walnut cake
  10. Fruit salad with walnuts

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WALNUT FLOUR: WHAT IS EVEN AND HOW TO USE IT

The nut flour is often used to flavor the fresh egg pasta or bread and other baked products. Walnut flour is produced by extracting the seeds that are used for the production of walnut oil. The fibrous residues of these are the basis of the flour itself. Walnut flour, therefore, is much lighter than the main fruit and oil and is also richer in nutrients . Walnut flour is gluten-free, therefore suitable for those suffering from celiac disease. It is used in the preparation of bread but also in spoon desserts, ice creams and semifreddi. The nut flour is rich in omega 3 fats and manages to keep bad cholesterol levels under control. Furthermore it contains a lot of fibres, therefore it favours the intestinal transit. Walnut flour also contains arginine, an amino acid that dilates blood vessels and makes the body more agile during physical activities.