Despite three months of scorching heat, summer is full of reasons to invest in well-being, from seasonal fruits and vegetables, long days and international and national food days to keep reminding you of your promise of good health to your mind and body.
let's remember the goodness of these crunchy ol' nuts:
Packs A Nutritional Punch
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and offer other heart-healthy fats, protein, fibre, and vitamins (including vitamin B6), among others. Munching on these on a daily basis may reduce the risk of heart disease, improve brain health, ensure a healthy gut, and help in weight management. Infact, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)'s Eat Right During Covid-19 guidelines mention foods with omega-3, zinc, selenium, protein and vitamin B to help maintain a healthy immune system and play a role in our body's healing and recovery. And each of these nutrients is present in walnuts. Now, while no single food can prevent or treat illness, it is important to eat a balanced diet.
Also, Read► Eating walnut linked to healthy life in women
Easy To Incorporate In Meals
Munching on a handful of walnuts isn't the only way to reap the health benefits of this nutritious food. They are incredibly delicious and crunchy, and boast great potential on the cooking front because of their ability to absorb flavours and work equally well in both sweet and savoury dishes. To add some much-needed excitement to your daily meals, you can pair these with a variety of food groups, including fruits and veggies, dairy, and breads and cereals, to name a few. Toss it into your salad, cake, or ice cream, blend it with fruits and veggies for your morning smoothie or grind it into a paste to use in dips or gravy, or simply make a trail mix -- there are so many creative ways to work them into your diet.
Easy To Store
Contrary to popular belief, walnuts can easily remain fresh at home provided you store them away from moisture, light, and warmth. Shelled or unshelled, put the walnuts into a resealable bag or an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator or freezer based on the period of use. If you're going to use them within a month, keep them in the refrigerator or move them to the freezer.
Making everyday healthy is not an easy task, but with walnuts in your daily meals, you may get a few steps closer.
Read More► Why opt for walnuts
Women in their late 50s and early 60s who consumed at least two servings of walnuts per week had a greater likelihood of healthy aging compared to those who did not eat walnuts, researchers have found.
In the study, published in the Journal of Aging Research, "healthy aging" was defined as longevity with sound mental health and no major chronic diseases, cognitive issues or physical impairments following the age of 65.
Previous research found that eating walnuts may have a positive impact on reducing the risk for physical impairments in older adults as well as cognitive decline.
Additionally, others in the same research group have found decreases in cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes - all conditions that become more common as we age.
There is no one solution to slowing down the effects of aging, but adopting the right habits, like snacking on a handful of walnuts, can help.
In this study, the researcher Francine Grodstein from Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US, looked at data from 33,931 women in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) to evaluate the association between nut consumption and overall health and well-being in aging.
Between 1998-2002, female nurses in the NHS were asked about their diet (including total nut consumption); evaluated for chronic diseases (such as cancer, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease); and assessed for memory concerns, mental health and physical limitations (including daily activities like walking one block, climbing a flight of stairs, bathing, dressing oneself and pushing a vacuum cleaner).
Of the study participants, 16 per cent were found to be "healthy agers," defined as having no major chronic diseases, reported memory impairment or physical disabilities as well as having intact mental health.
Although previous research has connected a healthy diet, including walnuts, to better physical function among older men and women, this study only included women.
According to the researchers, more research is needed to understand if these results hold true among men.
Additionally, participants were not assigned to eat walnuts or other foods; they were simply asked about their dietary choices.
As an observational study, this does not prove cause and effect. However, the research does shed light on simple habits that can influence health during later years in life - such as eating walnuts, the researchers said.
Read More - Why opt for walnuts
Walnuts come packed with a plethora of health benefits and also make it to the superfoods list.
Including them in your daily diet may help ward off cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic inflammation. Moreover, research suggests, walnuts as part of a healthy diet may play a role in helping to maintain and improve physical and cognitive health as people age.
An initiative by California Walnuts, ePower of 3', urges people to include at least three handfuls of these nutty delights in their weekly diet. Here are the top three reasons to include walnuts in your diet:
Walnuts are predominantly made up of good, unsaturated fats including the essential omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid. Of the 18g of total fat in 28g of walnuts, 13g are polyunsaturated and 2.5g are monounsaturated, making them an ideal choice for a good-fat-food. According to FSSAI's Eat Right Guidelines, one must replace saturated and trans fat with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats naturally found in nuts, fish, and vegetable oils.
Consuming a variety of foods, including differently coloured seasonal vegetables and fruits, is essential to maintain a balanced diet. Protein can be found in plant foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, pulses and soy-based foods. Plant proteins can be mixed and matched with other sources including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, and dairy to help provide the balanced nutrition you need. One-fourth cup walnuts are equal to 4g of satisfying plant-based protein.
Walnuts offer a spectrum of beneficial nutrients that fit a variety of eating plans from Mediterranean and vegetarian to lower carbohydrate diets. Beyond good fats and plant protein, they are a natural source of antioxidants, gluten-free, and lower in carbohydrates (4g total per 28g, including 2g of fiber).
They can enhance almost any healthy eating plan to support an active lifestyle and provide the staying power you need to go the extra mile. (Agency)
Read More >>> Being Nut-wise: Busting the myths about almonds