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Are Walnuts Good For You?

Nuts are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, packing a serious nutritional punch in every delicious mouthful. The oldest tree food known to man, walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts around and are also the only nut to contain high amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid) which helps to keep the heart-healthy. Here are some of the top walnut nutrition facts. 

Walnut nutrition facts

When separated from their shells, a 1oz serving of walnuts (approximately 28g) provides the following nutrients: 

 

  • 185 calories 
  • 18.5g of fat 
  • 4g of carbohydrates
  • 2g of fibre
  • 4g of protein 

 

Despite being approximately 84% fat, walnuts are only full of the good kind, including unsaturated fat and omega-3’s, meaning that they can actually help to lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and to keep the heart-healthy. 

How are walnuts good for you?

It’s no secret that the humble walnut is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, providing a whole host of nutritional benefits, here are some of the reasons why walnuts are so good for you.

  • Walnuts are a great source of vital omega-3 fatty acids

Not all fats are created equal. Whereas saturated fat can clog arteries, increase blood pressure and cause heart disease, omega-3 fatty acids can do the opposite. Omega-3 is an essential amino acid, however, we don’t produce it naturally in the body and so must attain it from our food. The good news is that walnuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, with a single serving providing 2.5g which is 90% of the recommended daily intake! 

  • Walnuts are also an excellent source of plant-based protein 

Whether you’re into fitness or not, protein is essential for muscle growth and repair and it’s vital that we eat enough of it to stay healthy. Animal products are one of the biggest sources of dietary protein but for those looking to cut down on their meat intake or who are following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, walnuts are a great plant-based source, providing 4g of protein per single 1oz serving. 

  • Walnuts contain cancer-fighting vitamin-E

100g of walnuts contains 140% of the RDA for vitamin-E, a very powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Working from within, vitamin-E helps to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress and can even help to prevent certain types of cancers. What’s more, vitamin-E is also great at slowing the signs of aging, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots on the skin. 

  • Walnuts can help to prevent type-2 diabetes 

Despite their relatively high-calorie content, walnuts are great weight-loss food, helping to suppress appetite, keep you fuller for longer and control food urges. Aside from helping people to lose weight or to control their weight, walnuts have also been found to help stabilise blood sugar levels and can also help to prevent heart disease. 

  • Walnuts balance the gut microbiome

Our gut is responsible for a lot more than simply digesting food, and has even been linked to changes in our mood, our energy levels and our susceptibility to other diseases. A healthy microbiome means a healthy body, and with their high fibre content walnuts are a great gut-healthy food that can help to promote good colon health. 

 

So are walnuts good for you? They most certainly are! So why not start incorporating a single 1oz serving of walnuts into your diet and see if you can feel the benefits. 




February 24, 2021 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts

Pecans Vs. Walnuts - Which Is Better?

Pecans and walnuts are often compared to one another, but the real question is which one is healthier?
January 07, 2021 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts

Walnuts- How To Store Them To Prevent Them Going Rancid


 

If you’ve ever bitten into a rancid nut, then you’ll know that it’s not a pleasant experience and often means that the whole batch has sadly become stale and will need to be thrown out. Walnuts, in particular, have gotten themselves a bit of a bad reputation as a nut that goes bad very quickly, and this is due to their nutritional composition. So why do walnuts go stale more quickly than other nuts? And how can you store them to make them last longer? Read on to find out more. 

Why do walnuts go rancid so quickly?

To understand why walnuts go rancid so quickly, we first need to know a little more about the process of rancidification itself. Rancidification happens when fats and oils are exposed to air, light, moisture or bacteria, causing them to oxidize and to change at a molecular level. When oxidation occurs, fatty acids and oils, like those found in nuts, begin to change into short-chain aldehydes and ketones, which taste unpleasant and smell bad.  

 

The reason why walnuts go rancid so quickly is that they contain a very high level of fatty acids, meaning that they are more susceptible to oxidation when stored incorrectly. Other nuts that go rancid very quickly include pistachios and pine nuts, which also have a very high-fat content. The good news is that the oxidation process can be slowed down by storing nuts correctly. 

 

Before worrying about storing walnuts make sure you are buying fresh, good quality walnuts so your chances of a rancid walnut are slim to none! Check out our blog post on How To Make Sure Your Getting Fresh Quality Walnuts

 

How to store walnuts to stop them going rancid

The key to stopping walnuts from going rancid is to protect them from the key factors that cause oxidation, which include moisture, light, air and bacteria. Walnut shells naturally protect walnuts from some of these factors, increasing their shelf life, but shelled walnuts have no natural defence. 

 

To improve the shelf life of your walnuts, always store them in a clean airtight container, this will prevent moisture and air from getting to them and will also stop unwanted odours from tarnishing their flavour. To protect them from sunlight, store them in a dark place or in a dark-tinted container.  Another common enemy of walnuts is temperature, and so to extend the shelf life of your nuts even further, you may also want to consider storing them in the fridge or even the freezer. When stored correctly in the pantry walnuts can last for up to 4 weeks, this can be extended to 12 months in the fridge and up to 24 months in the freezer. 

 

How to tell if your walnuts have gone rancid?

Because the oxidation of nuts changes them at a molecular level, it is relatively easy to tell when they have gone bad. Firstly, look at them closely, have they changed in colour? Is there any mould growing on them? Then give them a sniff, rancid nuts often smell somewhat alcoholic and can also smell musty if they have begun to go mouldy. And finally, don’t be afraid to give one a taste, eating a rancid nut in small quantities is not harmful, but they will taste foul and you’ll know immediately if they have gone off. 

 

If you’ve ever bitten into a rancid nut, then you’ll know that it’s not a pleasant experience and often means that the whole batch has sadly become stale and will need to be thrown out. Walnuts, in particular, have gotten themselves a bit of a bad reputation as a nut that goes bad very quickly, and this is due to their nutritional composition. So why do walnuts go stale more quickly than other nuts? And how can you store them to make them last longer? Read on to find out more. 

 

Why do walnuts go rancid so quickly?

To understand why walnuts go rancid so quickly, we first need to know a little more about the process of rancidification itself. Rancidification happens when fats and oils are exposed to air, light, moisture or bacteria, causing them to oxidize and to change at a molecular level. When oxidation occurs, fatty acids and oils, like those found in nuts, begin to change into short-chain aldehydes and ketones, which taste unpleasant and smell bad.  

 

The reason why walnuts go rancid so quickly is that they contain a very high level of fatty acids, meaning that they are more susceptible to oxidation when stored incorrectly. Other nuts that go rancid very quickly include pistachios and pine nuts, which also have a very high-fat content. The good news is that the oxidation process can be slowed down by storing nuts correctly. 

 

How to store walnuts to stop them going rancid

The key to stopping walnuts from going rancid is to protect them from the key factors that cause oxidation, which include moisture, light, air and bacteria. Walnut shells naturally protect walnuts from some of these factors, increasing their shelf life, but shelled walnuts have no natural defence. 

 

To improve the shelf life of your walnuts, always store them in a clean airtight container, this will prevent moisture and air from getting to them and will also stop unwanted odours from tarnishing their flavour. To protect them from sunlight, store them in a dark place or in a dark-tinted container.  Another common enemy of walnuts is temperature, and so to extend the shelf life of your nuts even further, you may also want to consider storing them in the fridge or even the freezer. When stored correctly in the pantry walnuts can last for up to 4 weeks, this can be extended to 12 months in the fridge and up to 24 months in the freezer. 

How to tell if your walnuts have gone rancid?

Because the oxidation of nuts changes them at a molecular level, it is relatively easy to tell when they have gone bad. Firstly, look at them closely, have they changed in colour? Is there any mould growing on them? Then give them a sniff, rancid nuts often smell somewhat alcoholic and can also smell musty if they have begun to go mouldy. And finally, don’t be afraid to give one a taste, eating a rancid nut in small quantities is not harmful, but they will taste foul and you’ll know immediately if they have gone off. 

 

Got walnuts that you need to use up? Check out 3 Quick Recipes With Walnuts

 

 

November 19, 2020 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts

5 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Walnuts

5 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Walnuts 

Nuts are one of the world’s healthiest foods and have been providing essential sustenance to people for more than 8000 years. Walnuts in particular, is widely considered to be one of the healthiest nut varieties, containing the most omega-3’s as well as being a valuable source of Vitamin E. If you love nuts already, then it shouldn’t be too hard to munch on a few extra walnuts every day, but if you need a little more convincing, then here are five reasons why you may want to start eating more walnuts. 

Walnuts can help to reduce your chance of getting cancer

 

The nutritional composition of walnuts, specifically their omega-3 and vitamin-E content, can help to prevent certain cancers from developing within the body. Vitamin-E is a powerful lipid-soluble antioxidant that fights free-radicals which can ultimately lead to cell mutations and cancer. Walnuts are also an excellent source of polyphenols, which are turned into anti-inflammatory urolithins within the microbiome, helping to protect against colorectal cancers as well as reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers such as prostate and breast cancer. In one study, researchers at the Harvard Medical School found that both the size and frequency of tumours in mice were reduced by feeding them walnuts daily. 

 

Walnuts are good for your gut microbiome 

Millions of microbes live inside your gut, performing a whole host of important functions from digestion to fighting off infection. Your gut microbiome can influence your ability to lose weight, your mental health, and your digestive health and so it’s important to look after it by giving it the food it needs to thrive. Walnuts not only contain valuable fibre but have also been found to increase the number of beneficial microbes that produce a substance called butyrate, which can help to reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. 

Walnuts can help to improve male fertility 

You may not think of walnuts as a romantic food, but if you’re struggling with fertility then they may quickly become one. One study by UCLA found that over a 12 week period, men who ate a 75g serving of walnuts every day were able to significantly improve their sperm count as well as their sperm's vitality and motility. 
 

Walnuts keep your heart healthy 

Although the nutritional breakdown of walnuts may make them seem like a high-fat food, the fat they contain is actually very important, helping to reduce bad triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, and to keep the heart-healthy. The fat in question is an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which helps to balance cholesterol levels and can even reduce the negative effects of a high-fat meal. 

Walnuts can help you to lose weight 

And finally, for those on a diet or who are looking to maintain a healthy weight, walnuts are also great weight-loss food, helping to keep you fuller for longer, reducing food cravings and also helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. Although they may be quite high in calories, studies have found that people don’t tend to absorb all the calories contained within walnuts, and their benefits outweigh their calorie content. 
 
So there you have it, just five of the many reasons why you may want to start including more walnuts in your diet. Just a single 1oz serving per day is enough to start seeing the benefits, so why not throw a handful in your lunch or munch on a few with your morning coffee. 
Want to know more about walnuts? Check out 'Everything You Need To Know About Walnuts'
 
November 19, 2020 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts

Walnuts- How To Make Sure You Get Them Fresh

 

Whether you’re baking with them, snacking on them, adding them to your oatmeal in the morning, or using them in your favourite recipes, when buying walnuts you always want to make sure that they are good quality and fresh. As a nut with a very high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, walnut’s can go rancid very quickly, and so freshness and quality are key to ensuring that you get the best flavour and maximum shelf life. Here are five ways to make sure that you are getting quality fresh walnuts. 

Don’t just buy in-store, check online too

Your local grocery store may sell walnuts, but that doesn’t automatically mean that they are premium quality. The internet can provide you with access to hundreds of suppliers, and thanks to delivery, they needn’t be local to you either. Shopping online increases your choice of walnut products and means that if you are looking for something specific, such as black walnuts or organic walnuts, that you are able to source them. 

Check the package best-before date

If you are buying your walnuts in-store, then don’t just grab the first bag of walnuts that you see. Some of the bags could have been sat on the shop floor for quite some time and could be approaching their best-before date. If you’re buying walnuts from a zero-waste store or from a self-serve counter, then don’t be afraid to ask an employee for information on the freshness of their nuts, if they have been in the container for some time, then they could be starting to go rancid. 

Check their origin

Not all walnuts undergo the same quality control processes before they are sold, which means that if you are buying them from abroad then they may not meet USDA standards. When it comes to the very best quality walnuts, Californian English walnuts are widely considered to be the best, having undergone some of the strictest quality control checks in the world. This doesn’t mean that walnuts from other locations such as China are automatically poorer quality but just means that you should pay more attention to the reputation of their supplier. 

Read reviews 

When buying walnuts online, it can be difficult to know if the product you will receive will meet up to its description. The best way to ensure that you are going to get the same quality product as is promised is to always make sure that you read the product reviews. If a supplier has nothing to hide about their walnuts, then there will always be an option for customers to leave their reviews. 

Check the reputation of the supplier themselves

Finally, whether online shopping for walnuts or not, do some research into the background of the supplier. Have they been trading for many years? Do they seem knowledgeable in their industry? Do they specialize in the sale of nuts? By sourcing your walnuts from a supplier that has been selling walnuts for many years, and who is an expert in the industry helps to ensure that you will receive a good quality product. 

Click here to find out where to buy great quality walnuts!

 

November 18, 2020 by Gillian Brady
Tags: walnuts