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Amazing Benefits Of Walnut (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Amazing Benefits Of Walnut (+5 Refreshing Recipes)

Walnuts have been found in the diet of humans for more than 8000 years and walnut trees can live for hundreds of years. Some trees in France are thought to be more than 300 years old. They have an interesting history and the benefits of walnut are abundant. They are harvested and then dried. It’s important that they aren’t over dried or kept for too long as this decreases their quality.

They are very versatile and can be eaten alone, in salads and in a variety of other raw or cooked dishes. They can be enjoyed as they are, sweetened or seasoned. They can even be ground finely and used as a substitute for flour – this is called Walnut Meal.

There have been recent concerns about the fat content in walnuts as well as fear surrounding nut allergies, which can be serious problems, particularly for children. However, risks aside, the benefits of walnut are surprising and if there are no adverse risks, they can be enjoyed not only for pleasure, but for health and well being.

Here are some benefits of walnut, which may surprise you:

1. Walnuts make you look and feel great

Although walnuts do contain an abundance of calories, they don’t necessarily need to be avoided. In fact, coupled with a balanced diet of nutritious food, they can contribute to weight loss because their density can make you feel fuller quicker. This means they make a great snack, just a handful is enough. They are also rich in antioxidant vitamins and nutrients that can help with hair strength and shine; as well as clear and glowing skin. They contain Biotin or Vitamin B7, which helps maintain hair, nails and skin.

2. Walnuts can help you to relax

The hormone Melatonin is produced in the body by the pineal gland. It helps to regulate sleep and its production is affected by light. The amount of Melatonin we produce decreases as we age and that is why we experience sleep disturbances as we get older.

Walnuts are a good source of Melatonin and research has shown that consuming walnuts will increase the level of Melatonin in the body and causes an antioxidant effect in the blood. This means that eating walnuts as part of your balanced diet may help you to relax and sleep better. The benefit of walnut in this regard is that it may promote the general reduction of stress.

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3. Walnuts keep your heart, blood and brain healthy

Walnuts promote good heart health. As well as containing a high level of antioxidants to balance the negative impact of free radicals; walnuts are full of omega 3 fatty acids.

“(Omega 3 fatty acids) are an integral part of cell membranes throughout the body and affect the function of the cell receptors in these membranes. They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. They also bind to receptors in cells that regulate genetic function. Likely due to these effects, omega-3 fats have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.” Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health

Because consuming walnuts reduces bad cholesterol, investigations have shown that this can improve the health of our veins and blood, reducing the risk of type 2 Diabetes. Studies show that including walnuts in a healthy diet assists blood vessels to dilate and prevents clots and blockages that can cause heart attack and stroke among other diseases. A clinical trial published in the American Diabetes Association website concluded that:

“A walnut-enriched ad libitum diet improves endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in type 2 diabetic individuals, suggesting a potential reduction in overall cardiac risk.” David L. Katz et al.

Similarly, research on mice has shown that eating walnuts can prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s. Mice that were denied walnuts showed reductions in learning, memory and cognitive function. Mice that were fed a diet including walnuts showed evidence of the opposite.

In this instance, the antioxidants present in the walnuts reduced inflammation and degeneration of the brain. There was a counteracting effect on certain proteins that create plaques on the vessels in the brain, which can cause them to constrict and contributes to the onset of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.

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4. Walnuts can reduce the risk of cancer

Studies have shown that the benefit of walnut includes reducing the risk of both pancreatic and breast cancer. Once again, the antioxidants, vitamins and fatty acids in walnuts have a preventative effect on the degeneration of cells in the body that may become cancerous.

5. Walnuts help us at conception through to old age

Eating walnuts during pregnancy can provide the mother with the desirable fatty acids that lower cholesterol. Research cited by Wiley Blackwell, also shows that the fatty acids in walnut may help reduce the risk of the baby developing allergies by enhancing the formation of the gut and improving the way it responds to bacteria and foreign substances.

It makes the gut more porous and allows new substances to pass through it and into the blood stream more easily. This triggers the production of antibodies through the baby’s immune response. Another benefit of walnut is that it can improve sperm quality in healthy men aged between 21 – 35.

Given all the amazing properties of walnuts, initially at conception and to keep us healthy throughout our lives, it is safe to say that it is a food that should be included in a healthy and balanced diet. With its ability to reduce the risk of so many illnesses, some of them fatal, it’s safe to say that walnut contributes to longevity and a high life expectancy.

Here are some excellent recipes to try.

Maple Walnut Pecan Pie

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shutterstock_98123549

    California Cherry and Walnut Salad

    shutterstock_70784197

      Walnut Crusted Chicken Breasts

      shutterstock_114052573

        Raw Walnut Pate

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        walnut pate

          Photo credit: therawtarian.com

          Maple Candied Walnuts

          candied walnuts

            Photo credit: walnuts.org

            Featured photo credit: Zheltyshev via shutterstock.com

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            Diane Koopman

            Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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            Last Updated on November 20, 2020

            Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

            Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

            Benjamin Franklin said it like this: “Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He knew from his own experiences and watching others that the ones who got up early were healthier and more successful. That’s why a morning workout can be so important.

            One 2017 study found that:[1]

            “after controlling for such factors as age, sex, smoking habits, and others…night owls, were found to have a 10 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to morning types.”

            This is a great reason to tap into some morning motivation and get your morning workout done.

            Circadian Rhythm for morning workout

              As you can see in the above graph, your blood pressure begins to rise between 6 and 7 in the morning[2]. That means this is a great time to get your body moving and your heart pumping, even if it’s just for 20 minutes of exercise in the morning. 

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              Here are some tips on how to find the motivation for a morning workout.

              1. Remember Your Why

              It starts with remembering why you want to get up for a morning workout. If you don’t set a goal and establish your reasons for accomplishing a health and fitness goal, then you definitely won’t get up early.

              Getting up early isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Your goal for your health and fitness must be so strong, and the WHY behind it must be so powerful, that nothing will stop you from accomplishing that goal.

              2. Go to Bed Early

              If you want to get up early for a morning workout, it’s going to be important to get to bed earlier. Falling asleep at midnight and trying to get up at six just won’t work in your favor.

              This will likely be very difficult for a few days while you adjust your sleeping habits. However, as you get into an exercise routine in the morning, this will naturally make it easier to fall asleep earlier and faster at night.

              3. Make a Commitment

              I sometimes tell my Facebook community of my plans to work out, and we all keep each other motivated by posting our runs, our workouts, etc. This is a way to develop accountability. By publicly announcing your intentions, you increase your chances of actually carrying out your plans.

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              Another way to do this is to find an accountability partner who has similar goals for morning workouts. You can check in with each other to make sure you’re sticking to your plans. If that doesn’t work, hire a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you started.  

              You can learn how to find a good accountability partner here.

              4. Find a Friend

              If you can find a friend that is motivated like you are, and you can hold each other accountable daily to working out, then you will accomplish your fitness goals. Many people prefer working out with friends to working out alone. Whether it’s a chat while hitting the treadmill at the gym, or having someone to spot you while weightlifting, working out with friends is sometimes just more enjoyable.

              Texting each other the night before with a simple statement is best. Don’t ask: “Are we still working out in the morning?” With this kind of question, if they were thinking about not working out, you just gave them an opt out.

              Make a statement instead: “Can’t wait to see you in the morning!” This implies that they will be there, and they will feel more obligated to show up.

              5. Treat Yourself

              We all have to treat ourselves every now and then. After a morning workout, plan to treat yourself with a colorful, healthy breakfast or a delicious morning smoothie. This will help you look forward to something and push through to the end of your workout.

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              You can learn more on rewards and punishments here.

              6. Change your Mindset

              Many people throw away the idea of a morning workout by simply saying, “I’m not a morning person.”  Instead of using this excuse, decide to try to become a morning person by shifting your mindset.

              When you look into the benefits of waking up early and getting some exercise in before your day starts, you’ll feel more positive about your life overall.

              7. Plan Your Day

              You know you’re going to be busy. Try time blocking to plan all the things you need to do on a given day, and make sure you add in your morning workout[3]. If you have a plan laid out, you’ll be more likely to follow it and get done everything on your list done.

              Time blocking

                8. Reflect on How You’ll Feel After

                Starting a morning workout is hard, but visualizing how you’ll feel after can help you find motivation. Think about the extra energy you’ll have and how proud you’ll feel knowing that you were already so productive. No matter what you do the rest of the day, at least you squeezed in your exercise!

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                For me, I live in an area where there are a lot of runners. When I am heading home in the evening or sitting out on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants, and I see the runners go by, it makes me feel so accomplished that I got mine in that morning and I can enjoy the evening.

                9. Lay out Your Workout Clothes

                Setting out your workout clothes the night before makes it impossible for you to start to run late because you couldn’t find something to wear. Tap into the determination you have before bed in order to convince your less-than-motivated morning self that you need to get up and get your morning workout in. When you wake up and see your outfit laid out next to you, it’ll push you to get up and get moving.

                10.  Set Multiple Alarms

                Many people miss their morning workout simply because they hit the snooze button so many times. In order to make this more difficult for yourself, set a series of alarms. That way, if you keep hitting snooze, you’ll have three or four alarms going off every ten minutes, which will be annoying enough to get you out of bed.

                Also, put one alarm at least a few feet from your bed so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

                Final Thoughts

                About three years ago I went from being the person that says I will never be an early riser to a person that loves to get the day started as soon as possible. Without the distractions that begin to come around 8 or 9 in the morning, you’ll find that you’re more productive and more likely to squeeze in that morning workout.

                Take some of the actions above and find the best morning workout routine to start your day and feel good.

                More Tips on Morning Exercises

                Featured photo credit: Tomasz Woźniak via unsplash.com

                Reference

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