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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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    California Cherry and Walnut Salad

    shutterstock_70784197

      Walnut Crusted Chicken Breasts

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        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 July 10, 2020

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

            We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

            We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

            So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

            Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

            What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

            Boundaries are limits

            —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

            Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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            Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

            Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

            Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

            How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

            Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

            1. Self-Awareness Comes First

            Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

            You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

            To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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            You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

            • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
            • When do you feel disrespected?
            • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
            • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
            • When do you want to be alone?
            • How much space do you need?

            You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

            2. Clear Communication Is Essential

            Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

            Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

            3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

            Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

            That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

            Sample language:

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            • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
            • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
            • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
            • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
            • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
            • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
            • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

            Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

            4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

            Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

            Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

            Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

            We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

            It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

            It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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            Final Thoughts

            Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

            Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

            Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

            The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

            Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

            Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

            They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

            Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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