People have snacked on walnuts for thousands of years. In ancient Rome, they were referred to as ‘Jupiter’s royal acorn’.
Walnut trees take roughly ten years to reach commercial production. Walnuts need to be cured after harvesting. The walnut curing facility developed in South Africa, is possibly a first worldwide, in that it uses solar power, which is then recycled to control the humidity. This ensures that South African walnuts can never be over dried, ensuring that quality is maintained.
The tan shell of the walnut is almost the size of a golf ball, with a seam around its centre. Inside the shell is a bumpy, golden brown nut with a mild flavor. Be careful of the slightly bitter flavoured skin, which is easily removed before eating.
A serving of 7 walnuts, provides the following nutrition:
185 calories; 2.5g polyunsaturated fat; 1.7g of saturated fat; 2.5g of omega-3 fatty acids; 4.3g of protein; 3.9g carbohydrates; 1.9g of fibre ; 0.7g of sugar; 3% of your daily recommended amount of calcium; 10% of your daily iron; 5% of your daily potassium; 14% of your daily magnesium and 7% of your daily folate.
Why should we include walnuts in our diets?
Studies have indicated that eating walnuts can lower your ‘bad’ cholesterol and ease the type of inflammation that leads to heart disease.
The only tree nut with an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid, is the Walnut. Omega-3 combats depression and anxiety; improves vision; ensures healthy brain development in infants and fetuses; decreases chances of cardiovascular problems; assists with ADHD symptoms in children; increases insulin resistance; protects the body from inflammation; lowers the risk of autoimmune disease in children; reduces mood swings and increases the grey matter in your brain (the most vital tissue in our heads for processing information, memories and comprehending emotions).
Healthy snack recipe
Look out for Recipe #2: Walnut Energy Balls in ‘Fun Ideas’ on our website www.tot2teentools.co.za