Walnuts contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, B vitamins and magnesium. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that protects cell membranes from free radical damage. The B vitamins help to convert the food you eat into energy. Magnesium is a mineral that helps to regulate your blood pressure.
In whatever style you decide to prepare walnuts, it's worth including the skin. The skin is that whitish, sometimes waxy, sometimes flaky, outermost part of the walnut (once it has been shelled). Approximately 90% of the phenols in walnuts are found in the skin, including key phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids. Preparing walnuts can be quite simple! Just chop and serve on your favorite salad, vegetable dish, fruit, or dessert.
Research from the Harvard Nurses' Study indicates that eating a quarter cup of walnuts five times a week may reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 35 percent. These effects have been linked to the anti-clotting and cholesterol-lowering properties of the omega-3 fatty acids contained in walnuts. Walnuts contain other nutrients such as zinc, iron, folate, calcium, vitamins A, E, and C. They are also a good source of vegetable protein and easily fit into the Meat & Alternates category in the Canadian Food Guide to Healthy Eating. Caution - while most of the fat is the heart-healthy unsaturated type, walnuts are high in overall fat and calories. One ounce or the equivalent of 14 walnut halves provides approximately 185 calories and 18.5 grams of fat.
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