Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Walnut Wednesdays

When I was little, my grandmother used to bake all kinds of treats.  However, I was always dismayed that she added walnuts to practically everything she baked.  Banana bread, fudge, you name it, she added walnuts to it.  I would pick the nuts out of whatever I was eating.  Like so many things, it turns out that grandmother really knew best.

Nuts are generally regarded as a good source of healthy fats.  It turns out that walnuts, in particular, really pack quite a nutritional punch.  Among other things, they are an excellent source of fiber,  unsaturated (healthy) fats, omega fatty acids, vitamins (B vitamins, folate, and thiamin) and minerals (manganese, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium).

It is known that walnuts can help lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol and can help increase HDL or "good" cholesterol.  The beneficial effects of walnuts extend beyond simply improving one's lipid profile.  A weekly serving of walnuts can help improve arterial function.  This may explain why a weekly serving of walnuts may lower one's chance of death from cardiovascular event by as much as 50%!

I never did develop a real love for the taste of walnuts (sorry, Grandma), but the benefits of eating walnuts have convinced me to eat one serving per week.  Let's call it "Walnut Wednesday."

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