Walnuts are the oldest tree food known to man, dating back to 7000BC. Early history indicates that English walnuts came from ancient Persia, where they were reserved for royalty. English merchant marines transported the product for trade to ports around the world and they became known as “English Walnuts. Today the the top quality “English” walnuts are produced in California and shipped around the world.
Walnuts are a powerhouse of nutrition containing significant amounts of protein, vitamins and essential Omega 3 fatty acids. The result of a new study presented to the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society found that the noble walnut packed the highest level of quality antioxidants of any nut species. Not only do walnuts provide plenty of high-quality protein that delivers a perfectly balanced assortment of vitamins, minerals and fiber, but they also contain healthful polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that lower deadly artery-clogging small dense oxidized LDL cholesterol. Adding a handful of walnuts to your daily diet can provide many of the essential antioxidants necessary to ward off cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Dr. Joseph Vinson performed the analysis that showed walnuts provide more antioxidants to the body than other nuts including peanuts, almonds, pecans and pistachios. He noted “A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut. But unfortunately, people don’t eat a lot of them. This study suggests that consumers should eat more walnuts as part of a healthy diet.” Tree and ground nuts have long been known to be among Mother Nature`s most perfectly packaged foods, providing a complex of natural enzymes and nutrients that promote human health.
This research analysis compared walnuts to nine other nut species that are ranked among the highest in antioxidant capacity. Walnuts were found to be 2 to 15 times more potent than vitamin E in terms of their antioxidant capacity. Vitamin E is well known for its ability to promote cardiovascular health by lowering dangerous levels of small dense LDL cholesterol particles. The analysis also found that it is important to eat walnuts in their raw and natural form, as heating or roasting degrades the antioxidant properties of the nut.
Dr. Vinson found that despite the powerful antioxidant and nutrient punch provided by walnuts and other tree nuts in general, they account for less than 8% of the daily antioxidant allowance for most people. This is likely due to misinformation regarding calories and excess fat content that has circulated about nuts over the past 50 years. Research has demonstrated that regular nut consumption does not lead to excess weight and provides a feeling of satiety. The polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats provided by nuts promote cardiovascular health and have been shown to dramatically lower the risk of a heart attack.
The analysis found that just 7 walnuts each day are sufficient to boost human health. Always eat walnuts in their natural unprocessed and unroasted form to preserve the bounty of enzymes, nutrients and antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent heart disease and cancer.