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This is why walnuts are a healthy superfood for you and your brain

April 20, 2020
  • Breakfast
  • Nutrition
This is why walnuts are a healthy superfood for you and your brain

Not only does the walnut look similar to the human brain, it is also extremely good for it and its performance. Just like other nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts, the walnut is rich in important nutrients and healthy fatty acids. Therefore, nuts should be an integral part of a healthy diet.

In this blog post, you will learn where the walnut comes from, how it grows and is harvested. We will also explain what nutrients are contained in walnuts and why they can even increase the performance of your brain. We also give you tips on how you can easily integrate walnuts into your diet.

Where does the walnut actually come from?

Walnuts are a very old food that has been around for about 9000 years. It is assumed that the walnut originally comes from Syria. Today, however, walnuts are grown in almost every part of the world, including Europe. That is why it is also an indigenous nut.

How does the walnut grow?

Walnuts grow on walnut trees that can grow up to 30 metres high. However, it can take several years before a walnut tree bears fruit for the first time and the harvest can also vary from year to year. The walnuts do not simply grow on the tree in the shell that we know but are surrounded by a green outer shell.

The walnuts ripen in September. As soon as the walnut is ripe, this green outer shell bursts open, and the walnuts gradually fall from the shell to the ground. When harvesting large quantities of walnuts, blowers are also commonly used to suck the nuts in and remove any remains of the green shell.

How are walnuts processed?

Once the walnuts have been harvested, the next step is to wash and dry them. Walnuts should be dried in a dry, airy place at about 20 to 25 degrees. It is also important that they are regularly mixed during the drying process. Walnuts can be stored in a fruit crate, in fine nets or in jute bags and can be kept for up to 8 months. The nuts should be stored at 10 to 15°C in a place with low humidity. Once the walnuts are dried, they can be used in a wide variety of products.

What nutrients are contained in walnuts?

Walnuts are a real superfood because they contain many healthy nutrients. Especially the content of omega 3 fatty acids, lecithin and antioxidants is very high, and this makes them very healthy.

Walnuts are particularly high in Omega-3 fatty acids

The walnut is especially known for its high content of omega-3 fatty acids. One particular fatty acid is contained in large quantities: alpha-linolenic acid. This is a triple saturated fatty acid which the body cannot produce itself and must therefore be supplied through food. The fatty acid protects our organism from free radicals and can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Walnuts contain many omega-3 fatty acids

Walnuts are good for you and your brain

The walnut also contains a high proportion of lecithin. This ingredient is then further converted by the body to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which increases the performance and concentration of your brain.

Full of antioxidants

Walnuts also contain large amounts of antioxidants. They protect our body from free radicals and can therefore also protect you from a variety of diseases. Not only is the number of antioxidants particularly high, but the quality of the antioxidants contained in walnuts is also extraordinary.

One nut – many healthy fats

Even though the walnut may not appear particularly healthy at first glance with a high fat content of 62g fat per 100g, it is nevertheless rich in healthy fatty acids and can even help you to lose weight. If you do not eat enough fat, you may end up with a weak immune system and a reduced ability to learn. Just a handful of walnuts a day provides you with important healthy fatty acids.

Walnuts have many positive effects on your health

These micronutrients are contained in walnuts

Not only the macronutrients which are contained in foods are important, but also micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins are an important food component. Not only can the walnut score points with healthy fats, but it also contains several important micronutrients. Especially magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron are present in large quantities in the walnut.

Breakfast with walnuts

Integrating walnuts into your diet is not difficult at all, as there are so many different options. On the one hand, you can use the walnuts as a whole as a topping for your muesli or porridge or have them as a snack. On the other hand, you can easily integrate chopped or grated walnuts into baked goods such as cakes or muffins.

Walnuts are also a good ingredient for savoury dishes. They can be combined very well with cheese, for example. They are also well suited as salad toppings.

Walnuts are also almost always contained in nut mixes. Just have a handful of nuts as a snack every day and you will enjoy the benefits of walnuts and other nuts.

So you see, it’s not difficult at all to integrate walnuts into your daily diet. If you still need some inspiration on how to better integrate walnuts into your diet, you can find a recipe here:

Print Recipe
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Vegan walnut banana bread

Ingredients

  • 2 brown bananas
  • 50 g oat flakes
  • 100 g spelt flour
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp linseeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 60 g walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 70 ml plant-based drink
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder (if desired)

Instructions

  • First preheat your oven to 180 degree.
  • Next, mash the 2 bananas with a fork to a pulp and then put the mixture into a bowl.
  • After that put the walnuts in a food processor until they are small and add them to the bananas.
  • Then melt the coconut oil and add it to your mixture.
  • Next, put all the remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix them well until you have a creamy dough.
  • Then put the dough for the banana bread in a baking tray.
  • If you like, you can also put some whole walnuts on top of the dough as decoration.
  • Put the banana bread in the oven for about 40 minutes. If the top of the bread gets too dark, you can also cover it with foil.
  • After baking take the banana bread out of the oven and let it cool down. Then you can take the banana bread out of the tray and cut it into pieces.