Walnuts are a dry nut, found between the two semispherical shells joined together. The fruit is round, divided into two hemispheres, with a rugged surface that somewhat resembles the brain. The flesh of the fruit is whitish, protected with a thin layer of skin, and it is composed mainly of vegetable fats, protein and carbohydrates.
Nutritional properties of walnuts
One serving size of walnuts contains approximately 117 grams, or about 4 ounces, and approximately 765 calories. This food is low in cholesterol and sodium, but a good source of copper and manganese. One portion is enough to satisfy 93% of recommended daily value for copper, and 200% of recommended daily value for manganese.
The most significant nutrients found in walnuts are Omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential acids required for the proper functioning of the body. However, body is unable to synthesize these amino acids and must obtain them from the dietary sources. A quarter of cup walnuts is enough to satisfy 90.8% of humans daily requirement for Omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts are also rich in monounsaturated fats that may protect against cardiovascular diseases and insulin resistance. Foods containing monounsaturated fats may also reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol and possibly increase the “good” cholesterol.Vitamins and minerals
Walnuts are rich in vitamin B, E and B2, also known as riboflavin. There are also significant amounts of folate and beta-carotene. Walnuts are great sources of copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, iron and calcium.
Walnut contains high amounts of proteins, approximately 24%, even higher than eggs. It is rich in different amino acids such as arginine, glutamate, asparate, leucine, isoleucine, glycine, etc.
Walnuts in a healthy diet
Tasty and healthy nuts may be easily incorporated into the diet. Walnuts have high calorie count and they should be used as a replacement for foods that are high in saturated fats, for example cheese or meat. Recommended daily dose of walnuts is somewhere around 1.5 oz per day – about 20 walnut halves.Walnuts can be used as a snack, instead of the cookies.Walnuts are a perfect addition in salad or pasta, and can be used as a meat substitute.Walnuts are perfectly tasty on pizza, instead of pepperoni.A healthy breakfast can be made of chopped walnuts and oatmeal or breakfast cereal. However, if one is going for the commercially pre-packed cereal it is important to make sure it is healthy and low on sugar. Most of the commercially available cereal is actually unhealthy dietary choice: rich in sugar, chocolate and calories.