Have you ever had the opportunity to indulge in fresh, raw walnuts? Most of the nuts that we see in the grocery store are processed and heated; real nuts are a bit more rare and typically only found at health food stores. When raw, they supply valuable fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes that have powerful medicinal properties. Heat them or expose them to light or oxygen for long periods of time and those delicate nutrients are destroyed. I was also pleasantly surprised at the difference in flavor when I made the switch to unprocessed nuts- it’s well worth the extra shopping trip! Why walnuts in particular, you might ask? Not only are they one of the few nuts that have omega 3-fatty acids, they are THE highest in omega 3s of the entire nut world. The typical Amerian diet is severely lacking in this essential fat, so it’s an important one to consciously incorporate into your daily diet.
The following are my top 10 reasons to eat raw walnuts:
1. Walnuts are great for joints. They provide lubrication and cushioning.
2. Ever notice that a walnut looks like the two hemispheres of the brain? Well it just so happens they were made that way for good reason; they are excellent for cognitive function and memory support. Research also shows that walnuts can improve depression.
3. They are rich in polyunsaturated fats, which lower bad cholesterol while keeping good cholesterol intact. Walnuts also lower blood pressure. Between these two benefits, walnuts may reduce your risk of heart disease.
4. Walnuts are anti-inflammatory. This provides benefits to anyone with chronic pain, such as those suffering from arthritis or fibromialgia.
5. Research has shown that walnuts help prevent breast cancer and slow tumor growth.
6. Walnuts contain the highest levels of popyphenolic antioxidants of any edible nut, making it a fierce free-radical scavenger.
7. Walnuts help keep your skin and hair healthy and prevents dryness.
8. Men: super-charge your fertility. Two handfuls of walnuts per day have been shown to increase the motility, vitality, and morphology of sperm.
9. Eat walnuts, lose weight. The fat, protein, and fiber of walnuts contribute to a sense of satiety, reducing your urge to snack on junk food. The fats found in walnuts have been shown to assist the body in using fat stores as an energy source. And when you get the good fats in your diet, you’ll find that you are not craving bad fats quite as much, such as potato chips or fried foods.
10. The healing properties of walnuts are so powerful that the FDA is currently trying to get walnuts listed as a drug. I kid you not! I couldn’t make this up! Read more about these recent shenanigans here: FDA Says Walnuts are Drugs