Walnuts are from any species of tree in the plant category Juglans. They are technically a drupe, meaning it takes the form of a fruit, enclosed by a fleshy skin with a seed inside.
Most people prefer to remove the outermost layer of a shelled walnut, the whitish, flakey part, because of its bitter taste. However, up to 90 percent of the antioxidants in walnuts are found in the skin, making it the healthiest part to eat.
They contain omega-3 fats and protein as well as high amounts of vitamin E, copper, manganese, biotin, amino acids, zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium and selenium and important B-complex vitamins.
Walnuts have a high amount of monosaturated fats, specifically polyunsaturated fatty acids as well as alpha-linolenic acids. Including walnuts in your diet will help prevent coronary heart disease, lower bad cholesterol and increase levels of good cholesterol, as well as reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
For men and women, regularly snacking on walnuts will reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer, assist with weight control, boost brain health and manage diabetes. Of course, they’re good for your hair and skin too.
By including just 1 ounce (7 shelled walnuts) in your diet on a daily basis will provide you with all of these health benefits. Add them to any dish, salad, smoothie or soup, or tuck into them straight out the packet.