Be a Health Nut with Walnuts

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Just a hand full of walnuts contains disease-fighting antioxidants and omega-3 fats that help us stay healthy and strong.  While some people prefer to rub off the paper exterior inside the shell, that coating actually contains many antioxidants!

Be sure to protect walnuts from too much heat and air exposure.  They can be stored in their shells in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 month or in the freezer for as long as 1 year.

One serving of walnuts is about 1/4 cup, 14 half nuts, or 7 whole nuts, just about enough to fit into the palm of your hand when it’s cupped.

According to an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, walnuts as a main part of your diet can help lower cholesterol levels and even protect against heart disease.

Walnuts also contain melatonin, which may help you get a better night sleep.

While walnuts are high in calories (about 190 per ounce), one serving also contains 4 grams of protein along with 2 grams of fiber.  They can be filling and may help you be less likely to munch on unhealthy snacks before dinner.

Be careful when toasting walnuts as they are sensitive to too much heat.  Keep oven heat below 350 degrees F and limit baking time to less than 10 minutes.  Or if using the stove top to toast them, use medium-high heat for about 3 or 4 minutes and stir them consistently.  Higher heat can cause the omega-3 fats in the nuts to break down.

 

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