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The World of Walnuts

February 11, 2013 - Dr. Greg Walsh
If you have ever been to a party featuring a bowl full of mixed nuts, you will invariably find that there will be very few walnuts. This happens for two reasons.

1) Everyone at the party will go for the walnuts first.

2) Walnuts seem to be twice as expensive as the other nuts, voiding them from becoming as big a filler in the mix as a nut like the almond.

Though Sanibel and Fort Myers seem to be tough places to find walnuts in their shells, they can still be bought in local grocery stores like Bailey’s, Jerry’s and Publix. There is even an individual that sells the nuts at the Farmer’s Market on Sundays by the Sanibel Library. If you are lucky enough to find a consistent supply of walnuts in their shells but are unsure how to open them, do not be afraid! The secret is to line the “cracker” up so that the metal parts are touching the dividing line of the nut. I like to cover the operation with my free hand to minimize the shell explosion.

Not only are walnuts delicious but they are extremely beneficial to your health. Here are a few of their benefits:

• Their main claim to fame is being rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are vital to maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol, reducing blood pressure and decreasing your risks for certain cancers.

• They have high levels of certain antioxidants which help repair damage to our DNA.

• For those of you with muscle aches, walnuts will help boost your levels of potassium and magnesium. These minerals have been shown to be important in keeping your muscles relaxed and help avoid cramping.

• They pack a punch with vitamin E, which is great for keeping your skin healthy and their natural B vitamins provide the tools for our body to maintain itself with high levels of energy.

• There is a reason they look like little brains! The Journal of Alzheimer’s disease reported that walnuts may play a large role in helping your memory and brain functions.

• They provide a source of protein and fiber, especially helpful for those vegetarians out there.

 
 

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