On National Walnut Day, we talk about the powerful health benefits of our favorite nuts and why you must ‘Think California’ when you ‘Think Walnuts’.
A Handful of Walnuts
Since the 1950s, May 17 is celebrated as National Walnut Day, and this year’s no different. This day serves as a gentle reminder for one and all about the beautiful flavors, powerful health benefits, and versatility of walnuts. A day that deserves to be celebrated with at least a handful of walnuts, to acknowledge the fact that these are exceptionally nutritious and why you should #ThinkWalnutsThinkCalifornia.
A Handful of Walnuts = A Healthy You
Over three decades of research suggests that walnut, as part of a nutritious, balanced diet, is key to a healthy heart. Walnut is the only tree nut to contain a rich source of plant-based omega-3 ALA (2.5g per 28g), which not only helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels but also plays a role in the prevention and reduction of heart disease.1,2
The brain-like appearance of the walnuts is indicative of the powerful connection that these nuts have with the brains, and how they improve cognitive functions.3 The wonder nut is an excellent source of good fats that are an important part of a healthy diet and may promote weight management. Research also suggests that walnuts may aid in aging healthily and support gut health (courtesy of good bacteria).4,5
Another key point to note is the role of walnuts in maintaining a healthy immune system, and our body’s healing and recovery, which is a necessity in today’s scenario. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s Eat Right During COVID-19 guidelines mentioned that foods with omega-3, zinc, selenium, protein, and vitamin B may aid optimal functioning of the immune system (as part of a balanced diet), and walnuts contain all these nutrients.6 Walnuts may also benefit people living with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.7
Think Walnuts, Think California
Grown and harvested in the sunshine state of California, a handful of California walnuts (approx. 28g) contain 4g protein, 2g fiber, and 2.5g plant-based omega-3 ALA. And all these nutrients have proven to be beneficial for our heart, brain, and gut health. These walnuts are mildly sweet, crunchy, and creamy; and can be used in various ways to make beverages, appetizers, snacks, mains, and desserts.
California walnuts, a powerhouse of essential nutrients, are grown by multigenerational farmers with the best of resources – fertile soil and great sunshine, among other things. And they are processed and packaged under strict quality control standards to ensure the consumers receive nothing but the best quality produce.
Another important point to note is that these walnuts are cleaned and dried in their protective shells and dried to an ideal moisture level of eight percent, to ensure there’s no compromise on appearance, texture, or flavor during processing and packaging. These walnuts meet – and often exceed – the standards laid down by the Federal and state of California.
On Walnut Day and every day, choose what is best for you and your family. Think Walnuts, Think California. To find easy and inspirational ways to add a handful of walnuts into your daily diet, please visit californiawalnuts.in. Happy walnut day!
1EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA); Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to walnuts and maintenance of normal blood LDL‐cholesterol concentrations (ID 1156, 1158) and improvement of endothelium‐dependent vasodilation (ID 1155, 1157) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal 2011; 9( 4):2074. [19 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2074.
2Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet and not resulting in increased caloric intake, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. (FDA) One ounce of walnuts offers 18g of total fat, 2.5g of monounsaturated fat, 13g of polyunsaturated fat, including 2.5g of alpha-linolenic acid – the plant-based omega-3.
3Arab/UCLA/Cognition/Dec 16 2014 and Arab/UCLA/Cognition/Jan 26 2019 (citations noted in Health Research section)
4Shukitt-Hale/Tufts/Cognitive Health/Apr 2014 and Ros/Hospital Clinic/Cognition/May 11 2015 (citations noted in Health Research section)
5Baer/USDA/Gut Health/Jun 01 2018, Parhofer/Univ Munich/Gut Health/Feb 22 2018, Lamendella/Penn State/Gut Health/Dec 18 2021 (citations noted below in Health Research section)
7Arab L, Dhaliwal SK, Martin CJ, Larios AD, Jackson NJ, Elashoff D. Association between walnut consumption and diabetes risk in NHANES. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2018 Oct; 34(7):e3031. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.3031. Epub 2018 Jul 11