Walnuts have often been thought of as a “brain food,” not only because of the wrinkled brain-like appearance of their shells, but because of their high concentration of omega-3 fats. They are also a delicious way to add extra nutrition, flavor and crunch to a meal. While walnuts are harvested in December, they are available year round and are a great source of those all-important omega-3 fatty acids. Some phytonutrients found in walnuts (eg. quinone juglone) are found in virtually no other commonly eaten foods. Other phytonutrients (eg. tannin tellimagrandin or the flavonol morin) are also rare and valuable as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. These anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients help explain the decreased risk of certain cancers including prostate cancer and breast cancer .
Approximately 7 whole walnuts or 14 walnut halves per day is the minimal amount needed to provide statistically significant benefits. Sprinkle a handful of nuts over your morning cereal, lunchtime salad, dinner’s steamed vegetables, or just enjoy a handful of lightly roasted nuts as a healthy snack.