W is for Walnuts! Yes Walnuts simply because there can’t be any other W that I can think of right now other than Water Melon of course. I will soon do that post as well but for now let’s concentrate on WALNUTS – the most important and rich source of nutrients. In fact people often confuse certain nuts with dry fruits (I guess I am also guilty of that one) that they forget the basic difference – nuts are shelled fruits while dry fruits are fruits that have been either sun dried or dried in a machine to retain their natural flavour but to increase their shelf life.
Interestingly when I had started this challenge I had decided on my W and it was Walnuts. And few days into the challenge I got an invite to attend the launch of the book California Walnuts – Nutrition and Health. At the launch the renowned cardiologist Dr HK Chopra dispelled lots of our myths related to walnuts and other nuts and dry fruits as well. However, he emphasised on the numerous health benefits of Walnuts and insisted that if we wish to live a healthy life then we should start incorporating Walnuts in our day-to-day life as Walnut is the best nut for a healthy life.
In fact California Walnut Commission had launched the book, which is essentially a handbook highlighting the benefits of Walnuts in diabetes. Walnuts are a rich source of almost all the nutrients require for a healthy body and a sound mind, said Dr Chopra. He also informed us that Walnut is the only nut that contains highest value of Omega-3 fatty acids and hence is also known as a healthy heart nut.
Walnuts are also a rich source of dietary fibre, proteins, fats, good cholesterol and antioxidants that are vital in enhancing our body’s immunity. Doctor also revealed that a handful of walnuts everyday would meet our body’s requirement of essential nutrients and said, “Walnuts are one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acid, with 2.5 grams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) per serving. They reduce total cholesterol and LDL ‘bad cholesterol’. I recommend an ounce (28gms) of walnuts a day to keep the heart attack away”.
Dr Chopra started his presentation with the shocking facts and figures and said that according to staggering figures released by The International Diabetes Federation’s (IDF) fifth diabetes atlas, India’s prevalence of diabetes among 20-79 year olds is 9.2 percent, which constitutes the major share of 1.25 billion people in India. India is only second to China, in prevalence. Rates of diabetes are excessively high in young to middle-aged adults in Asian countries due to poor dietary choices.
In order to address this issue and provide a preventive lifestyle, the California Walnut Commission and Geetu Amarnani, Nutritionist & Lifestyle Management Consultant launched a handbook, ‘California Walnuts Nutrition and Health’. The book which has a Foreword by renowned cardiologist Dr HK Chopra highlights the history of walnuts along with their nutritional and health benefits for people with diabetes. The book has been launched on the eve of DIABCON- one of the largest Diabetes Conventions in India, which brings together specialists in this area from all across the country.
Geetu Amarnani, Nutritionist & Lifestyle Management Consultant and the co-author of the book said, “An ounce of walnuts provides four grams of protein and two grams of fibre. The California Walnut Commission’s two decades of walnut health research has successfully demonstrated the nutritive properties of walnuts. This handbook aims to help a wide audience, from children to adults and people suffering from medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity”.
Some interesting things we learned
The interesting session on Walnuts as a healthy heart nut was quite informative as we learned that walnuts are always to be stored in a fridge. (Oh well! It was quite easy to say that but difficult or rather to do it at my place because if we store walnuts in fridge they won’t last even for a day. Hubs would be eating it all away to glory).
We also learned that source is quite important. And by source we mean from where it is bought, and how was it stored before you bought. Of course the quality is important from the beginning like where was it cultivated, how was it cultivated and all that jazz that comes with cultivation.
It is important to know that if walnuts are stored in a rucksack and kept in the open then those walnuts are not worth buying, as they have become rancid and will not give you any health benefits.
I am leaving you all with few links on how to include walnuts in your diet and goodness of eating walnuts.
Walnut cakes by Aishwarya Lahiri Khanna of Aishwarya Eats Fame
Dark Knight Cupcakes. Whole Wheat Eggless Triple Chocolate Walnut Cupcakes up for grabs!
California Walnut Commission
The California Walnut Commission, established in 1987, is funded by mandatory assessments of the growers. The Commission is an agency of the State of California that works in concurrence with the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The CWC is mainly involved in health research and export market development activities.
The SCS Group
The SCS Group is an agribusiness consulting firm based in Gurgaon, specializing in marketing, international trade and communications strategy related to food, beverage and agricultural products. The firm has an intimate understanding of the evolving tastes and purchasing patterns of premium foods by the Indian consumer as their disposable incomes grow and they integrate into the global economy. The SCS Group represents the California Walnut Commission in India.