Despite three months of scorching heat, summer is full of reasons to celebrate. From the beautiful sunshine, the temptation of seasonal fruits and vegetables, and, of course, international and national food days to keep you in a celebratory mood all season long even though the current health situation may make you feel otherwise.
Spinach, Walnut and Strawberry Salad
An annual food day that captures our attention the most is National Walnut Day, that falls on May 17 every year. Why You may ask. Lets take a look at our big three reasons.
1) Packs a nutritional punch
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and offer other heart-healthy fats, protein, fiber, and vitamins (including vitamin B6), among others. Munching on these on a daily basis may reduce the risk of heart disease1, improve brain health2, ensure a healthy gut3, and help in weight management. Infact, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)s Eat Right During COVID-19 guidelines mention foods with omega-3, zinc, selenium, protein and vitamin B to help maintain a healthy immune system and play a role in our bodys healing and recovery4. And each of these nutrients is present in walnuts. Now, while no single food can prevent or treat illness, it is important to eat a balanced diet.
2) Easy to incorporate in meals
Munching on a handful of walnuts isnt the only way to reap the health benefits of this nutritious food. They are incredibly delicious and crunchy, and boast great potential on the cooking front because of their ability to absorb flavors and work equally well in both sweet and savoury dishes. To add some much-needed excitement to your daily meals, you can pair these with a variety of food groups, including fruits and veggies, dairy, and breads and cereals, to name a few. Toss it into your salad, cake, or ice cream, blend it with fruits and veggies for your morning smoothie or grind it into a paste to use in dips or gravy, or simply make a trail mix – there are so many creative ways to work them into your diet.
3) Easy to store
Contrary to popular belief, walnuts can easily remain fresh at home provided you store them away from moisture, light, and warmth. Shelled or unshelled, put the walnuts into a resealable bag or an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator or freezer based on the period of use. If youre going to use them within a month, keep them in the refrigerator or move them to the freezer.
Making everyday healthy is not an easy task, but with California walnuts in your daily meals, you may get a few steps closer.
1Supportive 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.
2Shukitt-Hale/Tufts/Cognitive Health/Apr 2014 and Ros/Hospital Clinic/Cognition/May 11 2015 (citations noted in Health Research section)
3Baer/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)