As the examination dates would draw closer, parents would give walnuts to their kids. Walnut is known to boost brain function that would help the student to perform better. Shaped like a human brain, walnut has since generations been regarded as ‘brain food’. However, the other essential aspect of this nut is that it is also an immunity booster.
This magnificent nut also goes with the Indian name “akhrot” or “akhroot.” A nut of the walnut tree, it belongs to Juglandaceae family. The walnut is not a nut as we understand it. In the botanical world, it is known as the seed of a drupe which can be eaten.
It is a wholesome nut that has various health benefits, pushing it to the top of the list for goodness and wellbeing.
Setting it apart:
There are different varieties of walnuts which broadly fall in three primary groups: English/Persian (Juglans regia), Black and White/Butternut Juglans nigra.)
English walnut is commonly used for its mild flavour and aroma, Black walnut is used more for its sharper flavour and taste.
Known to be a rich source of heart-friendly omega-3 essential fatty acids (especially the badam giri type,) the nuts are loaded with antioxidants too.
Cultivating and Harvesting:
Walnuts cultivation in India is done from the northwestern side of the Himalayan belt to Darjeeling and Sikkim. However, they are cultivated commercially in Uttarakhand, J&K and Arunachal Pradesh.
Patience is called for when waiting for seedlings to get harvested. Walnut trees take a typical of 10-12 whooping years to blossom.
The trunk of the walnut tree should not be watered. Walnut orchards are sprayed in spring as nuts start to develop. This prevents walnut disease and does not invite pests. Just the branches of the tree with drip irrigation works ideally for watering. The soil should be well-drained loamy clay. The pH should be greater than 6.0.
Sowing and irrigation:
Walnut tree requires soil rich in zinc, lime, and boron. A suitable amount of farm manure has to be added when the soil is being readied.
Irrigation is one of the most crucial processes for the blossoming of a walnut orchard. During summer, the walnut trees need more than 50% of the annual water supply.
Irrigation of walnut plants is done once after being transplanted, and they don’t need irrigation during monsoon. Flooding should be avoided, and drip irrigation should be done in places that have water issues.
To say walnuts are nourishing is to give it its well-deserved due.
It is high in nutritional value comprising of good fat, loads of vitamins and minerals and fibre.
It is packed with Omega-3 and boasts of a good amount of antioxidants reducing oxidative damage. Hence it is beneficial for brain health while also preventing cancer and heart disease.
Walnuts reduce atherosclerosis, and the high Omega-3 fat content reduces the risk of heart disease and inflammation, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer and so on. Several nutrients in walnuts may help decrease inflammation which causes many chronic diseases.
Walnuts also protect healthy gut-bacteria. In men, walnuts boost sperm health.
So, making walnut a part of your diet will ensure good health.
At the dining table:
The walnut has many avatars: it can be eaten by itself as a snack, or it can be added to breakfast cereals, salads, soup etc. Walnut oil can be used for cooking or as a salad dressing.
Walnuts have a great combination of micronutrients such as polyphenolic compounds and Omega-3, thus moving it up the ladder of super-foods. It also has phytonutrients that lend goodness to health.
The composition of walnut is 60% fat and 15 % protein. It is low in carbohydrates.
Per 100 gm:
Protein 15.00 g
Fat 64. g
Did you know that walnuts have beauty benefits too?
Walnuts provide protein, essential vitamins and antioxidants but are trans-fats-free and cholesterol-free.