Glossary of Foods: Walnuts

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You've heard us tout the health benefits of nuts high and low. Apart from being nutrient dense and high in good-for-you fats, they're an easy grab-and-go snack. Walnuts land high on our list of favorites for their killer cholesterol-lowering properties and help in keeping the mind sharp!

Walnuts are the nut fruit of the tree genus Juglans, which contains many species and varieties of trees, including Persian and English Walnut trees. The tree produces round, tough-skinned stone fruit. Once the fruit has ripened, the outer husk of the fruit becomes brittle and the nut casing hardens to protect the nutmeat. The nutmeats, or kernels, are removed from the shell to be eaten as the walnuts we enjoy!

ripe walnut in a tree

Walnuts are especially high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. This helps naturally lower bad LDL cholesterol levels and promote overall heart health. Additionally, walnuts are incredibly high in antioxidants to protect the body from damaging free radicals. Walnuts are also thought to help improve memory and brain function! They are considered a good source of magnesium and phosphorus, and, as with all nuts, you also reap the benefits of healthy fiber and protein, too! When munching walnuts, it's important to watch your serving size. These nutrient-dense nuts have 190 calories per quarter cup serving.

If you're looking for a snack to keep you energized throughout the day, a handful of walnuts or trail mix will hit the spot. We also love walnuts as a topping for yogurt, such as this Pumpkin Pie Yogurt with Cinnamon Roasted Walnuts, which is good for breakfast or as a skinny dessert! Or, top your favorite salad with crunchy walnuts for a healthy antioxidant and omega-3 boost.

pumpkin pie yogurt with roasted walnuts