Among ancient tree food know to man, Walnut it the oldest, dating back 7,000 years. An archeological excavation of a Neolithic sites southwest of France has uncovered roasted walnut shells, suggesting that early Europeans were already eating this nut some 8000 years ago.
It is said to have originated in Persia and were traded along the Silk Road connecting Asia and the Middle East. Known as Persian walnut, this nut was only served to royalty. The Romans called them Juglan regia, meaning “Jupiter’s royal acorn”. It was also the Romans who cultivated the nut across Europe including some parts of North Africa. Walnut is native to a large part of Asia extending from the Balkans to China.
The English merchant sea explorers carried and traded walnuts to every port in the world spreading its popularity and eventually became known as “English Walnuts”. In the early 1800s, walnut arrived in North America from England. Today California is the major producer of the finest quality of walnut in the world.
Walnut tree is a deciduous plant belonging to the juglandaceae family of nut trees. It thrives well in sunny areas with good moisture and well drained loamy soil. It can reach more than 40 feet and develop a broad crown about the same size. The plant produces stone fruit that is covered in green husk and the kernel is covered with brown hard shell. This hard outer shell of the nut act as protective layer to prevent it from running rancid due to its high oil content thus helps the nut maintain its quality. Walnuts are harvested once a year between September and November.
The nutrition found with in this super nut includes high amounts of Vitamin A, K, E and B complex, as well as essential minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium.
Superfood walnut is not just a delicious nut, but it’s also choke full of health benefits. It is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent LDL cholesterol- lowering agent. They also have chemicals that expands blood vessels to improve your blood circulation. Take a handful a week and your heart will thank you for it. The mono and polyunsaturated fats in this nut is enough to reduce your risk of a type 2 diabetes. What adds to its amazing healing ability is the significant amount of antioxidant and phytosterol it can give that may actually diminish your risk of developing breast cancer or slows down its growth. Having a diet rich in walnut can also assist your body in handling stress by lowering your blood pressure responses to stress.
Other uses of the walnut plant include high quality wood in making fine wood products like musical instrument, gunstock and veneers. The leaf can be used in treating intestinal worms, diarrhea and inflammation of the digestive tract. It can be applied directly to swelling skin surface, eczema and acne.
Except for individuals with nut allergy, walnut is safe to eat by everyone, including pregnant and nursing women but not as medication. Overeating may lead to soften stools and bloating, so eat moderately.
Walnut fun fact: Walnut nut produces growth inhibitors in their leaves and roots that prevents other plants from growing nearby. They’re a bit anti-social, don’t you think so?
Eat well. Stay fit. Live life.
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