Properties, benefits and contraindications of walnuts

The walnuts; discovering the most known and loved dried fruits ever. How much do we really know about nuts and what surprises do they reserve for us?

Autumn is approaching, and walnuts and dried fruit in general (hazelnuts, chestnuts, American peanuts, pecans and so on) cannot be missing on our laid tables. Extremely popular and much loved, dried fruit is deeply rooted in the gastronomic tradition of many Italian regions. But are we really sure we know so much about walnuts, their characteristics and their properties? It's time to find out!

Let's start by specifying that the term 'nuts' is often used in a confused way to indicate different types of nuts; from pecan nuts to peanuts or American peanuts, passing through nutmeg. In reality, traditional or 'classic' walnut, so properly called, is nothing but the fruit of the white walnut or common walnut; in Italy they are mainly grown in Sorrento, or imported from the United States or France.

Walnuts can be eaten as dried fruit at the end of a meal or as a snack, while chopped and chopped they appear in a large number of recipes, from the first to the second fish, naturally passing through the desserts. They are also very popular with athletes, because they promote the flow of blood to the muscles and its proper oxygenation. However, their calorie intake is significant, so watch out for the scales!

One of the most important characteristics of walnuts is certainly their beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels; in fact a habitual consumption of these fruits helps to keep cholesterol low, thus preventing the cardiovascular risks that this disease can entail. The old adage that 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' can therefore also apply very well to nuts … as long as you don't go overboard!

In addition, walnuts are an important source of omega 3, precious for everyone but especially for pregnant mothers. But omega 3 also plays a pivotal role in breast cancer prevention. This is why walnuts can easily replace the habitual consumption of fish in those with allergies or intolerances, or simply do not like this food. They are also an effective remedy for diabetes and indicated in the diet of those suffering from high blood pressure.

But the beneficial properties of walnuts are not limited only to food consumption; the leaves of the walnut tree can be used in the form of a decoction to strengthen and protect the scalp, and also represent a "natural" dye, as they are rich in melanin. From the fruits it is possible to obtain a digestive infusion useful to treat the main intestinal disorders, while the decoction of the leaves is effective against genital inflammations, skin diseases and conjunctivitis.

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