Wellness and Walnuts

by Eren Cayan

Wellness trends come and go but pure, raw wholefoods will always be good for you.

Today, I wanted to write about what is rapidly becoming one of our most popular nuts here at Kape, walnuts!

When we talk about nuts, it’s often the almond or cashew that take the spotlight but the walnut packs a seriously healthy punch, and are an incredibly versatile ingredient to add flavour and texture to your food.

The walnut is a tree nut which originated in the Mediterranean and is now grown and enjoyed worldwide. Here at Kape we only use raw, Chilean, extra light walnut halves, which are known to be the best walnuts in the world. Their distinctively fresh and light taste, and crumbly crunch make them the preferred choice of chefs and nut fanatics.

Composition and Health

Walnuts primarily consist of polyunsaturated fats, and protein, making them high in natural energy.  Studies have shown that walnuts, despite their high fat content, do not increase obesity risk. This is because they are rich in omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-3 (alpha linoleic acid), which have been shown to have major health benefits. Omega-3 is considered especially beneficial for heart health, reducing inflammation and improving the composition of blood fats.

Walnuts also contain:

·       Copper- Helps maintain bone, nerve and immune system function, and alongside iron also enables the body to form red blood cells.

·       Folic Acid/Folate/Vitamin B9- Supports many vital functions in the body, particularly important during pregnancy

·       Phosphorus- Important for bone and teeth health, aids muscle contraction and recovery, filtering waste from the kidneys

·       Vitamin B6- Thought to support the immune and nervous system and could play a part in improving mood and reducing symptoms of depression

·       Manganese- Vital for the body, contributing to many functions including metabolism of amino acids, cholesterol, glucose, and carbohydrates

·       Vitamin E- Helps maintain healthy skin and eyes, and strengthens the immune system. Compared to other nuts, walnuts contain high levels of a special and particularly beneficial form of vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol.

Walnuts also contain a complex mixture of bioactive plant compounds and they’re one of the richest dietary sources of antioxidants.

Some notable plant compounds in walnuts include:

·       Ellagic acid- This antioxidant is found in high amounts in walnuts, along with other related compounds like ellagitannins. Ellagic acid may reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

·       Catechin- A flavonoid antioxidant that may have various health benefits, including promoting heart health.

·       Melatonin- This neurohormone helps regulate your body clock. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that may reduce your risk of heart disease.

We activate our walnuts, which reduces the phytic acid, making them easier on the gut. We also never heat above 47 degrees centigrade, meaning there is no acridity or bitterness.

If you’re as surprised as I was at how good for you walnuts are, you’ll be glad to hear they taste great and are incredibly versatile too! Try sprinkling onto salads and breakfasts, adding to your favourite pesto, or in a vegan spag bol. If you need a quick mid-morning energy boost, put the pastry down and grab a banana and a handful of walnuts!

Our Pure Activated Walnuts, and Pure Walnut Butter, are both made from 100% walnuts, nothing else, and the nutritional content per 100g for both is as below:

Energy 2935kj / 712kcal
Fat 68.5g
of which saturates 7.47g
Carbohydrates 3.1g
of which sugars 2.5g
Fibre 6.7g
Protein 17.3g
Salt 0.02g

After writing this I’ll certainly be sure to include more walnuts in my diet from now on!