Walnuts are the round, single seed nut and considered as the healthiest foods of the world. These are known as “Akhrot” or “Akhroat” in India. It is said that walnuts resemble the human brain therefore it is essential for the brain. It is the oldest food known to mankind and it originated in 7000 BC. Since then, people swear by the advantages and the properties of Walnuts. Generally, cool climatic conditions and well-drained soil are favorable for the growth of Walnuts. Walnuts are grown in USA, Mexico, China, Iran, Turkey, Ukrain and India. In India, Jammu and Kashmir is the predominant state for cultivation of Walnuts but otherwise it is also cultivated in Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Darjeeling. In India, you will find walnuts in four basic categories such as hard shelled, medium shelled, thin shelled and paper shelled.
Walnuts are high in nutritional content. The delicious and versatile walnuts contain water, fat, protein, dietary fibers, carbohydrates, monounsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential dietary contents such as copper, biotin and manganese. Walnuts are considered essential for diet as its nutritional profile is quite unique as compared to the other nuts.
Usage in Indian Kitchen
Though little bitter in taste, people love to add walnuts in cakes, chocolates and cookies. People use walnuts in chutneys and sauces. Spiced walnuts are a good snack to crunch upon. Sweets such as Barfi and Ladoo are also made from Walnuts.
Health Benefits of Akhrot
- Walnuts are extremely resourceful in prevention of cancer.
- It helps in controlling and reducing the risk of Type II Diabetes.
- It helps in keeping the mind sharp and slows down the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Extremely friendly for weight loss journey and helps in dealing with stress.
- Lowers down the harmful cholesterol (LDL) and raises the beneficial cholesterol (HDL).
- Helpful for the bones, brain and overall health.