Try This Oil for Your Heart
In our great-grandparent’s day, some nuts were widely available in season. Others were exotic treats reserved for special occasions. For many families, a bag of mixed nuts – in the shell – was a special holiday treat.
But walk into any grocery store today, and you can buy all sorts of nuts… in the shell, shelled, raw, roasted, or salted. And this abundance offers some terrific health benefits – if you choose your nuts wisely.
For example, eating just four Brazil nuts provides over 500% of your daily selenium need. And puts your intake of this trace mineral at the upper limit of what’s considered safe.
For the most part, though eating an ounce or so of nuts a day is a healthy habit. And new research shows why one nut stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to heart health.
We’ve known for some time that walnuts promote healthy cholesterol levels. This new study – from three prestigious universities – discovered how and which part of the walnut is responsible for this benefit.
In this new study, the researchers confirmed that walnuts have a positive influence on cholesterol levels. Volunteers who ate walnuts had a drop in overall cholesterol levels.
Eating walnuts also appeared to make their “good” HDL cholesterol – which cleans excess “bad” cholesterol out of your blood – more efficient.
When the volunteers ate only parts of the walnut, walnut skin and defatted nut meant had no effect. But walnut oil had the same effects as whole walnuts.1
This makes perfect sense to me. Walnuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALnA). ALnA is a kind of Omega-3 fatty acid. Your body can convert ALnA into EPA and DHA – the same heart-healthy Omega-3’s found in seafood.
These two Omega-3’s are linked to all sorts of benefits – including boosting heart, joint and brain health.
Walnuts are also a good source a gamma-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E not usually found in nutritional supplements. It’s a powerful anti-oxidant that’s also linked to heart health.
If you enjoy walnuts, you’ll probably like walnut oil. It has a delicious nutty flavor and works very well in salad dressings or anywhere you would use uncooked oil.
Walnut oil is also good in low-temperature cooking. But I don’t recommend it for high-heat cooking such as stir-fries. It has a fairly low smoke point – 375° – and high heat destroys much of walnut oil’s nutrient value.
Check the “best used by date” on any container you buy. You don’t want it to expire before it’s used up.
Once you’ve opened your walnut oil, store it in the fridge. Be aware that, once opened, you should use it within six months. That’s about as long as walnut oil will last before going bad.
Walnut oil is widely available in gourmet and health food stores.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 LaJeunesse, S., “Whole walnuts and their extracted oil improve cardiovascular disease risk,” University of Pennsylvania. May 8, 2013.