Eating for heart health isn’t something we usually focus on until later in life but it’s actually a really important element of your wellbeing that you should focus on whatever age you are. After all, it’s the main organ keeping us alive and heart health shouldn’t be taken for granted even when youth is on your side.
With around 7.4 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases (1), looking after your heart health is clearly a must. The good news, however, is that this doesn’t have to be difficult. Simple lifestyle changes such as changing your diet can have a big impact on heart health.
Want to know one (ridiculously simple) heart-loving snack you can add to your diet to help keep your ticker in check? Walnuts! And not just any walnuts… no no no. Make them California Walnuts. You really can’t get better in terms of quality and taste. Hate bitter walnuts? Please reserve judgement until you’ve tried a California-grown walnut. They are so creamy and smooth-tasting with the perfect amount of crunch. We’ve been adding them to salads, smoothies, energy bars, everything!
What sets them apart from the average walnut?
First of all, the climate in Cali couldn’t be more ideal, with long, sunny days and home to numerous walnut orchards (many of which are family-run businesses). Grown with care in the perfect conditions, the nuts are harvested from late August to November and processed to the highest quality standards.
With February being National Heart Health Month, we’ve teamed up with California Walnuts to share their campaign “The Power Of 3” to help spread awareness of how important looking after your heart health is and why walnuts play such a key role! Omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is essential to heart health and overall wellbeing. Our bodies cannot make it, so it is important to ensure we eat foods that contain ALA for good health and normal growth and development.
As walnuts are the only tree nut to contain a significant amount of omega-3 ALA, with 2.7g in every handful, adding these to meals or enjoying them as a snack is a great place to start. One portion of walnuts also contains fibre (1.4g/30g serving) (2) and ‘good’ polyunsaturated fats – making them a heart-loving superfood!
Top tip… did you know you should store walnuts in the fridge? Storing California Walnuts in the kitchen cupboard can reduce shelf-life and taint flavour, so for the most delicious taste and to preserve the amazing health benefits, store in the fridge for up to 6 months (or in the freezer for 12 months!)
What else are walnuts good for?
Walnuts are fantastic for brain function (polyunsaturated fat, polyphenols and vitamin E has been shown to help minimise oxidative damage and inflammation in your brain). They also provide great support for both female and male reproductive health as well as boosting gut health thanks to the fibre and contribution of extra gut-loving microbes.
I’m sold! Where can I buy California Walnuts?
California Walnuts are available in most major supermarkets, simply look for “Produce of California” or ‘Produce of USA’ on the label.
For further information on California Walnuts and recipe ideas, visit www.californiawalnuts.co.uk
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1. BHF statistics Factsheet UK, December 2019
2. Food Standards Agency (2002), McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, Seventh summary edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry