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Have you ever tried walnut oil? If not, you are missing a real treat. It's a beautiful oil to drizzle over salad or on to steamed vegetables, and it's good for you.
Here's the science: it contains high levels of monounsaturated oils (omega 9) which help to keep your arteries supple, and also high levels of polyunsaturated oils (omega 3 and omega 6) which help to reduce inflammation, stabilise hormones and improve the skin.
A diet rich in walnuts and walnut oil may prepare the body to deal better with stress, according to a team of researchers from Penn State University, USA. They looked at how these foods, which contain polyunsaturated fats, influence blood pressure at rest and under stress. The researchers found that including walnuts and walnut oil in the diet lowered both resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress in the laboratory.
The amount used in this study was equivalent to 9 walnuts per day. If you just add these to your diet, you will ne adding over 200 calories, so they should replace other oils, etc. if you want to maintain or lose weight.
Can you see why I rave about this oil, its health benefits and its delicious taste? I've found walnut oil particularly beneficial for people with eczema - usually a couple of teaspoons a day is all that is necessary to help this distressing condition. (In case you're uncertain, you don't put the oil on your skin - you eat it.)
Unfortunately oils have had a bad press, and a lot of people are avoiding them, because of their high calorie content. But some oils, such as walnut oil, are beneficial to our health in small quantities. Walnut oil is widely available, but I particularly like the Clearspring organic walnut oil. It comes from a company that puts a lot of effort into producing good quality oils. Sadly many of the cheap oils available in supermarkets are produced using harsh chemicals, some of which may remain in the finished product.
You'll find Clearspring oils in many health shops in the UK - unfortunately those of you outside the UK won't be able to get this brand, but seek out high quality ones in your own neighbourhood.
Eating walnuts is good too. A Yale University study in 2009 found that daily consumption of walnuts may improve the health of blood vessels, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.
Have a read of the article on vegetable oil processing and the one on hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Copyright Jane Thurnell-Read Online Nutritional Supplements
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