Tag Archives: omega 6

All About Walnuts

13 Dec

Growing up, I lived on a 1-2 acre plot of land that had multiple black walnut trees. I remember as a child finding fallen walnuts (or what I called “wonuts”), cracking them open with a hammer, sometimes smashing my fingers in the process, and then eating the walnut meat fresh from the source. There aren’t many people who are fortunate enough to have grown up with this amenity, and I for one, am thankful as it gave me an appreciation for nuts.

Walnuts

Walnuts are round stone fruits containing a single seed, which comes in the form of two halves. The most common types are English walnuts (juglans regia) originating from Persia, and Black walnuts (juglans nigra), which are native to eastern North America. The most commercially available walnut, however, is typically a hybrid of the English walnut, due to its ease of harvesting. When ready to harvest, the walnuts’ hulls break open, exposing the dark shell inside.

Walnuts are becoming increasingly popular with over 3 million metric tons being produced in 2012 alone. The year’s top five producing countries, in descending order, were: China, Iran, United States, Turkey and Mexico (source).

With a softer texture similar to pecans, walnuts resemble the shape of a brain. This is no coincidence as walnuts provide brain boosting benefits by contributing antioxidants, B vitamins, monounsaturated fat and vitamin E. Perhaps the most commonly toted benefit of walnuts, however, is their hefty dose of 20.8g Omega-3 and 86.4g Omega-6 fatty acids per cup (source).

1 cup shelled walnut halves contain the following daily values:

  • 12% Potassium
  • 28% Dietary fiber
  • 30% Protein
  • 9% Calcium
  • 16% Iron
  • 25% Vitamin B6
  • 39% Magnesium

(source)

Due to how easily it stains, the dark pigment in walnut hulls is sometimes used as ink for writing and dye for fabric.

Interesting fact: Bach flower remedies have listed walnuts as one of the 38 substances they use to prepare their products (source).

All About Chia

21 Sep

Chia Seeds

Salvia hispanica, most commonly referred to as chia, is an annual flowering plant that belongs to the mint family. Chia is likely best known for its use in chia pets, where, upon watering, their sprouts grow to resemble animal hair. Having gained popularity in the 1980’s, chia pet products have since expanded to include a plethora of other “pets” such as people and, yes, even zombies.

The word “chia” is said to have been derived from chian, which translates to oily; fitting because the seeds contain at least 25% extractable oil. The chia plant is native to Guatemala and Mexico and can grow to upwards of 3 feet. The most commonly used part of the plant is its seed, which has recently gained popularity due to the seed’s richness in nutrients such as manganese, Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, and phosphorus. These black and white ovular seeds, typically no larger than .039 inches in size, may be tiny but they are nutritional powerhouses (source).

Having five times the amount of calcium and protein than milk (source), at least two times the fiber than nuts (source), more potassium than a banana (source), more than two times the iron than spinach (source), more protein than an egg (source), more than 25 times the iron, seven times the omega 3 and more than eight times the omega 6 than salmon (source), it’s no wonder chia seeds have become so popular as a food source.

1 oz of chia seeds provides the following recommended daily values (source):

  • 13% total fat
  • 3% potassium
  • 4% total carbohydrates
  • 40% dietary fiber
  • 9% protein
  • 17% calcium
  • 12% iron
  • 23% magnesium

Chia seeds are easily incorporated into your diet, whether it be via smoothies, oatmeal, salad dressings or baked into bread. When placed in liquid, chia seeds develop a gelatinous coating which makes them an excellent egg replacer and thickener, perfect for pudding. Chia seeds can also be sprouted for use in salads, sandwiches and wraps.

What is your favorite way of incorporating chia into your diet?

%d bloggers like this: