Walnut (Juglans regia)

These little fellows have travelled all the way from Norfolk where they were growing in Jane Atkins’ garden. Walnuts are high in healthy omega-3 fats, and contain good amounts of the minerals copper, manganese, molybdenum and biotin. Some research has indicated that walnuts have cancer fighting properties, in particular prostate and breast cancer. Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory, and eating just a few walnuts per day can lower bad cholesterol and help to prevent blood clots. Omega 3 can also raise low mood and there is some evidence it may be helpful in combatting mild depression, it can be safely taken alongside antidepressants too. It’s anti inflammatory action is also beneficial for chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and eczema.

There are a number of powerful Antioxidants found in walnuts which are found in only a few commonly eaten foods. Antioxidants are free-radical scavengers and support the cells of the body which are attacked by these. There is some evidence that the particular antioxidants found in walnuts, classed as polyphenols, may also help prevent chemically-induced liver damage.

Walnuts can be eaten raw straight from their shells or they go nicely in salads. My personal favourite is to break them into small pieces and add them to crumble topping mix where they add a delicious taste and texture to the final dish.