Srinagar: The wrinkly odd-shaped Kashmiri Walnut aka Doun can easily be overlooked in presence of other dry fruits. But do you know this nutrient-dense nut is considered a superfood?
Owing to its exceptional nutritional value, one cannot imagine the range of healthy nutrients these brown nuts possess. They are brimming with fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
What makes Kashmiri Walnuts so special?
The climatic conditions of Kashmir are ideal for walnut cultivation. Walnuts grown in the valley are popular worldwide owing to their rich taste and myriad health benefits. Their kernels can be consumed raw or used in various confectionery items, and several other food products. In fact, Kashmir is a significant walnut delivering Union Territory in India and adds to more than 98% of the complete walnut creation in the country. Similarly, they have also had a huge demand in countries including the UK, UAE, France, and Germany; among numerous others.
What do the health experts say about walnuts?
Dr. Rabbanie Tariq, Preventive Medicine Physician promoting Lifestyle Medicine in Kashmir said polyunsaturated fats are considered relatively better than saturated fats.
“Among the food items available to Kashmiri population, walnuts are a wealth in terms of good kind of fats. They also contain a high amount of Omega 3 fatty acids,” Dr. Rabbanie said.
Studies have shown walnuts can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) as well as overall cholesterol. Further, they may also help to reduce the inflammation leading to the progression of Heart Disease.
“There are studies which also show their protective effect in reducing the chance of certain types of cancer. But we must always remember excess of everything is bad, high consumption of any food item comes with its own issues. So we must stick to the principle of consuming any kind of food items in moderation including nuts,” Dr. Rabbanie said.
In addition, to the reduction of cholesterol, they are also a vital source of Calcium, Iron, Potassium, and Magnesium, he added.
Dr. Shazia Lone Nutritionist at Modern Hospital, Rajbagh said walnuts offer one of the highest nutritive values of all nuts and seeds. What makes it unique is the surprisingly high concentration of Omega-3 fat in it, which is extremely good for your heart as well as the brain.
What’s the best way to have walnuts? How many walnuts can you consume in a day?
One cup of walnuts (roughly 30 grams) contains Carbohydrates: 3.89 grams, Sugar: 1 gram, Fibre: 2 grams, Iron: 0.72 milligrams, Protein: 5 grams, Fats: 20 grams.
Having 1-2 walnuts a day is enough to garner all health benefits.
“That being said, having them the right way will ensure that you get maximum benefits. While they can be had by simply removing the hard outer shell, one of the best ways to consume walnuts is by leaving them to soak overnight. Soaking walnuts and other nuts help in reducing the overall cholesterol levels in the body,” Dr. Shazia said.
She stressed that pregnant women should also consume walnuts after soaking them first. “Eating them in the mornings can also ward off fatigue and regulate blood pressure levels in the body. If you have been watching what you eat, keep soaked/raw walnut pieces as snacks. They can also be added to salads and smoothies,” Dr. Shazia said.
She asserted while walnuts ensure that you obtain a healthy source of nutrients and vitamins, excess consumption can create problems.
“For people with sensitive stomachs, uncontrolled intake of walnuts can disturb digestion. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), diarrhea, and digestive issues may be commonly experienced,” she said.
Again, walnuts should be carefully had. Children especially should consume nuts such as these under supervision, otherwise, it could lead to choking, the nutritionist added.
Where can I buy Kashmiri Walnuts in Srinagar?
Koker Bazaar in Lal Chowk, Srinagar.
Maharaj Gunj in old city, Srinagar.
Residency Road, Srinagar
Boulevard Road, Srinagar