Eight Walnut Recipes Stuffed with Coronary heart-Wholesome Advantages

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The wellness world may be crazy about new innovations like vegan fish and adaptogenic coffee, but the truth is, the most nutritious foods are those that have always existed. Case in point: nuts.

A study that took into account data from over 280,000 people over a 20-year period found that regular consumption of just a small handful of nuts was associated with a lower risk of obesity in old age, compared to those who had more limited nut intake. And while all nuts have nutritional benefits, a new study suggests that walnuts in particular are great choices when it comes to heart health.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, included 708 healthy people between the ages of 63 and 79 and collected data over a two-year period. Researchers found that eating walnuts regularly reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 15 percent – that’s a pretty big increase in longevity, especially considering that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States are

Registered nutritionist Melissa Rifkin, RD, says the main reason walnuts are such a heart health benefit is that, as the study shows, regular consumption has been linked to lowering LDL cholesterol. She says this mainly because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have also been directly linked to longer lifespan.

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Rifkin explains that there are two types of cholesterol, HDL and LDL. “LDL cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, is considered the ‘bad’ cholesterol,” she says. “It contributes to the build-up of fat in the arteries known as arteriosclerosis. The build-up causes the arteries to narrow and can increase the risk of heart disease.” This is where walnuts come in: They are linked to lowering this “bad” type of cholesterol.

While a handful of walnuts can be a great snack on their own, check out the walnut recipes summarized here if you want to get a little creative. They serve as inspiration to incorporate the nut into every meal of the day – including the dessert!

8 walnut recipes that are good for your heart

Recipes with walnut breakfastPhoto: Before Thyme

1. Cinnamon walnut porridge

In addition to heart-healthy walnuts, this recipe also features cinnamon – a spice that has been linked to preventing blood sugar levels from spiking. Creamy and rich, it is the perfect breakfast for a fresh autumn morning.

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon Walnut Porridge

Breakfast barsPhoto: Marisa Moore

2. Honey-roasted oat breakfast bites

Chances are you already have the five ingredients you need for these bites in your pantry: walnuts, oats, honey, cinnamon, and salt. With protein from the nuts and fiber from the oats, some of these bites will keep you full until lunch. They can be easily eaten on the go or at your desk – a portable breakfast is always handy!

Get the Recipe: Honey Nut Roasted Oat Breakfast Bites

Walnut saladPhoto: Well plated by Erin

3. Apple and walnut salad

Incorporating walnuts into your lunch is a breeze. This salad recipe has a total fall vibe and features apples, endive, cranberries, and crumbled Gorgonzola cheese.

Get the Recipe: Apple Walnut Salad

Quinoa saladPhoto: Bren Herrera

4. Roasted cauliflower and quinoa salad

In this recipe, walnuts are mixed and processed directly into a pomegranate dressing. In addition to walnuts and pom juice, the dressing is made with mixed cauliflower, olive oil and agave. The end result is a condiment that adds extra fiber and heart-healthy benefits to a meal that is already loaded with nutrients.

Get the Recipe: Cauliflower Quinoa Salad

Recipes with walnuts figsPhoto: The Kitchenista Diaries

5. Stuffed figs with goat cheese and walnut

This snack may look fancy, but it only takes 15 minutes to prepare and is so nutritious that it shouldn’t be regulated for special occasions. Aside from the walnuts, the figs are high in potassium and fiber, while the goat cheese is so high in protein that it will really fill you up until dinner.

Get the Recipe: Goat Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Figs

6. Vegan lentil and walnut tacos

This really is that clever: grind your walnuts and combine them with lentils to make taco “meat” that is loaded with protein and fiber. Mushrooms and cauliflower are also incorporated into the “meat” mixture, which adds even more fiber. Five key spices are used to flavor the mixture, and each one is packed with anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Vegan sun-dried tomato and walnut tacos

The Cook With Us episode above also features walnut “meat” tacos, but they taste completely different from those with lentils. In this case, adding sun-dried tomatoes is key to the flavor and also gives the meat its chewy texture. One thing in common with the other recipe is that it has lots of condiments, so make sure your pantry is fully stocked.

Recipes with walnut cakePhoto: Short Girl Tall Order

8. Carrot and walnut cake with cashew frosting

In addition to walnuts, this carrot cake also contains cashew nuts, which are mixed with coconut cream to form the creamy frosting. Double the nuts, double the health benefits! Another advantage of this cake: It is 100 percent vegan.

Get the Recipe: Carrot Walnut Cake with Cashew Frosting

Get more healthy recipe ideas on Well + Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group.