Walnut is a tree nut that consists of a hardshell. The kernel resembles a tiny brain with a hard texture. It is the most widely-consumed nut in the world . There are many species of walnut trees, but there are three main types that are widely consumed: English walnut, Black walnut, Juglans nigra; and White walnut, Juglans cinerea. English walnut is the most common variety that is sold and eaten . It is also called Persian, California or Mission walnut. It is native to Asia and is grown in many parts of the world like Asia, Europe, and the United States. It has a mild taste and a thin shell that is easy to crack. Walnuts have been grown since ancient times by the romans and around the 4th century AD, they introduced walnut in many European countries . The walnut tree has been a highly revered tree as it has many uses like for food, medicine,dye and oil. Walnut oil is a highly prized, unrefined oil with a rich and unique flavor, used mainly for culinary purpose. Walnuts are harvested in December, but they are available year round
When buying walnut avoid rubbery shriveled nuts as it indicates they have become old. Discard those nuts that are cracked or stained as it indicates mold growth. Shelled walnuts should be brittle and snap easily.
Some people may be allergic to walnuts and may have severe symptoms like allergic shock (anaphylaxis), which can be fatal without treatment. Eating walnuts in excess may cause reduced mineral absorption in the body as walnuts are high in phytates. (Phytate, is a plant compound that reduces the absorption of minerals like iron and zinc from the digestive tract) (2)
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