8th July 2024  Delhi, India  Despite three months of scorching heat, summer is full of reasons to celebrate. From the beautiful sunshine, the temptation of seasonal fruits and vegetables, and, of course, international and national food days to keep you in a celebratory mood all season long even though the current health situation may make you feel otherwise.

An annual food day that captures our attention the most is National Walnut Day, which falls on May 17 every year. Why? You may ask. Let’s take a look at our big three reasons.

1. Packs a nutritional punch

Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and offer other heart-healthy fats, protein, fiber, and vitamins (including vitamin B6), among others. Munching on this daily may reduce the risk of heart disease1, improve brain health2, ensure a healthy gut3, and help in weight management. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)’s Eat Right During COVID-19 guidelines mention foods with omega-3, zinc, selenium, protein, and vitamin B to help maintain a healthy immune system and play a role in our body’s healing and recovery4. And each of these nutrients is present in walnuts. Now, while no single food can prevent or treat illness, it is important to eat a balanced diet.

2. Easy to incorporate in meals

Munching on a handful of walnuts isn’t the only way to reap the health benefits of this nutritious food. They are incredibly delicious and crunchy and boast great potential on the cooking front because of their ability to absorb flavors and work equally well in both sweet and savory dishes. To add some much-needed excitement to your daily meals, you can pair these with a variety of food groups, including fruits and veggies, dairy, and breads and cereals, to name a few. Toss it into your salad, cake, or ice cream, blend it with fruits and veggies for your morning smoothie grind it into a paste to use in dips or gravy, or simply make a trail mix – there are so many creative ways to work them into your diet.

3. Easy to store

Contrary to popular belief, walnuts can easily remain fresh at home provided you store them away from moisture, light, and warmth. Shelled or unshelled, put the walnuts into a resealable bag or an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator or freezer based on the period of use. If you’re going to use them within a month, keep them in the refrigerator or move them to the freezer.