New research shows that eating a handful of walnuts a day protects the body against heart disease. Eating walnuts (daily) can decrease your risk and provide permanent protection from heart disease.
This research also shows us that there is an improvement in cholesterol levels and the flexibility of blood vessels that helps blood flow, just four hours after eating walnuts.
Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is similar to those found in heart-smart fish, like salmon. ALA has some heart-healthy effects, independent of the cholesterol-lowering effects.
Previous studies show that they reduce the risk of sudden death from dangerous abnormal heart rhythms.
The linoleic acid diet and alpha-linolenic acid diet are high in polyunsaturated fats. Substituting dietary saturated fats with these good polyunsaturated fats lowers bad cholesterol.
C-reactive protein levels dropped about 75 percent when patients consume diets that are rich in ALA, and decreased about 45 percent when they were on the linoleic acid.
Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf Recipe
Yield: 1 large loaf or various mini loaves
- 1 cup uncooked green lentils
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
- 3 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup water
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 cups diced sweet onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/3 cup peeled and grated sweet apple (use a firm variety)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp dried thyme)
- salt & pepper, to taste (I use about 3/4 tsp sea salt + more Herbamare)
- red pepper flakes, to taste
Balsamic Apple Glaze:
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp apple butter (or unsweetened applesauce in a pinch)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Rinse and strain lentils. Place lentils into pot along with 3 cups of water (or veg broth). Bring to a boil and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 40-45 minutes. Stir frequently & add touch of water if needed. The goal is to over-cook the lentils slightly (see pictures in post). Mash lentils slightly with a spoon when ready.
2. Toast walnuts at 325F for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temp to 350F.
3. Whisk ground flax with water in a small bowl and set aside.
4. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee the garlic and onion for about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Now add in the diced celery, shredded carrot and apple, and raisins. Sautee for about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat.
5. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together. Adjust seasonings to taste.
6. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Press mixture firmly into pan. Whisk glaze ingredients and then spread half on top of loaf. Reserve the rest for a dipping sauce.
7. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, uncovered. Edges will be lightly brown. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. I usually wait until loaf is cool before slicing.