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Today is May 17

Walnut Day

Fun Facts About Walnuts

  1. The Walnut Marketing Board created the first National Walnut Day in June 1949, and President Eisenhower made it a public holiday in 1958.
  2. The impressive little walnut is botanically classified as a fruit, but it is technically considered a tree nut.
  3. Walnut trees grow at a rate of 24 inches per year reaching 40 to 60 feet tall and can produce walnuts for more than 100 years.
  4. Walnuts have a formidable shell that resembles a human head, so ancient Greeks referred to them as karyon (meaning head). Crack open that tough exterior and you’ll find a bumpy textured meat that bears a marked resemblance to the brain.
  5. Walnuts are among the oldest tree food known to man, being traced back to 7,000 B.C.
  6. Ancient civilizations made walnut milk for a sweet refreshment, and many people still enjoy walnut milk today. Try this walnut milk and cherry berry smoothie, filled with tart cherry juice, a spoonful of honey, sweet strawberries, and walnut milk, for a refreshing snack.
  7. Tasty California walnuts are used for more than their milk, too. They add delicious flavor and texture to many recipes with their subtle flavor and creamy texture. Have you ever had walnut butter or walnut hummus? This recipe for Roasted red pepper and walnut hummus, made with savory chickpeas, hearty walnuts, and a blend of spices, makes a great snack to serve while celebrating National Walnut Day.
  8. In India, Prabhakar Reddy P crushed 212 walnuts by hand in a single minute to break the world record in August 2017. The previous year, Muhammed Rashid from Pakistan cracked 181 walnuts against his head in the same amount of time. Headaches aside, that’s pretty impressive.
  9. Toasting walnuts is a great way to add extra flavor and texture to your favorite meals and snacks. California Walnuts has all the info you need to get your toasted walnuts just right.
  10. Walnut powder and shells are often used to make natural soaps that are great for gifting. Of course, they’re great for pampering yourself, too!
  11. If you’re looking for some fun activities to do with your kids, use some whole walnut shells and make crafts like little boats, ornaments and reindeer. Just grab some glue, markers, and felt, and let your imagination and creativity take over!
  12. For those of you looking for a plant-based alternative to meat, walnuts are the answer to your foodie dreams. Use them as a base for a meatless chorizo, give your “meat”balls a tasty twist to add flavor and texture to a number of meatless recipes.
  13. Many people keep walnuts in their pantry, but they are actually best stored in the fridge or freezer. Once open, put them in an airtight container and store them in the freezer to maximize their shelf life.
  14. Santa Barbara, California is known as the birthplace of modern walnut production. In the 1870s, orchard planting began in this central-California city and the trees thrived in its Mediterranean-like climate. Today, the Central Valley of California is the state’s prime walnut growing region. Its mild climate and deep fertile soil provides ideal growing conditions.
  15. Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 ALA (2.5g/oz), deeming them a heart-healthy* addition to your diet. They also contain 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per ounce.
  16. California produces roughly one billion pounds of walnuts annually, accounting for more than 99% of the American supply and two thirds of the world trade.
  17. There are more than 4,500 California walnut growers. Most farms are owned and operated by families who have been in the walnut business for several generations.

For more information and recipes visit here.

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World Hypertension Day

Get heart-healthy with a DASH diet

High blood pressure affects more than a billion people around the world. The American Heart Association says an estimated 103 million adults in the United States, nearly half of all men and women in the country, have hypertension. Statistics Canada estimates that around 18 percent of Canadians aged 12 and older have high blood pressure. While medication and lifestyle changes can help reduce blood pressure, a modified diet also can work wonders.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet, often referred to as “DASH,” is an approach to eating that is designed to help treat or prevent hypertension, according to the Mayo Clinic. The diet was developed in the 1990s by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The DASH does not require special foods, but makes recommendations on choices that can alleviate high blood pressure. The diet recommends eating vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils are also included. Individuals adhering to the DASH diet should limit foods high in saturated fat, including fatty meats and tropical oils. Sugar-sweetened beverages and other sweets should be limited, too. When consuming foods, the idea is to stay within 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams of sodium.

In addition to reducing blood pressure, the DASH diet can lead to weight loss and even reduce adherents’ cancer risk, advises the health resource Healthline.

To help cut back on sodium, DASH guidelines advise using sodium-free spices to add flavor to foods. A person also can rinse canned foods to reduce salt or buy products that say sodium-free or low-sodium. Because no-salt foods can seem bland to those accustomed to salt, the Mayo Clinic suggests gradually cutting back on salted products until the taste buds can get used to less salty foods that fit within the DASH diet guidelines.

Combining the DASH diet with exercise is a great way to reduce blood pressure even more naturally.

Hypertension is a problem that can have lasting effects if not addressed. The DASH diet is one way to keep blood pressure levels in a healthy range