There are many in­trigu­ing sto­ries about wal­nuts. For ex­am­ple, in Greek mythol­ogy, Diony­sus, the god of fer­til­ity, wine, arts, mad­ness and ec­stasy, fell in love with Carya. When she died, the heartbroken Diony­sus turned her into a wal­nut tree, thus her name the ‘god­dess of the wal­nut’. An­drew F. Smith, the ed­i­tor-inchief of the Ox­ford En­cy­clopae­dia of Food and Drink in Amer­ica says that the an­cient Mediter­ranean world used it as medicine. For ex­am­ple, it was mixed with honey and rue to treat in­flam­ma­tions. To­day, there are stud­ies that sug­gest can­cer-fight­ing prop­er­ties in wal­nuts. Re­search at The Univer­sity of Texas Health Sci­ence Cen­tre in­jected mice with hu­man prostate can­cer cells. Only 18 per cent of mice that were eat­ing a wal­nut-rich diet de­vel­oped tu­mours while 44 per cent of mice that were not eat­ing wal­nuts de­vel­oped tu­mours. BUY­ING TIPS

Choose un­shelled wal­nuts that are plump as shriv­elled nuts are past their prime.

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