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Getting nutty

By Zhang Kun | Shanghai Star | Updated: 2015-02-03 10:19

Getting nutty

SWEET TREATS: Walnuts can be eaten on their own or made into delicious dishes. [Photo provided to Shanghai Star]

Nuts have a range of health benefits and they are considered particularly good to eat when the weather is cold. Zhang Kun reports.

At the first approach of the winter chill many people in Shanghai start to take home walnuts and sesames, like squirrels storing food for the cold season.

These nuts with high oil content will replenish energy and keep you warm. It’s not surprising that ancient Chinese considered them a good winter tonic.

The most popular way to consume nuts is to mix ground black sesames, walnuts, glutinous rice and sugar, and eat it as congee with boiling water.

Many traditional Chinese medicine shops sell the mixture in jars. Grandmothers feed it to youngsters, telling them the black sesame makes your hair stronger and lustrous, and walnuts nourish the brain to make you intelligent.

It might be superstitious to believe black sesame keeps one’s hair black because of its color, while walnuts make the brain intelligent because of their shape. The belief in China is that food benefits the function of the human organ which is in the similar shape or form.

Yet scientists all over the world have done lots of research and found walnuts do have lots of benefits to human health.

They also confirm that fall and winter months are a good time to buy in-shell walnuts, because walnuts harvest in the fall, and after a few weeks’ drying and processing, they reach customers through retail and wholesale outlets, according to Lawrence Sambado, a walnut grower and packer in California, the United States.

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