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The Wonders of the Walnut

The humble walnut is so packed full of wonderful nutritional goodness, that we use it as a medicinal herb in Chinese medicine. It is effective in tonifying the Kidneys and replenishing Kidney Essence, which is responsible for regeneration and reproduction. Jing regulates the body"s growth and development and works with Qi to protect the body from harmful external factors. It is also the foundation of the endocrine system, of egg and semen production and DNA.

A study produced in the journal, Biology of Production, found that, after 12 weeks, men who added a couple of handfuls of walnuts a day to their diet, demonstrated significant improvements in the quality of the sperm, in terms of count, motility and morphology, as well as chromosomal abnormalities.

From a western nutritional point of view, walnuts are high in omega-3 oils, which play critical roles in sperm maturation and membrane function.

It takes about 3 months for sperm to be produced, so be sure to allow yourself and your partner 3 months to feel the benefits.

Walnuts can be toasted, blitzed, caramelised, chopped or crushed, and added to dips, salsas, salads or pastries.

* Try making delicious walnut bread. There is nothing more yummy than this nutty treat.

* Or how about making a hummus out of chickpeas and walnuts, to provide a crummy, healthy, quick and super-charged supper.

* Mix walnuts in with your salads. They go particularly well with lentil salad.

* Ottolenghi also do a lovely, healthy mushroom and walnut galette recipe, to get your tastebuds salivating.

* Or why not make a nut roast made with a variety of nuts, to give the little swimmers a mega-boost.

* Walnuts can also be added to your cereals, porridge, smoothies of yoghurt, for a dynamo-charged breakfast treat.

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