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Every year on 17 May, National Walnut Day is observed to promote the amazing health benefits of this single-seeded nut which is packed with nutrients like protein, fibre, magnesium, vitamin B6, folic acid and iron.
Walnuts are nutrient-dense food items rich in unsaturated fatty acids, along with many bioactive compounds such as vegetable protein, minerals, fibre, phytosterols and phenolic compounds. Soaked walnut consumption is linked to a reduced risk of diabetes due to its unique composition.
Soaked walnuts have cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects, the reason why it is also considered beneficial to reducing the risk of heart diseases and obesity, two of the major complications of diabetes.
In this article, you will find an association between soaked walnuts and diabetes. Take a look.
What Does Soaking Do To Walnuts?
Experts often recommend soaking the nuts, like walnuts, overnight or at least for 4-8 hours and then consume first thing in the morning. This is because of the following reasons:
- It helps wash away a compound called tannins present in the skin of the raw walnuts. Tannins are potent polyphenols that inhibit numerous health benefits such as lowering glucose and reducing blood pressure, however, the tannins in raw walnuts or any nuts, act as anti-nutrients and prevent the absorption of certain nutrients such as iron.
- It helps remove dirt, dust and residues present in the skin of the walnuts.
- It helps remove two-third of the phytic acid that helps promote better absorption of minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium. 
- It makes the walnuts easier to digest, easier to chew and nutrient-friendly.
- It makes walnuts less astringent.
How Do Soaked Walnuts Help People With Diabetes?
A study has shown that one oz of walnuts, five times or more a week can help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. They help improve endothelial functions and are a part of the Mediterranean diet associated with around 50 per cent reduction in diabetes. 
Rich in omega 3
Rich in antioxidants
Rich in fibre
Low in glycemic index
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid (2.5 g). This fatty acid may help reduce fasting and post-meal glucose levels due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Also, walnuts improve insulin insensitivity in diabetics that may help utilise glucose in a better way. Some studies also say that walnuts could be given with diabetic drug metformin with no drug interaction or adverse effects. 
A study has shown that walnuts are packed with antioxidants (3.68 mmol/oz) such as ellagic acid, flavonoids, vitamin E, melatonin, tocopherol, selenium and anthocyanins. These compounds may help reduce the risk of diabetes or manage glucose levels in diabetics. 
Walnuts contain 6.4 g of fibre per 100 g. When soaked, they become more digestible and chewable. The high fibre content in soaked walnuts may help improve glycemic control and inflammation and thus, helps in diabetes management.
Vitamin E is an essential vitamin in preventing or delaying the risk of diabetes-related complications such as heart diseases. Vitamin E, a fat-soluble and antioxidant vitamin, may help improve cell functions and blood flow. This can prevent the risk of diabetes complications such as poor vision, renal dysfunction, high cholesterol and coronary heart disease. 
Soaked walnuts can help decrease total cholesterol by 0.27 mmol/L and LDL (bad) cholesterol by 0.24 mmol/L and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Omega-3 and phytosterols in walnuts may also help reduce plasma triglycerides or blood cholesterol levels associated with diabetes. 
Walnuts are low in glycemic index, which means, they help prevent the sudden spike of glucose after consumption. It has a glycemic index of 15. Soaked walnuts make for a great diabetes snack rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids and vital minerals such as potassium and magnesium.
How To Add Soaked Walnuts To Diet?
Some of the amazing ways to add soaked walnuts to your diet are:
- Add soaked walnuts to oats or morning cereal.
- You can also toss some chopped soaked walnuts into a fruit salad.
- Prepare homemade granola bars with soaked and dried walnuts.
- Add them to yoghurt or curd.
How To Prepare Soaked Walnuts?
- One cup of raw and shelled walnuts.
- A pinch of Himalayan salt
- Two or two and a half cups of water.
- Place the walnuts in a bowl and add water and salt.
- Leave it for 4-8 hours.
- You can also loosely cover the bowl with a clean cloth.
- After they are done soaking, rinse the water.
- Consume after removing their shell first thing in the morning.
- If you think that they need more hours to get soaked, change the water after eight hours and put them in the fridge for an hour or two.
- If you want to store them, allow them to dry after soaking, over a sheet at room temperature for around six hours, and then transfer them to airtight containers.
Soaked walnuts are an excellent diet for people with diabetes. They are low in cholesterol and glycemic index and high in nutrition such as antioxidants. Consumption of soaked walnuts every day can also help prevent the risk of diabetes.
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