Walnut Benefits with Nina Lawrin




Would you prefer watching or reading this episode? If so, click here for the ‘Walnut Benefits with Nina Lawrin’ video and transcript.

Episode Summary

In this episode, Nina Lawrin and I explore the many benefits walnuts bring to us, including some that may sound a bit surprising at first listen (but which I think you’ll love exploring for yourself). 

Also, you don’t want to miss Nina’s delicious recipe for Raw Vegan Walnut and Coffee Cheesecake-Torte, which is her twist on a Ukrainian walnut torte that is traditionally eaten at Christmas, weddings, and other celebrations.

Nina is an ethnobotanist, urban forager, permaculture designer, artist, folk herbalist, Fulbright alumna and just a general foodie at heart. She has a lot of wisdom to share, both from her studies and from her own journey with plants.

It was a great pleasure to spend time with Nina and I’m excited to share our conversation with you!


While I was in Ukraine, I realized the cultural importance of the foods that we eat and our access to them – these reminders of home – and even through immigration, how these culturally salient plants come and move through us as we move throughout the world.

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What You’ll Learn from This Episode

  • [00:36] Introduction
  • [03:35] Nina’s journey to working with herbs
  • [10:51] Nina shares her familial ties to walnuts
  • [13:30] Nina’s thoughts about the cultural significance of food plants 
  • [15:21] The Ukrainian walnut torte traditionally made for celebrations
  • [16:12] Why it matters to make plants part of everyday life
  • [17:40] The health benefits of walnuts (Juglans regia and Juglans nigra)
  • [26:55] Nina’s Raw Vegan Walnut and Coffee Cheesecake-Torte recipe
  • [31:18] Nina shares her current herbal projects
  • [34:28] How herbs have surprised Nina
  • [38:08] Learning a new language as a metaphor for getting to know herbs

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Resources Mentioned

  • Chauhan, A., 2020. Beneficial Effects of Walnuts on Cognition and Brain Health. Nutrients. Vol 12 (2): 550.
  • Guasch-Ferré, M., Drouin-Chartier, J.,Ruiz-Canela M., Razquin C., Toledo E. 2021. Walnut Consumption, Plasma Metabolomics, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. Nutrition. 151(2): 303-311.

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