I don’t know about you, but peanut butter has always been my go to when it comes to nuts. The thing is if I am being politically correct, peanuts are actually not classified as a nut, but as a legume. Along with beans and peas, peanuts are grown underground while nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans are grown on a tree. Even though peanuts are not technically a nut, they are still great for you so keep eating them! Peanuts (beans and peas too) have the most concentrated amount of protein in the plant kingdom so don’t stop enjoying your PB&J!
Even though peanuts do not belong to the nut category, classified nuts such as almonds and walnuts have so many benefits and are great to incorporate into your regular diet. It is pretty well known that nuts are an excellent source of protein, but here is a guide to help you to tap into the many benefits of the most popular nuts you can find in most grocery stores!
Whether you like to eat your almonds in the form of milk, butter, raw or flavored (Try Blue Diamonds Wasabi Almonds, SO GOOD!), you are doing your body a great favor by snacking on this nut. One ounce of almonds contains 3.5 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, and a high amount of Magnesium (20% of the recommended daily amount). Almonds also contain many antioxidants and are among the world’s best source of vitamin E. SERIOSULY!! One ounce contains 37% of the recommended daily intake. Almonds also assist with blood sugar control and the magnesium found in almonds helps to lower cholesterol levels.
Yeah, I know it…that’s a lot of information on almonds.
If you aren’t convinced yet, almonds also reduce your hunger, lowering your overall calorie intake.
Bottom line? EAT. MORE. ALMONDS.
Honestly, cashews are probably my favorite nut. Cashews have this sweet, buttery taste…they are DELICIOUS, especially when seasoned with a little bit of salt! Cashews are one of the lowest nuts in fiber, but they are packed with nutrients. They are high in Vitamins E, K, and B6 and are naturally cholesterol free. Cashews can help to reduce blood pressure, and like carrots they are excellent for your eyes, protecting against cataracts.
Sometimes the simplest foods are the best for your health, and this holds true for walnuts. Simply eating one fourth of a cup of walnuts provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommendation for omega-3 fats plus high amounts of copper and manganese. Studies have also shown that walnuts help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and breast cancer as well. Adding healthy amounts of walnuts can also help with weight control. Walnuts even improve sperm quality, and offer support for brain health along with type 2 diabetes.
So basically, EAT MORE (WAL)NUTS!
I once heard the quote, “pop a pecan, not a pill.” PECANS ARE GREAT! Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, and zinc. Pecans are also great in age defying antioxidants. THAT IS NOT ALL, pecans also help to lower “bad” cholesterol.
I don’t know about you, but I have a new appreciation for pecan pie on Thanksgiving…
Just like almonds, one ounce of pistachios contains 6 grams of protein. Pistachios are high in Vitamins A and E, and contain Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 tends to be a vitamin difficult for us to get enough of, so go ahead and ENJOY SOME PISTACHIOS! You will be doing your body a great favor.
When you buy your typical container of mixed nuts, Brazil nuts are those larger, smooth ones, and there’s typically only a few of them in the container. I always used to avoid them and pick around this nut until I found out this: Brazil nuts are the number one food source of selenium (selenium helps to fight inflammation and actually boosts your mood). Seriously, this nut is a happy pill. Brazil nuts help to lift your mood and help to prevent depression! Brazil nuts also make the list for cancer fighting foods.
SIMPLY EAT ONE A DAY! THAT IS ALL YOU NEED!
If you enjoy coffee, you probably know the great smell of hazelnuts. They taste pretty darn good too. One of the greatest benefit of hazelnuts is its neuroprotective qualities. Hazelnuts are excellent brain food! In addition, hazelnuts are also loaded with vitamins and nutrients your body needs and craves. Eat 4 or 5 of these nuts every now and then…it only takes a few to reap the health benefits of hazelnuts.
So there you have it…although this is only a handful (pun intended) of some of the greatest nuts out there, I encourage you to give them a try. Try incorporating nuts into your regular diet and let your body enjoy all of the amazing benefits!
When it comes to nuts, eating proportionally is extremely important. I get it, it is so easy to slam a few handfuls of nuts. I just advise you to be careful about this. Nuts are truly an excellent source of natural fat, but pay attention to the labels and recommended servings so you don’t overdo it.
Lastly, these make a GREAT low carb, nighttime snack!
ENJOY SOME NUTS!