Grab your nuts….and go!

Nuts are seeds that are covered in a hard shell.  They are an excellent source of protein, fiber and healthy fats.  They are tasty and are great “on-the-go”.  If you are cutting down on your animal sourced foods, nuts are a great way to ensure that you get enough of these nutrients.

The food guide pyramid counts 1/3 cup of nuts as the equivalent of 1 oz meat.

Most nuts are great by themselves, but think about adding nuts to your salad, smoothie, or blending them into your soup (check out this recipe for pumpkin soup with added walnuts or pine nuts here) or add ground nuts to your hot cereal.

Here is a rundown of the top varieties, their calorie content and what makes them special. I could go on and on about the health benefits of nuts, but these are the highlights. Click on the name of the nut to get more in-depth info.

All the nuts are relatively high in total fat, so be careful when using them daily in your diet.

Walnuts are great in muffins and cookies

Walnuts:

  • serving size: 14 halves        calories: 185
  • Omega 3:  2.6 g (as much as 4 oz   of canned salmon) The only nut to have high Omega 3’s

Special fact:   This type of Omega 3 fatty acid is high in alpha-linolenic which has brain boosting power that help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The favorite nut of dietitians-low cal high fiber

Almonds:

  • serving size: 23 nuts
  • calories: 163

lead the nuts in fiber content,  vitamin E  and calcium.  1/4 cup almonds has more calcium than 1/2 cup ice cream                                                                                                                                    (95 vs 85 mg)

Notoriously hard to shell and expensive

Macadamia

  • serving size: 11 nuts
  • calories:  204

Special fact: High in Thiamine with keeps your nervous system healthy

Pistachios are related to the mango

 

Pistachios

  • Serving size:  49 nuts
  • calories: 162

Special fact:  Rich in lutein, an anti-oxidant for healthy vision and skin. Also have as much potassium as a small banana (287 mg) (Notice that natural pistachios are beige…not red. They are dyed to hide imperfections that occur in harvesting.)

One of the favorites to eat on their own

Cashews

  • serving size:  18 nuts
  • calories:  163

Special fact:   get 10% of your daily RDA of iron (1.9 mg) in 1 serving.  Also a great source of folate (cancer fighter) and vitamin K (helps blood to clot normally).

 

 

brazil nut trees can live 500 years!

Brazil

  • serving size:  6 nuts
  • calories:  186

Special facts:  One Brazil nut contains more than the required daily allowance for selenium.  Selenium is the subject of many studies that suggest selenium can prevent cancers. It is essential for Thyroid health, but too much selenium can cause hair loss, so don’t eat brazil nuts every day.

If you think "PIE" when you see these, your diet probably needs some work

Pecans

  • serving size:  19 halves
  • calories:  196

Special fact:  Pecans are rich in beta-sitosterol, a type of plant sterol found to lower cholesterol, and aid in prostate health as well as fight cancers.

The smallest of the nuts here, is big on nutrition

Pine nuts

  • serving size:  1/4 cup
  • calories:  228

Special fact: High in manganese, a mineral that helps metabolize carbs and protein.  Pine nuts are the nuts of choice for weight loss because of this fact, and the fact that the fatty acids in pine nuts increase hormones that help you to feel full.  Also high in iron (3 mg).

Some other things to remember with nuts:  watch the added salt. Better to buy raw or roasted unsalted.

And for-the-love- of-all-that-is-clean…don’t eat the nuts at the bar!!  Do you know how many people reached into that bowl that didn’t wash their hands in the restroom?!!  It’s disgusting!

Notice I didn’t include peanuts……because peanuts are technically not nuts at all. They are part of the legume family as in beans.

If you like peanut butter, try almond butter which packs a bit more nutrition and tastes just as good with grape jelly.  🙂

Thanks for reading! Healthy living!

some info taken from November 2010 Health magazine



Categories: diet, health, health and wellness, healthy diet, vegan diet, vegetarian diet

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. What a beautiful blog! Thanks for visiting my site and for all your thoughtful comments. It sounds like you truly live life and enjoy it to its fullest!

  2. This was really informative – I had no idea peanuts were not a nut, but a legume! And to think I would trade them out occassionally when I got burnt out on Almonds or Pecans. Shame on me. 🙂 Thanks for this great post.

  3. Another great post packed with helpful information! I like roasting my own almonds as I get a good bulk price when they are raw. I also love pecans… they grace the top of my oatmeal in the morning. This is a great list which I will refer back to again, thx for spreading the word about the wonderful health benefits of nuts.

  4. Thanks for adding my blog (and liking my style)!

  5. I am adding your blog to my favorites list! 🙂

    I like your style.

  6. Thanks for the tip! and thanks for reading!

  7. Thanks for this nutty post! I love nuts and eat a handful most days as my midmorning or afternoon snack. Just a note about pine nuts — some people are sensitive to them and they can cause a long-lasting bitter taste in the mouth (I mean for days — the kind of bitter that makes chocolate taste putrid!). I thought I had some rare disease because my taste buds were wacky for days. Then after some research (Web MD style) i learned I was sensitive to pine nuts.
    Thank goodness I can eat other nuts with no effect!

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