A Comprehensive Guide to Nuts
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you’re aware nuts and seeds are good for you. They can be stuffed into a baggy that fits into your tiniest clutch and make for a convenient mid day snack. Plus who doesn’t love a good nut butter? As a nutritionist I’m going to spew out five reasons why you need to start eating nuts right now. Plus a little guide on how much you should be eating, what kinds to buy, and how to store them. Eat some nuts!
We love fiber. Nuts are a great source of insoluble fiber which will help move food through the digestive tract and acts as a bulking agent in your stool. Aka: it will help you have nicely formed poops.
These are the good fats. Nuts are full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which lower LDL (low-density lipoproteins). Unsaturated fats = lowers cholesterol.
Several nuts contain a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. If you aren’t grilling salmon on the regular then add walnuts, pecans and pine nuts to the rotation to get a little dose of omega-3’s.
This mineral is in high quantities in most nuts. Manganese does a great deal for the body such as helping the body form connective tissue (this stuff holds you together), bone formation, blood clotting factors, and helps to generate sex hormones. See, it’s important. Manganese also helps in carbohydrate metabolism, blood sugar regulation, and calcium absorption.
L-arginine is an amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It also plays an important role in reducing arterial plaque buildup, platelet clumping, and increasing blood flow through your arteries. You can see why it’s an important factor for our immune system and wound healing.
Don’t go nuts on the nuts. They do contain phytic acid and will upset your stomach if you’re eating them in copious amounts. No need for another lecture on moderation, just keep it less than a handful per day, this also includes nut butters. Don’t worry about homemade nut milks, since the nuts have been soaked in water and drained, the phytic acid content has been reduced. Remember to switch it up. Each nut has different nutritional properties. For instance, one ounce of brazil nuts has 767% of your daily value of selenium, whereas almonds only have one percent.
Buying and Stories
I know that Costco mix is enticing, but when roasted and lightly salted is on the product packaging, just pass. Even though most “raw” nuts in North America have been irradiated they are still a far superior option to sodium laden counterparts.
It’s important to store your nuts and seeds in the fridge or freezer because the heat can make the nuts become rancid faster. Keeping them in a cool place will reduce the risk of oxidation.
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Now you know all about nuts. It’s time to hit the bird feed and learn about seeds!