If you thought nuts were for the squirrels, think again, this often overlooked nutritious and delicious food source is usually rolled out only at Christmas and then forgotten about for another year. Either that or people mistakenly think that nuts are part of a hippy vegetarian lifestyle along with grown your own radishes and lentils. The truth is, nuts, together with some very tasty nut recipes can provide health, nutritious dishes high in protein and with great fat burning qualities throughout the year.
Here are ten top reasons why you should consider nuts in your daily diet.
High in calories - Gram for gram nuts are high in calories. For example, in just a 100 gram serving many nuts such as walnuts, brazil nuts and pecans can provided up 656 of energy giving calories. The fat content of these nuts is not the harmful type associated with full cream milk or animal fat; this is ‘good’ fat. Nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acid which has been shown to help with in the fight against heart disease.
Packed with vitamins and minerals – Did you know that nuts contain essential vitamins and minerals which help stave off illness and picking up bugs due to low immunity? It’s true. Nuts include important minerals such as potassium, zinc – great for fighting off colds – , vitamin E and high fiber. Nuts also contain calcium, which many people – especially women – do not get enough of in their diets and which can lead to osteoporosis in older age. Regular portions of nuts or meals which include nuts can boost the immune system and provide the body with a rich supply of antioxidants, which help delay the process of aging.
Fat burning properties – Nuts are not only nutritious and delicious to eat, they also include an important mineral called selenium. Selenium has been shown to help with weight-loss and can actually lessen the chances of contracting cancer and heart disease. Selenium is also a good protection against the free radicals which make us age faster. Any food source which can stave off the advances of old age is worth looking into.
Energy releasing food – Another important mineral that nuts such as walnuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts and even peanuts contain is magnesium. Magnesium provides our body with a source of slow burning energy. Magnesium also helps to release energy from some of the other foods you eat. For example, a chicken cashew stir fry with tasty cashew nuts is not only a delicious low fat meal in its own right – but the magnesium in the nuts helps to process energy which helps with muscle and nerve function.
Gluten free –The wonderful thing about nuts is that they contain a lot of good things without containing potentially harmful enzymes such as gluten. Nuts are completely gluten free and can be used as a delicious substitute for a filling and nutritious meal. It is typically probably one of the most used ingredients in gluten free recipes, and also makes sure you still get high amounts of vitamins and nutrients.
The Prostate – Nuts and seeds are great news for guys with a prostate problem and should be included as part of a regular diet. Nuts include a substance known as boron which can help to stave off prostate cancer. After the age of 50 many men start to experience prostate problems, but nuts can actually help to alleviate the problem. See out pine nuts, they have been used as an excellent source of prostate problem prevention for centuries.
Maintain Energy Levels - We mentioned nuts as a source of energy release, but they can also be energy giving. In particular, hazelnuts are packed with essential nutrients that supply a rich source of energy to the body. For the most effective way to boost energy, try taking hazelnuts just on their own. Most athletes will prefer hazelnuts over peanuts for instance because of the noticeable lift in energy and prefer this type when looking for a nut recipe.
Prevent Diabetes – Diabetes is increasing both in Western countries and in newly industrialized countries. Again, it’s the magnesium in nuts as part of a healthy balanced diet which helps to keep diabetes at bay.
Excellent source of Fiber - If you don’t believe nuts are a good source of fiber, try this simple test. Eat 100 grams of just about any type, cashews, walnuts, almonds, even peanuts and notice the difference in your bowel habits. Nuts provide roughage in a palatable non bloating form.
All round versatility – nuts go great with a wide variety of meats including fish, pork, turkey and chicken, they are also excellent with fried rice and in pastas too. Cashews, walnuts, almonds, even peanuts, they are all perfect for introducing into delicious nut recipe.
John Grant is a professional blogger and printed writer on many subjects relating to the importance of balanced diets. He also writes on the nutritional importance of many natural foods available on the market such as nut recipes.