Eating a healthy diet is on everyone’s agenda. We are bombarded by suggestions of what that should include and what we should avoid. We are swayed too easily by fad diets and promises of weight loss. Perhaps we should look to the innate goodness of nature’s produce and what better, more nutritious food than the nut.
Did you know that not all nuts are created equal? For example, there is the peanut which is actually a legume. This popular protein source grows underground in an enclosed pod. As such, it belongs to a different plant family that includes beans, peas, and lentils.
The cashew is another fascinating food. While they split in half like a legume, they are not part of that family. They grow on a tree, but they are not a tree nut. Cashew are considered drupes, which means stone fruit. Drupes are fruits that have a soft fleshy exterior and a pit with a seed inside, like peaches and plums. Amazing!
The classic tree nuts – Almonds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, and Pistachios
The almond contains more fiber and vitamin E than any other nut and is an excellent source of magnesium and manganese. The antioxidant function of vitamin E can reduce your LDL or bad cholesterol and overall lower your cholesterol levels. Almonds are highly rated in Ayurvedic medicine for their contribution to increased brain capacity, intellect, and longevity.
While walnuts do not have the high fiber content of almonds and are lower in monounsaturated fats as compare with many other nuts, they are significantly higher in omega-3 fats. Another interesting fact about walnuts is their melatonin content, which is beneficial in treating insomnia.
Another high score in vitamin E and manganese is achieved by the hazelnut. In addition, hazelnuts provide thiamine, folate, and fatty acids which are known to improve brain and cognitive function and help prevent degenerative diseases later in life. They are also a good source of folate, which contributes to spine and brain development during pregnancy.
Another popular tree nut is the pistachio which provides excellent sources of vitamin B6, copper, manganese, and potassium. Pistachios have some of the highest polyphenol and flavonoid content among the tree nuts are known for satisfying hunger and thus reducing caloric intake. Other benefits include their positive effects on blood pressure, obesity, and glycemic control.
Energy Dense – Nutrient Dense
While nuts are high in fat, they are also high in nutrients, fiber, and protein. They are an excellent snack since they are energy dense. Peanuts contain some of the highest levels of protein per serving among the nuts, while also offering niacin, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin E. The peanut skin is particularly nutritious; don’t discard it!
Nuts can be found in everything from breakfast recipes, to savory dishes, to your favorite dessert. Nuts are part of many delicious, healthy recipes. The great part about nuts is they store well and don’t require refrigeration. However, they should be stored in cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Let Interra International help you find the right nut sources and bulk packaging that would best serve your business. Our product experts are here to help. Contact us or simply call us today for more information. (+1) 770.612.8101