Why is the nation nuts about nuts?
As we welcome March, we also welcome National Peanut Month AND National Nutrition Month. As we all know, nuts provide us with a quick, easy and filling snack both when we are relaxing and when we are on the go. We have outlined the major positives of eating these tasty little guys, and why they should make a regular appearance in your diet throughout your health and fitness journey.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF NUTS
There are hundreds of types of nuts which all provide us with different health credentials and benefits. Nuts are PACKED with fibre, protein and essential fats and are one of the nations favourite snacks. A typical golf-ball sized portion (about 30g) makes a vitality-boosting snack and provides our bodies with a mixture of valuable minerals and vitamins. So, which nut is your perfect match? Here are our top picks!
Starting with the family favourite, the peanut is probably the most inexpensive and common type of nut here in the UK. Found in a variety of foods from chocolate biscuits to gravy and pizza to pancakes, there is just no avoiding them. Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats. This type of fat is emphasised in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. A study found that this type of high monounsaturated diet reduced the cardiovascular disease risk by a whopping 21% when compared to a ‘typical’ American diet. In addition, peanuts are a fantastic source of Vitamin E, Niacin, Folate, protein and Manganese.
Being especially rich in Vitamin B6, which is important for keeping hormones balanced and healthy. According to Thomas and Gebhardt (2006), pistachios contain a lower calorie content of only 160 per one ounce in comparison to other nuts and dried fruits such as cashew nuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and chestnuts.
Pistachios also contain a higher amount of protein in comparison with other nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, and walnuts. The amount of protein found in pistachios is 6 g per 1 ounce, which is the highest in comparison to other nuts. The fat content in pistachios is also the lowest compared to other nuts hence they are the first choice nut for those on a weight-management diet.
Heart-friendly pecans are packed with plant sterols, valuable compounds that are effective at lowering cholesterol levels. Pecans are also antioxidant-rich which helps prevent the plaque formation that causes hardening of the arteries. They’re rich in oleic acid, the healthy fat found in olives and avocado. As a good source of vitamin B3 pecans are the perfect option if you’re fighting fatigue because this vitamin helps us access the energy in our food.
The most recent favourite, we love the cashew! They contribute a good level of protein and are a useful source of minerals like iron and zinc, cashews make an excellent choice if you’re following a vegetarian diet. They’re also rich in the mineral magnesium, which is thought to improve recall and delay, age-related memory loss. Add a handful to a vegetarian stir-fry or use as a nut butter on crackers or bread. We also suggest sprinkling a good amount of cashews onto your porridge in the mornings for the extra boost and to keep you fuller for *even* longer!
STORE YOUR NUTS RIGHT!
Nuts contain a high percentage of oil, therefore they can become stale and rancid fairly quickly. Your nuts will be fine as they are for the first 3 days, but from then on you must contain them in an airtight container which keeps them fresh and ready to eat whenever.
TIP: If you store your nuts in an airtight container, they will last up to 6 MONTHS in the fridge and up to 1 YEAR, yes 1 whole year, in the freezer. Click here to purchase our great value snack container which is shown below! This is a great way to keep your nuts separated. Why not mix it up a bit and fill a section with dried fruit and another with roasted oats? Then you my friend have got yourself some tasty muesli – just top with plain yoghurt or soya milk for a wholesome breakfast, mmm.
INCORPORATING NUTS INTO YOUR DIET
The versatility of nuts means that they can be enjoyed at ANY time of the day. Keep an eye on our Facebook page on Friday 4th March from 9am for our “10 hour Nut Recipe Marathon“.
Every hour on the hour from 9am we will release a tempting & delicious nut-based recipe which you can easily prep & pack before leaving the house!