Everyone has their favourite

Gail Braznell
Nuts are loaded with protein, fibre, essential fats, antioxidants and minerals which make them great for you. There are so many varieties of nuts, all with distinct tastes, flavours, textures, and aromas. A nut is a simple dry fruit with one or two seeds in which the ovary wall becomes very hard (stony or woody) at maturity, and where the seed remains attached or fused with the ovary wall.

Cashews are loaded with fibre and protein and have twice the iron concentration of minced beef. Iron helps carry oxygen around the body, lack of this nutrient can lead to extreme tiredness and poor concentration.

Peanuts pack seven grammes of protein per serving and are a good source of antioxidants and B-complex vitamins. The fat, protein and fibre in peanuts will help you feel full for longer and less likely to snack later on.

Brazil nuts are unique with their high selenium content, whose antioxidant properties protect against heart disease, cancer, and ageing. They are the richest source of selenium, a nutrient that helps protect cells. Higher selenium levels have been linked with a reduced risk of certain cancers (such as bladder and prostate). Just two nuts will provide more than your daily needs.

Pistachios are packed with fibre, a couple of handfuls of shelled pistachios have more potassium than a banana. That helps (as part of a healthy diet) to control blood pressure as potassium blunts the effects of salt.

Pecans can help lower your cholesterol. Just five pecans contain around a sixth of the recommended daily allowance for zinc, which is vital for the functioning of white blood cells that fight bacteria and viruses, including cold and flu.

Walnuts have a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids and are proven to lower cholesterol. One-quarter of a cup of walnuts, provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of plant-based omega-3 fats, along with high amounts of copper, manganese, molybdenum, and biotin.

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Almonds are high in fibre and carb-free, they lower the glycemic index (the rate at which sugar enters your bloodstream) of the meal they’re part of and are high in magnesium, which also plays a role in regulating blood sugar.

Hazelnuts are rich in fibre, calcium, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and biotin, making them an all-around healthy food. These are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and one of the richest natural sources of the cell-protective vitamin E.

Macadamia nuts are similar to Brazil nuts in flavour and texture, except that they are small and round. They have a very good unsaturated fat content (omega-3 and omega-6), including oleic and palmitoleic acid which is also found in fish oils. These oils are very nutritionally beneficial to hair, skin, cell, nervous and brain health. The good fatty acids in macadamias have been linked to the reduction of high cholesterol levels.

Chestnuts, unlike other nuts and seeds, are relatively low in calories, they carry less fat, but are rich sources of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients that immensely benefit health.
Another unique feature of chestnuts is that they primarily made of starch in contrast to other seeds and nuts, which are high in calorie, protein, and fat. Chestnuts nutrition composition is, therefore, comparable to that of other staple starch foods such as sweet potato, sweet corn and potatoes.
And, if you really can’t choose just one favourite nut, then you can just mix them all together.

Getting your daily dose of nuts is much easier than you think!

If you are looking for new ways to add more nuts to your diet kick-start your mornings by adding nuts to your breakfast of oatmeal, cereal, or yoghurt.

Before you head out for the day, mix up your own custom trail mix with equal parts nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

Toss a handful of nuts over a salad for a protein punch and delicious nutty crunch.

Chopped nuts are a nutritious addition to baked goods like bread, muffins, brownies, and scones. Or mix them in a batch of homemade granola bars for snacking through the day.

You can’t go wrong with a cookie jar classic like white chocolate nut cookies or a for a special treat, try chocolate-dipped strawberries rolled in assorted chopped nuts.

A healthy daily intake of nuts is about an ounce (a small handful)

The amount you eat is important, just because nuts are healthy it doesn’t mean you can eat all you want. An ounce of nuts does make a healthy, satisfying snack. It may not seem like much food but the healthy fats in nuts can help you feel fuller. Since some fat is trapped in the fibrous structure of the nut, it passes through the body rather than being digested.

How Many Nuts in 1 Ounce

22 Almonds (170 calories)

18 Cashews (160 calories)

47 Pistachios (160 calories)

14 Walnut halves (185 calories)