Are you nuts? Well maybe we’re all a little nuts sometimes, but do you eat them? If you answered yes then read about the wondrous things they are doing for your body below. If you answered no, we think that you’ll change your mind by the end of this article.
So why should you be going nuts over nuts? Well, for starters, they are one of the best sources of minerals that you can include in your diet. Besides dairy, nuts are one of the highest sources of calcium, which we all know is essential for keeping our bones strong as well as helping with many other body processes. They also contain good levels of magnesium, a mineral that we need for over 300 reactions in the body. Without enough magnesium we can feel more stressed, fatigued, get muscle cramps and crave more sugar.
In addition to calcium and magnesium, nuts contain varying levels of other minerals important to health. Brazil nuts are the richest source of selenium, which supports thyroid function and is essential for breast cancer prevention. Cashews and pine nuts are high in iron, which we need to carry oxygen around our bodies.
Nuts are also an excellent source of essential fatty acids. They contain beneficial omega 6 and 9 fats, and walnuts in particular are a great source of omega 3. These good fats are essential from everything to mood balance, hormonal function and brain health. To get the benefit of these fats, nuts need to be consumed raw and untoasted so the oils retain their properties.
To top off their excellent nutritional profile, nuts also boast good levels of both protein and fibre. Eating a small serving of nuts alongside a serve of fruit is a great way to reduce the effect of fruit on blood sugar levels.
If you’re not eating nuts yet, there are many ways that you can include them in your diet. They are the perfect snack on the run and a great thing to keep in your office drawer for when you’re feeling peckish. You can also add nuts to salads and vegetable dishes to give them extra flavor and nutrition. Presoaking nuts and adding them to smoothies is another great way to include them in your diet.
So how many nuts can you have? We recommend having 1-2 small handfuls each day, always raw. Nuts can be difficult to digest, so make sure that you chew them very well or activate them if your digestive system is sluggish.