Hey ! Don't Grab My, Nuts !!

                                   Nuts and their oils are unsaturated and extremely healthy. 

With all the empty calorie, inflammatory fast food choices that Americans are overwhelmed with every day, sometimes it's better to just grab your nut's. There are many ongoing studies that have suggested that nuts are a beneficial food in lowering the risk of heart disease and perhaps conditions like high blood pressure, by increasing circulation. The fat found in nuts is polyunsaturated and mono-saturated non-artery-clogging fat and this is why nuts are considered healthy despite their high fat content.

Nut Yoga picturesThe important thing to remember is the portion size. Nuts should be eaten in small amounts, not more than 2 or 3 handfuls at a time. Although they can be eaten a many times throughout a day. Just don't eat a large amount at any one time. A handful of nuts may not seem like enough of a snack, but if you're still hungry, have a piece of fruit with your handful of nut's. Nuts are a healthy source of plant protein and can be used dishes like stir fries or to top casseroles, salad's, or yogurt . Lightly roasted pecans or walnuts served over unsweetened applesauce is a great dessert. The fat in nuts is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts are especially high in these important fatty acids, but all nuts are considered healthy because of their protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins. Nuts are also a source of Vitamin E, fiber, folic acid and antioxidants as well as minerals such as magnesium, zinc and copper. Here's how a few of my favorites rate:

My favorites:
        Pecan Nuts

  • Are a good source of protein, pecans are high in unsaturated fats
  • They contain a reasonable amount of fiber, and modest amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc
  • Pecans naturally provide the body with zinc, which helps the body produce testosterone, the hormone that perks sexual desire in men and women. 
  • Pecans have been found to lower LDL cholesterol in people with normal lipid levels. 
  • 1 ounce (20 halves) of pecan nuts contains 196 calories

         Pistachio Nuts
  • Pistachio nuts are a good source of protein, and contain valuable amounts of fiber, with some iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamin A.
  • Pistachio nuts are a rich source of many phyto-chemical substances including carotenes, vitamin E, and polyphenolic antioxidant compounds, that protect the body from diseases, cancers, as well as infections.
  • They also contain significant amounts of vitamin E and potassium
  • One ounce of pistachios contains 161 calories
  • Actually belong in the legume family along with peas, beans and lentils
  • They are high in protein and comparatively low in fat
  • They are also a good source of fiber, magnesium, iron and zinc, and an excellent source of vitamin D
  • Try to buy the unsalted varieties when possible
  • One ounce of peanuts contains 161 calories
  • Walnuts are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
  • They provide protein, iron, zinc, vitamin E. 
  • Walnuts contain a compound known as ellagic acid; ellagic acid bolsters the immune system and might have anti-cancer properties. The FDA, has recently declared that 1.5 ounce of walnuts per day may help reduce the risk of heart attack.
  • Walnuts have become well-known, for their high omega-3 fatty acid content.
  • One ounce of walnuts contains 185 calories

        Cashew Nuts
  • Cashews are a good source of potassium, protein.
  • They also provide vitamin A and iron
  • Cashew nuts also contain zea-xanthin, an important pigment flavonoid antioxidant, which selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes. It is thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV ray filtering functions and helps prevent age-related macular degeneration.
  • Fresh nuts should last for 5-6 months stored shelled inside an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • One ounce of cashew nuts contains 157 calories

         Pumpkin Seeds
  • Seeds are lower in fat than most other nuts 
  • They are a good source of fiber, magnesium and potassium, and an excellent source of protein, iron, phosphorus and zinc.
  • Pumpkin seeds contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which may be responsible for shrinking the prostate.
  • Eat them in both sweet or savory dishes, or spicy with chili powder on them.
  • One ounce of pumpkin seeds contains 153 calories
        Sunflower Seeds
  • They are a good source of potassium and phosphorous
  • They also contain protein, B vitamins, iron, calcium, zinc. Sunflower seeds are incredible sources of folic acidFolic acid is essential for DNA synthesis.
  • They are one of the best sources of vitamin E
  • They can be eaten raw, toasted, or sprinkled over salads, breakfast cereals, muffins, or over grilled fish
  • 1 ounce of sunflower seeds contains 165 calories

In a study reported in the June, 2007 Journal Of Lipids Researchnotes that in addition to being rich sources of oleic and palmitoleic acids, nuts contain polyphenol compounds that lead them to conclude that consumption of nuts can be expected to confer health benefits. They published a study that examined the effects of macadamia consumption on biomarkers of oxidative stress, coagulation and inflammation in males with high cholesterol levels. Seventeen such males were given macadamia nuts equivalent to 15% of energy intake for a period of 4 weeks. As expected by the researchers, monounsaturated fatty acids were elevated in the plasma lipids of all study participants following the period of consumption of macadamias. Plasma markers of inflammation and oxidative stress were significantly lower. This study demonstrated for the first time that short-term macadamia nut consumption favorably modifies the biomarkers of oxidative stress, thrombosis and inflammation, the risk factors for coronary artery disease, despite an increase in dietary fat intake.

  • Carry them along with you wherever you go
  • There is no need of special containers or carry boxes.
  • They have long shelf life. Unlike fruits and vegetables, nuts are almost non- perishable.
Compared to a McDonalds cheesburger, Nuts have 6% carbs (fiber), 80% fats (good fats), 14% protein. The cheesburger on the other hand has, 40% carbs (empty calorie white flour bun), 40% saturated fat (artery clogging fat) + trans-fats (artificial artery clogging fat's) 20% protein. Now nut's you can enjoy wherever you want, whenever you like. Nuts are storehouse of health benefiting poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidants such as carotenes, resveratrol, lutein, cryptoxanthin etc. These compounds have been found to be protective against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer's disease, and viral/ fungal infections. They are rich source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids like Linoleic acid, α-Linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid, Docosahexonic acid etc.

Research studies have suggested that n-3 or ω-3 fatty acids by their virtue of anti-inflammatory action helps to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and breast, colon and prostate cancers. They contain very good levels of vitamin-E, a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E is required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin; thus, protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals. Nuts nutrition provides many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Nutrition is total in nuts in the sense that in addition to oils, vitamins and anti-oxidents they are rich source of minerals. A real super food nuts are. Unless you have a nut allergy in which case you have my sympathy. For the rest of us, a good nutritional choice when you're in a hurry or on the run or relaxing with a beer or cooking dinner. Just grab your nut's, but remember never grab your neighbors nuts, unless they ask you to. Good Luck...

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