Although nuts have gotten a bad reputation
over time for containing a lot of fat, they are actually very nutritious. If
they aren’t a part of your diet, they should be.
Nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids which,
interestingly, are now regarded as the good fat that helps lower high
cholesterol, reduce blood clotting, and improve the lining of the arteries.
They also keep one full and contains a lot of omega-3 – an essential fatty acid
for maintaining good health.
Here are four interesting things you should
know about nuts:
Peanuts are the most popular member of the ‘nut’ family. Whether eaten raw or processed from planters, or even as peanut butter or oil, they are very well-consumed. In fact, they account for almost two-thirds of American nut consumption. However, it’s interesting to know that they aren’t really nuts.
While they are classified as nuts for
nutritionally and culinary purposes, peanuts are biologically classified as
legumes. Nuts, like almonds, walnuts, and others, grow on trees but peanuts
They belong to the same plant family as beans and peas – Leguminosae. Their belonging to this family also means they are one of the best sources of concentrated protein in the plant kingdom. Nut or no nut, peanuts are still very healthy.
- Walnuts contain the most omega-3
Most nuts contain omega-3 fatty acid to some
extent, but walnuts have the highest share. The average serving of walnut
contains around 2,500 mg of omega-3. This means walnuts have over 100% of the
average person’s daily value packed into their shell.
Omega-3 is beneficial in keeping people
healthy and managing heart disease. Several pieces of research have shown
omega-3 lowers blood pressure, impedes the development of plaque in the
bloodstream, and in turn, reduces the chances of a heart attack or a stroke.
However, omega-3 isn’t produced by the human
body. This means that we have to consume foods that contain omega-3, including
walnuts, to get it. Other sources of omega-3 are soybean, fish, and oysters.
- Most almonds go into
Almonds and chocolate go hand in hand. The
flavorful combination of the two has been a staple for many years. That’s why
it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that a whopping 40% of all almonds
produced worldwide go into chocolates.
- Brazil nuts are the
healthiest nuts, and they’re not even from Brazil.
Like all other nuts, Brazil nuts are
incredibly healthy as they contain monosaturated fatty acids that help fight
bad cholesterol. They are especially popular for their high selenium content
which the body needs for reproduction and thyroid gland function, among other
things. They also contain ellagic acid which has neuroprotective benefits.
These make them probably the healthiest nuts to consume.
Also, it’s interesting that they don’t come
from Brazil…not really. They are found on the Bertholletia excelsa tree which
grows in the Amazon forest, which
stretches for about 2.7 million square miles in South America. In fact, around half
of the Brazil nuts imported into the US are actually grown in Bolivia.