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Know your nuts!

16 days to go

One of my favourite go to snacks are nuts and there will be a selection of different ones in my tuck bag when I do my challenge.

Some people shy away from them because of their high calorie content whereas others, closer to home, will happily eat a large bag almost without blinking.  There’s a balance to be struck.

First of all, nuts are very healthy and very good for you (so long as you are not allergic to tree nuts or peanuts) as they’re full of protein, fibre and healthy fats and are among the most high energy foods we can eat. Each nut contains its own spectrum of minerals so eating a range of nuts help get the most benefit for an all round healthy diet.

Nuts are often processed by roasting with honey or salt and whilst they still retain their good stuff, it’s better to choose nuts without the processing.

Eating nuts in moderation, the same as any other food, is the way to get the best out of them without overeating. One way of doing this is to pre-portion your nuts rather than eat straight out of the packet – or simply limit yourself to a handful. Nuts are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, are helpful in maintaining a healthy weight and improving mood.

Here’s some info on a few of my favourites:

  1. Pistachios contain vitamin B6 good for immune and nervous systems. Antioxidants such as vitamin E, polyphenols, lutein and zeaxanthin which have been linked to decreasing the risk of developing macular degeneration. They are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which can help lower bad cholesterol.
  2. Walnuts also contain vitamins B6 and E together with folate and high levels of omega 3 which is beneficial for our brains. They’ve been linked with reduced levels of depression.
  3. Brazil nuts give us selenium, iron, calcium, Vitamins B1, B6 & E, copper, manganese amongst others. They linked with anti inflammatory activity and help heart and thyroid health.
  4. Almonds also offer a raft of minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium sodum, zinc, copper manganese and selenium together with Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, E, folate, choline and zeaxanthine. They’ve been linked with lowering cholesterol, blood sugar and high blood pressure
  5. Cashews contain their fair share of minerals but also provide L-tryptophan, an amino acid important for making serotonin, the happy hormone. So cashews can improve our mood but also the L-tryptophan makes melatonin the sleep hormone. Try a handful of cashews in the early evening to see if they help with sleep.

 

 

 

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