What You Should Know About Nuts

Nuts are a product highly respected by vegetarians, healthy eaters, and fans of all kinds of diets.

Nutritionists do not consider the high-calorie content (500-700 kcal) to be a reason to eliminate nuts from the diet – on the contrary, they are recommended for those who want to lose weight. Calories help satisfy hunger, valuable substances (proteins with amino acids, LDL, vitamins, minerals, etc.) have a very beneficial effect on health, and improving metabolism means active carbohydrate consumption and fat burning.

The most common types of nuts

There are not so many types of nuts in the world, although there are dozens of those known to science. It’s just that people are used to calling fruits with a more or less hard shell (shell) and edible kernel nuts. In fact, only hazelnuts and some other members of the family can be called nuts, and almost all the rest are nut crops, but their taste, composition, and properties are very similar.

Peanuts and almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts are more common in stores; cashews and Brazil nuts have appeared in recent years.

  • Peanuts are not a nut, they are a legume; they are inexpensive and tasty. All nuts are rich in protein – up to 35% in peanuts. It is well-digested and rich in antioxidants; it is recommended for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and oncology; after roasting, the antioxidant properties are enhanced.
  • Almonds contain up to 30% protein and up to 62% fat. It is useful for strengthening bone tissue and improving blood composition, treating digestive disorders and kidney disease, cough, colds, anemia, etc.
  • Hazelnuts – up to 60% fat, and 20% protein; are more caloric than chocolate. It is considered a powerful enemy of cancer, and diseases of muscle and bone tissue; improves the production of sex hormones and the central nervous system. An excellent source of energy; can be eaten by diabetics.
  • Walnuts – are more common in culinary recipes than all the others. They are convenient to store: the shell protects the fruit reliably and opens easily. There are many medicinal properties: epithelizing wound healing, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, hemostatic, etc. The anti-sclerotic effect is especially appreciated: regular consumption significantly reduces blood cholesterol, especially the “bad” one, cleanses blood vessels – even with a fat content of up to 60% – and improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and other systems.
  • Pistachios are considered a snack in our country, and in vain: they are perfectly satiating; they are useful even for serious illnesses, such as tuberculosis, they perfectly relieve inflammation and “precipitate” heavy metals, improve vision and lower blood sugar; they reduce the risk of cancer and infertility; they are rich in copper and manganese, B vitamins and phosphorus.

How to eat nuts properly

Almost all nuts can be eaten raw – it’s the best way to get all the good stuff in them. However, raw nuts are an unprofitable product for sellers: they spoil quickly, can become moldy or dry, and are affected by fungi and pests. If you are lucky enough to buy fresh, high-quality raw nuts, eat them safely – in reasonable quantities. You can lightly dry them in the oven, but do not fry them in a pan with sugar, salt, or seasonings: the calorie content will increase, the usefulness will decrease; seasoned nuts seem insanely delicious, and then swelling and kidney problems occur.

When trying any kind of nuts for the first time, do not eat a lot. Almost all nuts can cause allergies (the exception is pine nuts), so eat 1-2 pieces and wait a day: if everything is fine, you can eat 25-40 grams per day. Another point: nuts are rich in fiber and oil – they stimulate intestinal motility, but can cause constipation if you eat a full portion in one sitting.
Before drying pistachios, hazelnuts, peanuts, and almonds soak them in clean, cold water for a couple of hours: the dark skin will come off more easily.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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