I’m kinda nuts for nuts lately. They’ve got to be one of the easiest, most delicious and satisfying whole foods on the planet, don’t you think?
I get the feeling some people are scared of nuts because of their high fat content. But when you flip that fear mongering on its head the facts are this: Nuts contain many of the key nutrients we need in one tiny package, including healthy fats, fiber, proteins and, yes, carbohydrates—all of which we need plenty of.
When you’re busy or on the run, it’s easy to reach for crappy food out of convenience. But these days, if I’m starving and my next meal is a little ways away, a handful of nuts is the perfect tide-over to keep me focused.
Lately, I’ve been especially into almonds and pistachios. The latter are not only delicious, but I love popping them out of their shells, like a little reminder that we once had to do some work for our food. What’s your nut of choice?
According to the Mayo Clinic, nuts can also prevent heart disease. Nutrients do vary by type, but most nuts contain omega-3s, vitamin E, plant sterols, and l-arginine. Most of these are proven to be good for our hearts and health in multiple ways—not to mention our skin!
Fun Ways To Eat Them
Inspired by Siobhan’s seed post last week, I thought I’d share some of my favorite creative ways to eat nuts. Got any fun nutty recipes?
—In dessert. I still love this recipe that features salty almond butter in Greek yogurt.
—In soup. And this one too.
—In stir frys. Cashews, almonds, or whatever nut you have on-hand can add all kinds of texture and deliciousness to a fry.
—In salad. Especially good with asian salad dressings, like rice vinegar, miso paste, olive oil and green onions.
OK, you’re up.
Do you live in New York? If so, have you seen those ads on the train by the National Peanut Board that say peanuts—which have had a bit of a PR problem due to recalls and that whole salmonella thing—have more antioxidants than broccoli, carrots and green tea? Obvious follow up question, of course, is: Based on what? Servings of the same size? Because that makes sense: peanuts are tiny and nutrient-dense, whereas broccoli is, well, larger, but also nutrient rich. And one would never eat equal amounts by volume of peanuts and broccoli, no matter how much they like nuts. You might have a cup of broccoli, and a handful of peanuts—say an eighth of a cup. Both may be good for you in their way, but knowing what we know about the disease fighting powers of green tea, broccoli and carrots—not to mention their low caloric values—it seems a silly comparison to make. Which isn’t to say peanuts aren’t good for you, because they are! But, yeah.
In any case, that’s an overly long wind-up to the real news here, which is that when it comes to nuts, walnuts have been named antioxidant champion of the world.
From the wires:
In a report here today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, scientists presented an analysis showing that walnuts have a combination of more healthful antioxidants and higher quality antioxidants than any other nut.
What’s your favorite nut? And do you make sure to eat antioxidant-rich foods every day?