Nuts are a great source of natural vitamins, protein, fibre and antioxidants, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are heart healthy particularly as part of your weight loss and cholesterol management.
Legumes belong to the single plant family called Leguminosae. They are edible seeds enclosed in pods. The seed pods split on two sides when they’re ripe.
But did you know that a peanut is not actually a nut but a legume? Because of its physical structure and nutritious benefit it is often mis-understood and taken in by a family of nuts it doesn’t actually belong to!
And nuts are not always what they seem!
Yes, another interesting fact that you may not know about this food group is that Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Pine Nuts and Pistachios are technically seeds! Another mis-understanding? Perhaps nut. 🙂 sorry couldn’t resist that one!
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Most nuts and seeds are high in fat but it’s the good unsaturated fat, that makes them a good choice for a healthy snack. Don’t over-do it though, their fat content represents 75 to 95 per cent of total calories. Think portion control when indulging in nuts to enjoy them as a healthy part of your diet. Nuts and Seeds are high in protein and are super healthy for your heart.
Studies at Loma Linda University in California found that eating 2 ounces of nuts five times per day lowered blood cholesterol levels by 12%. The monounsaturated fat found in nuts may be the key to better health particularly when you replace them with saturated fat. Macadamia is the gourmet of nuts and contains the highest fat content.
Other nuts are not complete protein because they are missing the amino acid lysine with the exception of peanuts making them the most complete protein among all the nuts. However adding grains will easily compliment and make up the missing link.
Peanuts are also rich in antioxidant polyphenols similar to those found in berries. Polyphenols play a role in cell protection and their potency is actually increased during the roasting process making roasted peanuts a superb choice for cell membrane integrity.
Selenium is also linked to boosting the immune system and slowing the ageing process, all adding to a better state of health. Beware though! Too much can lead to toxicity. So be careful of how much of these nuts you consume.
They contain between 70 to 90 mcg of selenium per nut. The upper limit (UL) set by the National Academy of Sciences for selenium is 400 mcg per day for adults. One or two brazil nuts daily therefore will easily secure your selenium intakes which you will also get from other food sources.
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Seeds contain a significant amount of Vitamin E. As an antioxidant Vitamin E can help prevent oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol which can damage arteries. Seeds are also a good source of folic acid which prevents the build- up of homocysteine. High levels of this amino acid can lead to heart disease, dementia and broken bones in osteoporosis conditions.
Chia seeds are quite possibly the healthiest in the seed family. Grown natively in South America from the plant Salvia Hispanica they have become top of the list for trendy food on the health conscious grocery list.
Even though they are grown from a tiny black seed, they can deliver a powerful punch when it comes to your nutrition! They contain a very good amount of calcium, magnesium and Omega-3 essential fatty acids and are high in fibre.
It’s no wonder they were so cherished by the Aztecs and Mayans who cultivated them in ancient times for their regular fix of superfood!
Click on the image below for your own supply of this mild and nutty flavoured seed and read more why it is the number one nutritional powerhouse!
Both nuts and seeds are great sources of niacin.Nuts are a natural storehouse for minerals such as manganese,potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, fluoride, selenium and boron. And let’s not leave out the nut nutrition found in many of the B-complex group of vitamins which contribute to optimum health.
Knock yourself out on this nutty selection:
and if you’re ready for more tasty treats of the Nuts & Seeds variety, just click the link. You’ll find a range of nutritionally dense, raw, organic flax seed, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed and sprouting seed. And if nuts are more your thing, go mad on macadamia, brazil, peanut, pistachio and even deliciously organic nut and seed butters. No you haven’t died and gone to heaven, you’re at:
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