Back when I began my nutritional career, nuts were considered off the menu. “Too much fat!” experts claimed. Of course eggs, potatoes and chocolate were too. These are myths.
Automobiles need oil, gas and regular tune-ups to work properly. Similarly, humans need a variety of nutrients to work efficiently. Clean Nutrients and proper maintenance produce a healthier body.
I love physiology and enjoy explaining why consuming these nutritious foods are beneficial to our well-being. Just knowing that nuts are great for the skin and are anti-aging are two important points for me! A third is that they are fabulous for extending memory recall. We need those memory cells!
Nuts are packed with protein, enzymes, antioxidants and so many beneficial nutrients, among them many Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, B12, vitamin E, manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and essential fatty acids.
Nuts are anti-inflammatory so anyone fighting arthritis, dementia or IBS type challenges would be advised to include them in your daily diet. They also lower blood pressure, heart disease and assist in the prevention of colon and prostate cancer. A little nut butter on an apple, banana or whole wheat toast should fill one up for several hours without cravings.
Nuts are rich in at least four 50-cent omega 3 words such as linoleic Cholesterol and fats clog one’s arteries but walnuts are excellent for brain and heart health. These nutrients enrich our heart and brain pathways preventing strokes, clogged arteries and heart attacks.
When I was a little kid, with so many walnut trees on our farm, my brother and I made a game of smashing all those shells to get the wonderful meat inside. I think we ate them all year round. If stored properly in a freezer or cool dark area, they’ll remain edible for months.
- In moderation, as in anything else, they’re fine. Brazil nuts however are high in the mineral selenium and can be toxic in large doses. Consume only about 2-3 to avoid overdosing.
- Avoid the canned nut samplers produced with oils. They can become rancid more quickly.
- Avoid processed nut butters with trans-fats which can clog arteries.
So why were these considered “bad” foods? Hate to say it but ignorance, bad science and unhealthy diet plans were reasons. Case in point, the Paleo Diet encourages nuts but nixes legumes and beans. Why? Even in moderation? It’s not practical.
Here’s an interesting comparison based on 1 cup of the following:
- Walnuts = 1464 calories & 15.2 grams of fiber/148 grams fat (4 grams = 1 teaspoon)
- Pecans = 1544 calories & 21.6 grams of fiber/163 grams fat (plus butter/sugar in pie)
or you could choose nutritious:
- Split peas = 230 calories & 16 grams of fiber/1 tsp fat. Hearty soup anyone?
- Black beans = 227 calories & 15 grams of fiber/<1 tsp fat. Great in Chili.
- Pinto beans = 224 calories & 15.4 grams of fiber/<1 tsp. fat. High protein too.
Why not choose all of the above in moderation? Each of these foods provide excellent nutrition and none are bad for us. Each contain valuable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and phytonutrients to assist in proper functioning.
Once again, Genesis 1:29, God knew it all the time! As always He expects us to use common sense. Any food can become a trigger to addiction or allergies. If one can’t resist overeating, don’t bring a product into the house. Balance is always essential for proper health.
“For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity.” (Proverbs 2: 6,7)