October 22nd is National Nut day and those that knew me as a child would be shocked at how excited I am about nuts these days. I have learned not only to eat nuts, but to love them, and the beauty of nuts is that they love you right back. Here are a few of the wonderful health benefits of nuts:
They are good sources of –
- Vitamin E
- Heart-healthy fats
They help with –
- Reducing your risk of heart disease
- Reducing risk of stroke
- Weight loss and healthy weight maintenance
Truly nuts are delicious nutrition powerhouses in, well, a nutshell. I encourage my clients that if they are not allergic to nuts, they would do well to incorporate nuts into their daily routine.
My top three favorite nuts are:
1. Cashews – provides protein, iron, magnesium (critical for heart health) and copper (antioxidant), plus they're so cute with their crooked little shape!
2. Pistachios – one serving contains as much potassium as an orange or half of a large banana and 3 grams of fiber - as much as ½ cup cooked broccoli.
· At breakfast. Top your oatmeal, granola or yogurt with some nuts or spread some nut butter on toast to boost the nutrition of your first meal of the day and tide you over longer.
· Soups. Yes, I just said soups as a way to use nuts. Ok, so for the trepidatious cook, start with sprinkling some pine nuts or chopped, roasted hazelnuts on your favorite minestrone or Italian-inspired soup. For the more adventurous, there are plenty of nut soup and stew recipes.
Here are links to just a couple examples:
Spicy Chicken and Almond Stew (Food Network)
Cream of Walnut Soup (Taste of Home)