Updated: Mar 15
Most people don't eat nuts, not on a regular basis anyway. They take a few at a party, but that's it. A lot of people refuse to eat nuts because they say that nuts are full of fat, then, of course, there are people with nut allergies. But, if you don't have a nut allergy should you eat them? If they have so much fat in them are they unhealthy? And, is it true that peanuts aren't nuts? Let have a look at some nut facts:
1) Nuts are good sources of fat, fibre and protein, they do contain quite a high percentage of fat but these fats include monounsaturated fat, as well as omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fat, which are good for you and don't cause weight gain.
2) People that eat nuts live longer, this is probably because of the health benefits of nuts keeping them healthier for longer.
3) Nuts contain vitamins and minerals and different nuts are really good at protecting different parts of our bodies. One serving of almonds contains 37% of your daily amount of vitamin E, walnuts protect your heart and are good for your brain making you think more clearly. Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium and magnesium.
4) Some nuts aren't nuts, peanuts are legumes like kidney beans, pistachios are seeds and cashew nuts are fruit.
There are lots of ways to eat nuts, the healthiest way is to eat them raw with no salt or sugar. They can be roasted, but this changes the nuts a little so that they're not as healthy. Nuts can be added to cakes and baked into cookies or, my favourite, is using nut butters. The best nut butters are made of 100% nuts, no added oil, salt or sugar. These are made by blending the nuts until the nut butter is as smooth as you want it to be, if you like it crunchy you stop when there are still lumps in it, if you prefer smooth you keep going until the lumps are gone, it's up to you.
So what are nuts? Nuts are fruit made of a seed inside a hard shell where you can eat the seed but you cannot eat the shell. There are a lot of different seeds that people call nuts, but to be a true nut they have to be stuck inside the shell until something, you, a squirrel, or someone else, opens it, they do not open on their own. Oh, and coconuts aren't nuts either, they're not even a fruit, they are drupes, but that's something for another day.
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