Nuts About Nuts

Nuts are one of the most amazing foods available. Widely available and often under-appreciated, these little gems are packed full of vitally healthy ingredients such as protein, fibre and essential fats.

In fact, just 30 grams of the magic stuff can provide you with all the nutrients you need for the entire day! That’s why we always include nuts in out granola, as their vitamin and mineral content is crucial to maintaining a healthy diet. There are over fifty different types of nuts in the world, however, and each one comes with its own benefit. In our granola, we use hazelnuts, almonds, pecan nuts, cashew nuts, walnuts and macadamia nuts. In case you weren’t sure what the different between all this nuts was, we’re about to tell you!

Cashew nuts are high in protein and are an excellent source of zinc and iron. If you’re a vegetarian then, cashew nuts are a great alternative to some of the nutrients your diet might be lacking. Cashews are also a great source of magnesium – magnesium is thought to help prevent age-related memory loss and is generally associated with keeping a healthy body and mind.

Macadamia nuts are harder to come by and more expensive than other nuts on our list. They are often used in biscuits to add texture or sold in expensive mini-bars. Macadamia nuts also have the highest levels of fat of all nuts. It is often to eat them in moderation therefore. They are not unhealthy however; indeed Macadamia nuts provide an excellent source of potassium, magnesium and calcium. Macadamia nuts do spoil easy so it’s vital to preserve them in airtight containers.

Next up, Hazelnuts! Hazelnuts have been around since the dawn of time. In fact, a manuscript discovered in China dating back to the year 2038 BC mentions the Hazelnuts as one of God’s great gifts. The ancient Chinese were not wrong! Indeed, because they contain such a high proportion of poly-saturated and mono-saturated fats, Hazelnuts are an excellent food for maintaining a healthy heart. Hazelnuts also contain their fair share of oleic acid, which promotes good cholesterol and brings down bad cholesterol levels. Finally, this amazing ingredient also contains lots of vitamin B and E – crucial factors in cell metabolism and maintaining both healthy hair and nails.

Moving on to Almonds, a small helping of this nuts will provide you with most of your daily recommended minerals and vitamins, which is an incredible achievement for just a nut. More specifically, almonds are a wonderful source of calcium and offer vital bone building material. They can also improve and repair damaged skin, as they are high in Vitamin E. Here’s a top tip: when choosing almonds, try and stick to whole almonds – the skin contains flavonoids which help protect the heart.

Pistachios are delicious – but they’re also a great source of vitamin B6, which stabilizes your mood and keeps your hormones balances. No wonder people always serve them at parties! They are also one of the only nuts that help protect your eyes and a wonderful source of fibre. Indeed, a 30g serving of Pistachios provides more fibre than it’s equivalent weight in plums!

Walnuts have been linked to the fight against cancer, as they posses a very high antioxidant content. Surprise surprise, they are contain heart friendly fats and have been linked to a reduction in cholesterol. Walnuts are also a great source of Omega 3s – so if you don’t eat fish, Walnuts are a great way to make up some of the nutrients in your diet you’re missing.

Finally, we arrive at Pecan nuts. Like Macadamia nuts, Pecan nuts are high in fat so should be consumed in moderation. However, they are also stuffed full of antioxidants and therefore prevent the hardening of arteries and help to keep a healthy heart. Perhaps best of all, Pecan nuts are a good source of B3, incredibly effective at fighting fatigue. So next time you feel a little tired, leave the kettle off the boil and grab a handful of these amazing nuts instead.

Nuts are an amazing foodstuff for reasons that are too numerous to include in this blog. We have tried to mention some of there most salient and important qualities however. Their incredible properties are the reason we use so many nuts in our granola recipes – and no diet could not be improved from the introduction of more nuts. We just hope you’re a nutty about them as we are!

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