Happy Grab Some Nuts Day!
This holiday sounds comical – but according to our food holiday calendar, every year on August 3rd we celebrate “Grab Some Nuts Day!” At QOL we are passionate about nuts for two reasons. Firstly, they are delicious! And secondly, they offer multiple health benefits. Nuts are high in fat, low in carbs and a great source of nutrients - filling you with vitamin E, magnesium and selenium! To help you celebrate this holiday we would like to share with you some of the health benefits of eating nuts and tasty ways to add more nuts to your diet!
Health Benefits of Eating Nuts
- Nuts may aid in weight loss! Although nuts are considered a high-calorie food – research shows that nuts may actually help you lose weight.
- Eating Nuts may help lower total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while boosting levels of HDL cholesterol.
- Research suggests that nuts may be helpful in reducing inflammation, especially in people with diabetes, kidney disease and other serious health conditions.
- Many nuts are high in fiber, which can reduce disease risk, help keep you full, decrease calorie absorption and improve gut health.
You may be wondering – what are the healthiest nuts? We will list a few for you:
- Almonds – these are high in fiber, protein and vitamin E. Studies show that eating almonds every day can result in a decrease in cholesterol levels and belly fat.
- Brazil nuts – these nuts are considered to be one of the healthiest nuts available! They are high in selenium – an important mineral with antioxidant activities that help fight against free radicals.
- Cashews – they provide a hearty dose of healthy fats and antioxidants!
- Hazelnuts – choose hazelnuts if you are looking for a great source of manganese and copper!
- Macadamia nuts – these are especially high in fat! Their heart health promoting benefits make macadamia nuts known as one of the healthiest nuts.
- Valencia peanuts – this well-known nut is a good source of many essential vitamins and minerals.
- Pecans – pecans are notorious for their cardiovascular benefits!
- Walnuts – known as an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts can slash inflammation and decrease the risk of many health complications.
- Pistachios – this is one of the best nuts if you are looking for protein!
Are there any bad nuts?
Unfortunately, not all nuts are created equal. Some types of processing can destroy the health benefits of nuts. For example, pre-shelled nuts leave the natural casings of the nut exposed, causing the natural fats and oils to break down and become rotten more easily.
Many nuts are pre-seasoned or flavored – although tasty, these flavorings can be high in added sugar and salt! Roasted nuts can also be unhealthy if they are roasted in hydrogenated vegetable oils and fats. So don’t go nuts on these!
Nut butters can be packed with sugar, salt, and hydrogenated oils – so watch out for these.
The best way to avoid bad nuts – opt for unsalted, dry-roasted nuts whenever possible. Also look for raw and organic nut butters with minimal added ingredients! If you are a huge consumer of nut butters you may want to look into purchasing your own nut grinder – this is a good way to ensure that you are not consuming copious amounts of added sugar and salt. At QOL, we love this one!
Need help thinking of some different ways to add nuts to your diet?
- Keep it simple – pack a handful of nuts along with an apple or other fruit for an easy healthy afternoon (or anytime) snack!
- Nuts can be easily turned to a powder – you can add this to shakes or smoothies, or use it as a topping to a salad or sandwich.
- Nuts for breakfast! - add chopped nuts to your breakfast cereal for extra flavor and fiber! Nuts also make a great topping on oatmeal or yogurt!
- Get Savory - nuts make a great topping on baked fish – especially salmon.
- Spread it – PB&J was a childhood staple, but it can be dressed up in many ways! Try almond butter, or sunflower seed butter and strawberry slices. Check out this PB&J guide – it will share 10 ways to dress up your childhood favorite!
- Add nuts to your side dishes – veggie, brown rice, salads all pair well with nuts.
- Get nutty with dessert – top your favorite ice cream with a serving of chopped nuts!
Here are some great nut heavy recipes that we love – and think you will too!
- Whip up a batch of these herbed mixed nuts for an easy and tasty snack!
- This Mahi-Mahi is crusted with almonds and thyme. Although fancy – this recipe is surprisingly quick!
- Pecan do anything! Especially if you fuel your day with these Apricot-pecan muffins.
- Try making your own nut butter!
- These pistachio pancakes feature Greek yogurt which is high in protein! These are also waist-line friendly – one serving will only set you back 172 calories!
We hope you can make the most of this nutty holiday! Trust us, even though this holiday sounds silly – it is no joke that adding more nuts to your diet will truly benefit your overall health. Share this blog with your friends and family so they can celebrate Grab Some Nuts Day too!