Why a Handful a Day Can Keep the Doctor Away
hey’ve made their way into every meal of the day. They’re in your favorite chocolate breakfast spread, smooshed in with the jelly in your sandwich, and mixed in with your take-out noodles. Nuts are in our snacks, our main dishes and even in our medicines and cosmetics. Unless you have an allergy, this isn’t such a bad thing. They’re an easy, healthy way to add necessary vitamins and minerals into our daily diets.
Almond: 164 calories per 1 oz.
They’re probably the most versatile of all nuts. You can find almonds in bars, tins, cereal, oils, pastes and spreads. They’re great for lowering cholesterol and giving you that satisfying crunch you’ve been craving.
Brazil Nut: 187 calories per 1 oz.
Sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, which can prevent cancers, heart disease and cirrhosis. But with more saturated fats than other nuts, you should limit your intake to one or two a day.
Cashew: 157 calories per 1 oz.
Not only are they chewy and sweet, cashews are great for your eyes. They have ample amounts of zeaxanthin, a pigment flavanoid antioxidant. This can prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Chestnut: (Japanese) 154 calories per 1 oz. (European) 196 calories per 1 oz.
They’re the odd-balls here. Low in calories and fat, chestnuts are primarily composed of starch. This means lots of dietary fiber.
Hazelnut: 178 calories per 1 oz.
Besides its richness in folates, fiber and vitamin E, the hazelnut’s true gift to us is its marriage to chocolate. But let’s face it, Nutella does taste way too good to be true. Check out some healthy alternatives to this delicious, sinful spread.
Macadamia Nut: 204 calories per 1 oz.
Aloha! Macadamias are a guilt-free, heart-healthy snack. Plus, they can give you a taste of paradise no matter what the break room at work smells like.
Peanut: (Virginia) 160 calories per 1 oz.
The most popular nut is actually a legume. No need to call it an impostor, though. The richness in B-vitamins and cholesterol-friendly fats definitely let it fit right in!
Pecan: 190 calories per 1 oz.
Pecans contain ellagic acid. This prevents cancers by inhibiting the DNA-binding of certain carcinogens. They also make a pretty tasty pie.
Pistachio: 159 calories per 1 oz.
Working on your willpower? Shelled pistachios make a great snack. The shells slow you down and let you keep track of how many you’ve eaten.
Walnut: 185 calories per 1 oz.
This is a superfood for a reason. It’s definitely the most heart-healthy, but walnuts also rank the highest in polyphenolic antioxidants. And their soft, buttery texture is just so good.
They’re a Heart-Healthy Brain Food
Most nuts have a high-caloric intake, and the majority of those calories come from fats. But they’re the good fats. Those mono-unsaturated fatty acids that lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol. They can also prevent stroke and coronary artery disease. Nuts provide many important B-complex vitamins like folate, riboflavin and thiamin. This means you get the sustainable, steady energy boost you’re looking for at snack time, without the guilt.
Are You Counting Your Calories?
Almonds, cashews and pistachios have the least amount of calories, but are still rich in benefits. All three are high in omega-3 fatty acids, plus all the protein and fiber will curb your appetite later on. Macadamia nuts and Brazil nuts hold the highest amounts of calories, but that doesn’t mean that they’re bad for you. Macadamia nuts don’t have any cholesterol, and Brazil nuts have the highest natural source of selenium.
For Healthful Snacking:
To make your own snacks at home, try some sweet and spicy roasted almonds or some trail mix. Trail mix is a fun way to experiment with tons of different flavor and texture pairings, even if you’re not feeling particularly nutty today.
If your lifestyle never sits still and you need a new go-to snack bar, try KUTOA. They have delicious, nutty flavor combos like Blueberry Almond, Cherry Cashew and Peanut Butter and Jelly. All the fruit they use in their bars is soaked in apple juice and sunflower oil for taste. For added crunch, they’ve thrown in chia seeds, flax seeds and pea crisps. Each bar is certified gluten-free, soy-free, vegan and all-natural.
If the tasty snack-factor wasn’t enough to get behind KUTOA, their philanthropy will be. For every bar sold, they feed a child in need. Since 2011, KUTOA has sent out almost 200,000 meals both globally and locally. Their focus is to cure and prevent malnutrition by providing foods high in micro- and macro-nutrients. And since Toosum Healthy Foods has acquired KUTOA, the future looks bright. Toosum’s global, foreign reach includes China, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. “We are passionate about being a vehicle for raising the nutrition standards of everyone, everywhere,” explains Toosum founder Peter Guyer. “We’re looking forward to helping KUTOA reach even more malnourished children in the US and worldwide.”