Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Amazing Nut

As vegans, you probably already know that peanut butter is a great source of protein. It was invented by a vegetarian and now it's wildly loved, bla bla bla.

But people seem to think they're too "fatty" and they have this misconception that it will make them fatter. But this just isn't the case.

Beyond that, there are some amazing health benefits to regularly snacking on nuts, particularly almonds, walnuts, and peanuts [[a legume, actually]]. Here's a few facts from an article I read that I've compiled into a list:

  • Walnuts are particularly beneficial because they contain n-3 fatty acids -- which help protect against cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and promote brain health and immune function [[more info on n-3 fatty acids]].
  • Nuts significantly reduce the risk of heart disease
  • "...The risks of having a stroke, of developing type 2 diabetes, of developing dementia, of advanced muscular degeneration and of gallstones have all been found to be lowered by eating nuts."
  • You should eat 1-2 oz daily to get the most health benefits from eating nuts
  • Nuts won't make you gain weight. People who regularly eat nuts are actually slightly thinner than average.
  • Nuts are a great source of fibre, vitamin E, folic acid, copper, magnesium and the amino acid arginine.
  • "Nuts are the best dietary source of manganese and contain plant sterols, the compounds now added to some margarines to reduce cholesterol adsorption from food, and are a good source of boron."
  • "...Regular nut consumption can be recommended as a replacement for consumption of refined grain products or red or processed meats."
For more information on nut health, check out this Article from Harvard and this list of health benefits on MayoClinic.

[[image source: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~wellness/wpp/nutri/main_resources_aa.html]]


Morgan said...

i LOVE nuts. Pecans and cashews, especially.

I have heard that raw are better than roasted or toasted nuts. Obviously, salted or candied nuts will pack more sodium or sugar than plain nuts, but I also heard that heating the nuts damages the oil inside them - following the same reasoning as heating oils like olive oil, it can cause free radicals in the body.

What do you think/have you read?

Ashley said...

I ate some nuts at a bar tonight and felt good about it, thanks to this post. They were insanely salty though.

Ksenia said...

Morgan, your are right: raw nuts are better than toasted nuts. The only exception are peanuts, which are difficult to digest when they are raw =S But if you eat them, try better dry roasted instead of too salty fried ones.

And it's not true that nuts make youo gain weight. All the food have calories, so whetever you eat will make you gain weight if you eat too much of it. The key is the moderation =)
Nuts rule xD

Unknown said...

I'm going to say oils are not bad for you as long as you're smart about it. Never smoke your oil, use the appropriate heat level for the type of oil you use. Over-heating will ruin it. [[http://mikeroussell.com/32/does-heating-oils-damage-them/]]

As far as nuts go, I believe the same applies. I'd recommend purchasing raw nuts and roasting them yourself. That way you can control your sodium intake if you want a little salt on them. And you can also be sure they are properly cooked.

And since it is very difficult for your body to digest nuts [[not just peanuts]] I think slightly cooking them and eating them in small quantities may be slightly better than eating them raw. [[http://www.curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=605413]]