Nuts…In a Nutshell

mixednuts1Nutshells hold dear a little nugget of goodness that we too often dismiss.  Due to their “high fat content”, many people shy away from this nutrient packed snack, ignoring that it’s a great source of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.  Per gram, nuts can pack more nutrient punch than almost any other food!  

So what are the top nuts?

Walnuts: Snack on a few of these between meals to curb hunger just a little bit longer.  They are packed with Omega-3s, magnesium, vitamin E, folate, and have high antioxidant activity.

Brazil Nuts: They’re somewhat unheard of, but the Brazil Nut offers up lots of selenium and they have been known to have high anti cancer properties.

Almonds: This nut can be used for cooking, baking, or snacking.  Either way, you get an unbeatable source of vitamin E, biotin, and protein.  Eat the skin along with it and you’ll increase your polyphenol intake which boosts your body’s antioxidant activity!

Pistachios: My favorite snack nut by far!  They are fun to eat, taste great, and are full of healthy properties.  These nuggets of a nut contain high amounts of fiber, B-vitamins, and potassium.

Any of these nuts can be kept in an easy to reach bowl for a healthy snack in the middle of the day (which certainly beats taking the walk of shame to the vending machine), or included in a trail mix snack of nuts, whole wheat chex, and raisins. Another delicious trick is to crush up some nuts and bake them with some vegetables such as squash or asparagus. You might also try to add some nuggets of nut goodness to your salads to increase the protein value.  However you choose to do it, add some nuts to your life!