Walnuts are the headliner for this category of SuperFood for a number of reasons. They are one of the few rich sources of plant-derived terrestrial omega-3 fatty acids (called alpha linolenic fatty acid, or ala) along with other nuts and seeds, mortar and pestle ground flaxseed, cold pressed organic raw flaxseed oil, hemp, perila and pumpkin seed, they are rich in plant sterols – plant sterols can play a significant role in lowering serum cholesterol levels – a good source of fibre and protein, and they also provide magnesium, silicium, copper, folate, natural lecithin, selenium and natural tochopherols, popularly known as “Vitamin E”.
Almonds are among the best nut source of Natural Vitamin E, (Alpha, Beta, Gama and Delta) along with pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, also a powerful plant source of protein. In fact, at 20 per cent protein, one-quarter cup of almonds contains 7.6 grams of protein – more than a large egg, which contains 6 grams. Almonds also contain riboflavin, iron, potassium and magnesium, and they’re a good source of fibre. Almonds are also an excellent source of biotin, a B vitamin, essential to the metabolism of both sugar and fat. One-quarter cup of almonds provides 75 per cent of your body’s daily requirement of this nutrient, which promotes skin and brain heath, as well as energy levels. Almonds are also rich in arginine. Due to its ability to promote the production of a specific chemical, argentine is a natural vasodilator, which promotes increased blood flow by relaxing the blood-vessel walls. Also the skin of almonds has a number of polyphenols, many of which have significant free-radical-scavenging properties.
Avoid peanuts; these are the most toxic kind of nuts! They are the only nut/seeds that do not grow upwards; theoretically they are indigestible.
They are a non-food, containing harmful oxalic acids, supposedly bad for the lungs and are the most chemically sprayed crops after tobacco.
Finally, almonds also contain sphingolipids. At the moment, there’s no known nutritional requirement for these lipids, but they seem to play an important role in cell-membrane structure and function. Cancer involves numerous defects in cell regulation, and sphingolipids have been found to affect almost every aspect of defective-cell regulation in cancer. We need more information on this, but for now it is believed it is safe to assume that sphingolipids play a role in optimizing our health and represent another component of whole foods that works in synergy with other nutrients and phytonutrients.
Pistachios are one of the oldest edible nuts on earth. InChina, they are known as the ‘happy nut’ because of their characteristic half –opened shell. Pistachios are loaded with fibre: you get more dietary fibre from a serving of pistachios than from a half-cup of broccoli or spinach. Pistachios are also rich in potassium, thiamine and Vitamin B6. It’s interesting to note that the B6 in a 1-ounce serving of pistachios is equal to the B6 in a typical 3-ounce serving of chicken or pork. Like all nuts, pistachios are particularly rich in the phytonutrients that are associated with reducing cholesterol and protecting from a variety of cancers.
Nuts in a Nutshell
A serving of shelled nuts is 1 ounce. One ounce of nuts is 10 to 48 nuts, depending on their size. A single serving of nuts provides between 150 and 200 calories.
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