I have several glass canisters of nuts on the shelves in my kitchen. They are my go-to snack. I enjoy just about every nut: Brazil, macadamia, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts…love them all. I have memories of my grandpa with a wooden bowl of nuts by the recliner in his living room. Late at night, he would sink into his chair, place the bowl on his lap, take the nutcracker in hand, and begin shelling walnuts and pecans from trees that grew on his farm in Texas. I was intrigued, but uninterested. I would have preferred a bowl of Lucky Charms back then. Thankfully, over the years, I’ve come to my senses, because nuts are a powerhouse food.
Grocery store shelves are filled with endless varieties of nuts, nut and trail mixes, salted, unsalted, and roasted offerings. Raw, organic nuts are my number one choice and are a fabulous source of healthy fat, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. As counterintuitive as it may seem, eating healthy fat helps us lose weight. Truth: a high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb diet helps shift the body from burning sugar to burning fat as its primary fuel. Research shows that those who eat nuts on a regular basis also tend to have: a lower risk for diabetes, lower blood pressure, better heart health, and greater longevity! A 30-year long Harvard study even found that people who ate a small handful of nuts seven times a week or more were 20 percent less likely to die for any reason, compared to those who avoided nuts. Why are nuts so boast-worthy?
Besides being delicious, they contain healthy fats, (like omega-3s and vitamin E), which the body needs to function, they are packed with plant sterols (which help lower cholesterol levels), and are loaded with protein and fiber.
Sprinkle them on your morning oats, on salads for lunch, enjoy as a snack with a green apple or berries, use as a topping on your yogurt, and have about 10 walnuts before going to bed…the magnesium will help you sleep. What could be better? Go nuts!