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Health properties of nuts

Nuts are one of the very best natural nutritious foods available anywhere

Nuts are among the greatest natural foods we can eat, besides, so being called a ‘nut’ is quite alright.

What are the best nuts to eat if you want to incorporate them into your daily diet? They are all good for you, but some are better than others. They also vary a great deal in price so knowing the nutritional value should help when you are at the market picking up your weekly supply.

In general, nuts provide you with essential proteins and unsaturated fats, which helps to regulate your cholesterol levels and increase fiber. There is no better food available for pure and digestible protein. They need no cooking or preparation. Simply eat them in their natural form for terrific results.

The very best of the nuts is the walnut. They are usually available all year as they keep well when they are harvested, usually in winter months. Walnuts come in two varieties. The more commonly available type is English walnuts. The other is the black walnut, grown only in select locations and available in chopped or crushed form and is used in baking and cooking. The black walnut is considerably more expensive as it is rarer, harder to process, and has a unique flavor. If you have ever consumed black walnut ice cream you have had a taste of the unusual and delicious flavor.

The next best on the list is almonds. An almond is sweet and can be eaten alone or added to baking or cooking a variety of foods. Almonds can be purchased whole, sliced, crushed, and you can choose raw, roasted, and salted or unsalted. They contain manganese, B2, vitamin E, and copper among other things, and are helpful in lowering your bad cholesterol levels. The raw form is best, of course, but any way you eat these will give you a boost in nutrients.

Cashews are delicious and have a creamy taste and texture. They can be bought raw or roasted and salted. Just a quarter cup of cashews provides 196 calories and is lower in fat than other nut varieties. They have the same type fat found in the mother of healthy foods - olive oil. Next time someone calls you a ‘nut’ you might want to thank them now that you know how valuable they are.

by S. C.
01 august 2011, Food & Fun > Health

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