Go Nuts for Healthy Nuts – A Guide to Healthy Nuts

If you plan to stay healthy and get fit as you age, then try considering adding a few variations of nuts in your diet. Most of us are unaware that nuts does not only give us fiber and an “easy to grab” snack. It also has several health benefits that can help boost our body into becoming healthier and fit.assorted-nuts

Moreover, as long as you eat these nuts in a healthy way, you are in the right road in becoming more health oriented and health conscious. But remember that not all nuts are the same. Each nut has its own distinct benefits and has its own special factor that helps our body in specific and particular ways.

This means that eating a particular nut can give you fiber, unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals and many more. Not only will you eat healthily, you can eat happily as well.  Nuts can also be great add-ons to your meal or you can even use it as the main “star ingredient” of your meal. All you need to do is to know what each nut can offer and how your body can benefit from it.

Why “Nuts”?

Like what was previously mentioned, it pays to know what type of nut you are eating and what health benefit you can get from them. It is an even greater bonus when you get to know different recipes that are easy to make and doable at the comforts of your very own home.

Nuts can be found almost anywhere in the world and each country has their own “specialty nuts” that they pride in. That is why different varieties of nuts are available anywhere and everywhere we go. Here are the top 13 most famous and well known nuts. You will also get to familiarize yourselves with their health benefits and sample recipes as you read along.

  • Almondalmonds

Health Benefits

Almonds are very good to eat when you want to keep your bones healthy and strong. This nut is a great source of calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin E. It also has an antioxidant called amygdalin which is more known as laetrile. Combine these benefits altogether and you get healthier bones, lowered cholesterol levels, lesser chances of heart diseases and help fight different types of cancer.

Easy Recipes

You can make a great salad out of almonds if you favor greens for a meal. Making a Cranberry-Almond Chicken Salad is just a combination of freshly squeezed lemon mixed in mayonnaise and drizzled above cubes of chicken, cranberry and green leafy veggies of your choice. You can either top it off or mix your almonds in it.

Another recipe is the Green Beans with Goat Cheese, Tomato and Almonds. This is a simple toss of goat’s cheese and tomatoes with green beans and almonds. Add your favorite vinaigrette in it and you are all set.

  • Peanutpeanut

Health Benefits

Apparently, peanuts are not really under the “nut” family. Rather, it is included in line with legumes and beans. But because of the way we consume it, peanuts have been “categorized” as one of the nut family.

These “beans” are packed with protein and an antioxidant called resveratrol which makes the great heart and blood vessel protectors. In addition, peanuts helps lower our bodies LDL (low density lipoprotein), cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Easy Recipes

The most famous way of cooking peanuts is by boiling it. But you can add a twist by making Cajun Boiled Peanuts. This is where you boil your peanuts along with dry crab and jalapenos to give it a spicy kick.

Another is a homemade Peanut Granola recipe where you mix peanuts with oats, wheat germ, honey, brown sugar and vanilla. You can either assemble it into bar shapes or just eat it like oatmeal.

  • Walnutwalnut

Health Benefits

If you are not a fan of fish then you can have a go with walnuts. These nuts have both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that are commonly found in fish. In addition, walnuts have monounsaturated fats but has no trace of cholesterol in it. These fats help our bodies reduce its risk of having heart diseases and it also improves arterial blood flow.

It is also rich in an antioxidant called ellargic acid which halts metabolic pathways that may lead to cancer and heart diseases. Ellargic acid protects healthy cells from free radical damages.

Easy Recipes

A healthy way to eat up walnuts is to make it into a salad. A good example is the Blue Cheese-Walnut Green Beans recipe that can be easily done by tossing green beans with blue cheese and topped with toasted walnuts and grilled steak or chicken.

You can also make a hearty meal with rice by making Stir fried chicken with wilted spinach and tamari walnuts. All you have to do is to stir fry all these ingredients altogether in evenly portioned pieces and top it on your rice.

  • Pine nutpine-nuts

Health Benefits

As compared to other nuts, pine nuts has a higher fat and calorie levels. But this nut prides in its high potassium, iron, copper and zinc level which helps regulate your body’s blood pressure. It also has magnesium that controls your heart rhythm and improve your blood flow. Overall, these minerals can help your body counter against heart diseases.

Easy Recipes

For a fast and easy meal, you can try the Spinach and pine nuts recipe. All you have to do is to mix and stir fry all these ingredients using olive oil and season with salt and pepper according to your taste preference.

You can also do another variation of this stir fry meal called Spinach with Apples and Pine Nuts. All you have to do is to mix all these ingredients together and wait until the apples are softened.

  • Pecanpecans

Health Benefits

Pecan nuts have a very high fat content that is why it tastes more delicious as compared to other nuts. But the fats that it has belongs to the monounsaturated oleic acid group which is responsible for keeping our hearts healthy. Pecans also help in lowering our bodies LDL cholesterol levels.

Due to its delectable taste and high fat content, pecans tend to keep us sated and full. This goes to show why we get satisfied immediately with just a few bites from this particular nut.

Easy Recipes

Pecans are great even when just eaten as is. But you can add a little flavour in your bite size snack by making this Buttery Cinnamon Pecan recipe. Just simply roast your pecans and toss it along with unsalted butter, cinnamon and salt. Let it rest until your pecans are fully coated before you chow it down.

You can also go for the fan-favorite, all time winner Pecan Pie that you can share with others. Simply either buy or make your own crust and prepare your pecan stuffing using eggs, coconut oil, sugar, flour, vanilla extract and pecans. Bake it until it reaches to a golden brown color.

  • Brazil nutbrazil-nut

Health Benefits

Brazil nuts are indeed a handful when it comes to their nutritional values. Not only are they rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids but they are also packed with selenium. These minerals are great combatants against heart diseases and cancer. Another great benefit of this nut is its ability to keep our veins and muscles healthy thanks to its magnesium content.

Easy Recipes

Brazilian nuts goes very well with salads and Kale and Brazil nut salad is no exception. Just toss together your kale, grapes, cheese and drizzle it with your favorite dressing and you have yourself a hearty salad.

You can also create your own version of Brazilian nut power bars. All you have to do is to get your favorite oatmeal and mix it up with your choice of chocolate chips or peanut butter and add some raisins and top it with your Brazil nuts. Incorporate them evenly so that each ingredient will be evenly distributed throughout the bar.

  • Cashewcashew

Health Benefits

Cashew nuts are filled with iron, zinc and potassium. These minerals, along with the help of protein, carbohydrates and oleic acid helps our body battle out against impending heart diseases and even protect us from cancer causing agents.

In addition, you can increase the health benefits of this nut by drinking a glass of orange juice. This is due to the fact that iron absorbs quicker and more effective if paired with vitamin C.

Easy Recipes

If you love putting spreads on your sandwich then maybe you can try this Mayo Cashew recipe. Simply replace your eggs and oil with crushed cashew nuts and vegetable broth. This is a healthier version of your traditional mayonnaise.

Another great dip that you can try is the Cashew and Sun Dried Tomato. This dip uses a healthier version where you mix cashew, lemon juice, and olive oil instead of the heavy cheese sour cream and mayonnaise.

  • Hazelnuthazelnut

Health Benefits

If you are conscious about your skin and how you can care for it, then you should add some hazelnuts in your diet. Hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E, monounsaturates, biotin (vitamin B) and copper. These healthy sources are responsible for keeping your skin and hair healthy and also keeps free radicals away.

Easy Recipes

If you want hazelnuts to be part of your dessert then you can try this Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie recipe out. Just make you favorite version of oatmeal cookie batter and just lessen the amount of chocolate chips in half and replace it with chopped hazelnuts.

You can also make a healthier version of a milk drink using hazelnuts. Simply tweak this Creamy Nutella Milk recipe by simply removing the Nutella ingredient and go for a healthier chocolate brand and ground hazelnut.

  • Pistachiopistachio

Health Benefits

Pistachio nuts are known to have the highest potassium content as compared to all its family members. It is also rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, protein, fiber and oleanolic acid.

Add all of these massive minerals together and you get a very strong protective shield against illnesses. Not only can this nut protect you from heart illnesses and diseases but it can also protect your liver form being damaged.

Easy Recipes

This nut works wonders when you add it to your salads. You can easily do this Pistachio Salad and tweak it up according to your preference. But basically all you have to do is to combine your pineapples and dry pistachio with your whipped cream and sugar. Refrigerate if before serving.

You can also use it as a coating for your Spinach Sala with Pistachio Chicken recipe. Before you fry your chicken, coat it up using finely grated pistachio nuts (the more it gets coated the better). Once golden brown, slice it into thin strips. Top it off on your salad made of tomatoes, spinach leaves, avocado, bell peppers, and green onions.

  • Chestnutchestnut

Health Benefits

Among all of the families of nuts, cashew nuts have the least amount of fats and calories found in them. Sadly they also have lower vitamins and minerals content. But the plus side is that they still have these health benefits in them. In addition, this nut is the only nut that carries vitamin C in them.

Easy Recipes

The most well know way of eating this nut is by simply doing the Roasted Chestnut recipe. Famously done during Christmas season, people often roast chestnuts in an open fire and enjoy it right away.

You can also use it as a desert ingredient in this Roasted Chestnut Cookie. Chestnut is incorporated with butter, winter spice, flour, sugar and egg and rolled in powdered sugar.

  • Macadamia nutsmacadamia-nuts

Health Benefits

If we have the least fatty nut then we also have the fattiest nut in all the legume family, and this is the Macadamia nuts. Apart from having a large volume of monounsaturated fats (which makes it taste so good) it also has manganese which regulates you sex hormones and also protects your cells from free radicals.

Easy Recipes

Macadamia nuts are very delicious and can be used in many desserts such as the Banana Cake with White Chocolate Macadamia Frosting. Start with your favorite banana cake recipe and top it off using a buttercream frosting mixture before finishing it off with crushed macadamia nuts.

You can also incorporate the nuts into the batter of a cookie in this Macadamia-Almond Christmas Cookie recipe. All you have to do is to add the macadamia nuts that are already smooth and buttery (thanks to the food processor) into the mixture.

  • Cacao nutscacao

Health Benefits

Cacao nuts are very nutritious and versatile when it comes to your health. It has a lot of benefits that can prevent several illnesses. One of which is that it prevents anemia because of its iron content. It also treats diarrhea because of the presence of polyphenol. Because of its high antioxidant factor, it prevents heart diseases from occurring as well.

Easy Recipes

A healthy way to drink cacao is by using its beans as a Rich Dark Chocolate. This is where only the pure cacao extract is consumed. It is bitter but it is very healthy for your body.

Another variation of drink is the Cacao tea. All you need is a skillet and a stove top. Place the whole cacao beans into the heated pan with dry oil or margarine and mix them well until the beans looked toasted or have stopped crackling. Remove the shells of the beans and use it as tea.

  • Coconutscoconut

Health Benefits

Basically coconuts are not really considered as part of the legume family. But since it is popularly known as a “nut” then it is a good idea to add it as well. The coconut has fats and calories that can be immediately be turned into energy and be used to keep our bodies going.

Easy Recipes

Coconut is a very versatile ingredient where you can even use its meat for cooking. You can use the meat part and make Coconut Macaroons. Flake your coconut meat and mix it together with flour, salt, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla before baking it.

Another meal that you can do is the Coconut Shrimp. You once again use the flaked coconut meat and mix it with the batter for your shrimp which has eggs, flour, beer and baking powder. After coating your shrimp, cover it with flour and finally roll it in coconut flakes before frying them.

After knowing a lot about nuts and how it can be a good and healthy addition to our diet, we can start creating innovative meals where nuts can either be a good “side kick” or even the “main star” of the dish. Just remember not to overdo your nut eating. Always remember that everything taken above moderation is bad, even if it is healthy for you. So consume it on a regular and titrated basis and make sure you get the right amount of minerals, nutrients and vitamins you need each day.

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