Hi guys! I’ve finally returned back to the blogging world, after what must have been the busiest few months of my life! I’m well and truly rested now after the lazy Christmas days, and I don’t return back to college until the end of January, leaving me plenty of time for blogging and all the other things I love to do in my free time.
When I was studying in college for my undergraduate degree, I worked in a nut shop (yes, they exist!) during all three years to support myself financially. During the last year, we received a lot of training about all of the different types of nuts we sold, and the different health benefits that each type contained. So, what better place to share this knowledge than on this blog! I thought it would be best to mention the six most popular types of nuts we sold, and explain the benefits each brings into our diets.
I rarely run out of almonds. For me, they’re the perfect nuts to snack on in between meals. As they are full of protein and healthy unsaturated fats, they satisfy hunger pangs until your next meal! They also taste really nice too. If you avoid or are intolerant to dairy, almonds contain a decent amount of calcium and would be great to include in your diet.
Almonds are also high in vitamin E, a nutrient which helps to improve the condition and appearance of your skin. I’ve written about vitamin E being the ultimate beauty vitamin before!
Choose unsalted whole almonds, as the skin contains flavonoids which are heart-protecting compounds.
Cashews are in my top two when it comes to the flavour of nuts! They taste so good, and I’ve also recently discovered cashew butter which is delicious. As well as protein, cashews contain a good amount of iron, zinc and magnesium. They taste really great when thrown into a stir fry, or used as a nut butter with crackers.
Brazil nuts were always the most popular nuts we sold in the shop I worked in. Most people would come in looking for them after reading about how they are a great source of selenium, which is great for many reasons including promoting regular thyroid function.
You only need three or four Brazil nuts a day to get all the selenium you require.
I used to be addicted to the salted version of these nuts, but came to realise that the unsalted were just as nice, and of course, a lot more healthy. Macadamias have one of the highest fat contents out of all nuts, but supply great levels of healthy fats. As well as this, they are a useful source of fibre.
It is best to buy these in small batches, as they can go off quicker than other nuts.
Pistachios are well known for containing plenty of vitamin B6, which is an important vitamin for keeping hormones balanced and healthy. Of course, simply eating lots of pistachios won’t cure unbalanced hormones, but using them as part of a healthy diet in small amount will certainly help.
These nuts are most commonly sold salted and with the shell on. Try to look for the unsalted kind, once you get used to the flavour they taste just as good. I adored these as kid, mainly for the satisfying feeling of breaking the shell open before you eat each one! Pistachios work great alongside any chocolate dessert also!
Ah, walnuts. I try to love you, but I just can’t. I do make a good effort to eat these nuts on a regular basis, but I definitely don’t like the taste. My Dad loves them, so maybe I’m in the minority walnut hating club! Despite what I may think of their flavour, I can’t deny how great they are for our health. They’re really high in omega-3, so if like me, you don’t eat fish, they are a fantastic source of this to include in your diet. Omega-3s are great for your heart, and of course your skin, too.
All of these nuts contain a multitude of health benefits, but it’s important to include them in your diet in small doses. I would say that a small handful or two of nuts a day is definitely sufficient. they contain really healthy fats, but obviously too many healthy fats at once will become unhealthy. I love to use them in between meals, in cooking, over oatmeal, in desserts.. the list goes on!
One of my favourite snacks would be a piece of fruit along with a handful of nuts, ensuring I get my protein fix in. I am not a nutritionist, but I love researching all about the foods I like to include in my diet, and I would definitely recommend the addition of these into your daily eating plan!