Nuts about Nuts

Posted May 12, 2011 | Posted in Fitness & Nutrition

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Nuts are not only rich and delicious, but they are nutritional powerhouses packed with proteins, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Like all good things, they should be eaten in moderation, but nuts are a great staple in a healthy diet. With such a wide variety of nuts and seeds readily available, there are many options to suit your palate. Here are a few of our favorites:

Almonds

  • Fiber: regulates blood sugar
  • Fatty acids: lowers LDL cholesterol
  • Vitamin E: reduces heart disease
  • Magnesium: improves blood flow

Cashews

  • Unsaturated Fat: promotes cardiovascular health
  • Copper: develops bone and connective tissue
  • Phosphorus: helps build and maintain strong bones

Walnuts

  • ALA omega 3 fatty acids:  lowers LDL cholesterol
  • Antioxidants: helps to protect from cardiovascular, neurological and anticarcinogenic ailments
  • B vitamins: enhance immune and nervous system function

Coconut

  • Lauric acid: antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal (boosts immune system)
  • Fiber: contributes to healthy digestion
  • Triglyceride: increases nutrient absorption

Homemade Nut Butter

Many store-bought peanut butters are full of chemicals and stabilizers. You don’t want to put that in your body!  Instead, try making your own. It’s simple, cost-effective and delicious.
Ingredients:

2 cups of any nut you prefer (almonds and peanuts work great)

½ teaspoon salt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Roast the nuts on a dry pan in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Allow the nuts to cool 10-15 minutes
  3. Place nuts and salt in a food processor and blend for 12-15 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl intermittently.  The mixture will be powdery at first, then clumpy, but eventually you’ll end up with perfectly smooth nut butter

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