November 16th is National Fast Food Day in the U.S. Fast food items such as fried chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza will be on most dining tables this evening as Americans celebrate the joys of quick, cheap meals. However, these fast meals are known for their fair contribution towards conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol. Nuts are a great alternative to greasy French fries and chicken nuggets. They are cheap, quick, and provide a great healthy solution.
Walnuts – The Brainy Nuts
Our ancestors have been enjoying this nut from as early as 7,000 BC, making it the oldest known tree food currently in existence. Its Greek name Karyon (head) is more than fitting given that the kernel looks similar to a brain, and that its high Omega-3 fatty acid content is known for promoting brain function. The Omega-3 stored within also promotes this nut as the most heart-healthy nut thanks to the prevention of blood clots and lower risk of heart disease that accompanies the nutrient. A study carried out has actually revealed that regular consumption of walnuts results in a 30-40% decrease in cancer growth, especially with relation to prostate cancer.
Almonds – The Low Calorie Nuts
This waist-line friendly nut has the lowest calorie count from its family members and comes with 9g of heart healthy fats, 6g of protein and 3.5g of fibre in every 30g portion. Impressive right? That’s not all. Its shelf life is so long that almonds can be refrigerated for up to two years. 90% of the fat found within almonds is the good kind of fat that fights against cardiovascular diseases and even diabetes! In fact, eating almonds in the middle of your day has been proven to moderate blood sugar throughout the day.
Chestnuts – The Nuts Hidden Within
In the past, this round nut was an integral part of the human diet, as it was used in place of potatoes in areas where potatoes could not grow. It was an integral food source for squirrels and deer. One portion contains as much carbohydrate as that found in starchy vegetables. Chestnuts can be easily compared to popcorn, making them a fun pre-eating activity to carry out with kids. They are composed of a closed shell which pops when heated, so make sure to slit them well before cooking. When raw they contain certain harmful acidic content, so it is imperative to cook prior to consumption.
Hazelnuts – The Chocolate Bar Nuts
With the cold season coming up, we have already started seeing this nut incorporated in a number of coffees and hot beverages, as part of the winter specials. In reality, the hazelnut’s benefits far exceed its amazingly sweet flavour. Ancient Greeks used this nut as a treatment for coughs and baldness. While they may have worked for the former, they may have gone awry for the latter.
At Vida we recommend Diamond Nuts. They have been providing the fruit and vegetable market with fresh, high quality and great tasting nuts for over a century. Naturally grown by family-owned farms throughout the state of California, all Diamond’s products are inspected and tested to ensure the highest quality. Fruitland Company is the distributor of the Diamond Walnut brand in Malta. Find Diamond Nuts on Facebook.