No, it’s not what you think (shame on you – really?)! The nut is possibly one of the most healthful foods you can munch on. Most contain linoleic acid, amino acids, vitamins E and B2, folate, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, selenium, and antioxidants. Chances are, if it comes in a shell, and it’s not a taco, it’s a nut, which is actually a seed.
Though the peanut is actually a legume, we won’t leave it out (baseball would never forgive us). Among the nut family are almonds, acorns, Brazil, cacao, cashews, chestnuts, coconut, hazelnut, macadamia, pecans, pile, pine, pinon, pistachios, soy, sunflower, tiger, walnuts, and my cousin Vinnie – but I digress…
While nuts are best for us served raw, they also come roasted, salted, seasoned, unsalted, and in every form of butter you can imagine. George Washington Carver, the Forest Gump of the peanut world, came up with hundreds of uses for nuts including plastics, paint, dyes, and gasoline.
Different kinds of nuts grow all over the world and are a part of nearly every diet. My favorite is the macadamia from Hawaii. It is fabulous in it’s natural state but can also be covered in chocolate, dipped in ice cream, used to flavor a coffee creamer, and used in dishes that like to mix crunch into the blend. The same can be said for the hazelnut, as well as pecans, walnuts, and nearly every kind of nut variety.
So grab your nuts and munch away… but remember to take small bites and make them last longer.
How to celebrate – Buy a can of mixed nuts and sample a variety for yourself. Make sure you are not allergic to the type of nuts you are eating. Most allergies seem to be in the legume family but can vary. Find different dishes you can include nuts in.