Going nuts for nuts!


Nuts are the most underrated food groups ever. They are only used for garnishing sweet dishes and baked foods but did you know that nuts are power houses of minerals and protein? Vegetarians miss out a lot of protein that usually comes through fish, eggs, meat and chicken. Though legumes provide enough protein, the body still requires large doses of amino acids and other minerals for body maintenance. Take a look at all the nuts that are available round-the-year and how they boost our health by keeping diseases at bay. A handful is more than enough!

Almonds – The most popular nut among the others, the almond is known to be the super food for the brain and the skeletal system. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E and calcium, a combination that is rarely found in other food groups. Dietary fibre too is found in plenty in almonds. If you are on a weight-loss mission, then trust these fibrous nuts to do the job for you. Consume a handful of soaked almonds at regular intervals during the day to burn fat and clean your gut.

Cashew nuts – Unfortunately, they are labelled as high fat and heart attack causing nuts. On the contrary, cashews were found to prevent brain disorders and keep the central nervous system healthy. Iron and zinc are found in abundance in these nuts and these two minerals do the job of pumping oxygen to all the cells and removing blocks. Magnesium, another mineral found in cashews is responsible for correcting memory-related problems and preventing premature ageing of the brain cells.

Pistachios – Found mostly as an ice-cream and kulfi flavour, pistachios are popularly called as the slimming nuts. They are extremely diet friendly. Consuming a small bowl of pistachios keeps you full for longer durations thus making you eat less. Athletes and fitness freaks who want to crowd the body with protein yet cut down food consumption can rely on these nuts. They are also rich in potassium and vitamin B6. People suffering from stress and depression must make pistachios a part of their diet because these nuts can elevate the mood and flush away negative feelings by inducing feel-good hormones in the body. Just ensure that you don’t eat the salted pistachios as their high sodium content can shoot up your blood pressure.

Walnuts – Of all the nuts that are available to us, walnuts contain the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that fight against inflammation and disease causing cells. The manganese content of these nuts makes it the best for women dealing with PMS and menopausal symptoms. Cellular damage that usually causes all kinds of cancers and diseases can be prevented with regular consumption of walnuts.

Hazelnuts – Found mostly in chocolate and coffee as flavouring, these nuts are high in monounsaturated fats that can help manage type2 diabetes and also cut down the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The vitamin E is hazelnuts helps in keeping the skin young by flushing out dead cells and healing scars and blemishes. Instead of using the nuts as a flavour, consume them raw to benefit from them.

If you are in no mood to eat raw eats, chop them and use them as a salad dressing or for garnishing curries. The biggest advantage with nuts is that they are easily available in all seasons in abundance. Snacking on nuts during the day helps weight loss and keeps you healthy too.