Time to get all nutty again…

How can we top the qualities of the hazelnut that we discussed in my last blog post? Well, wait ‘til you see the benefits of the other three nuts that make up our fab four.

Rather than repeat the common benefits of hazelnuts in today’s trio, I’ll just highlight the exceptional or additional values for them.

Again, they come in as a handy snack if you get an attack of the nibbles or are looking to fluff up your salad and are far better than some lower-calorie ingredients due to their additional powers.

Almonds

Absolutely my favourite nut of all time, plain or roasted. That’s a good point: any values given are for plain, as all nuts are best eaten raw…mm, better clarify that remark: and out of their shells. No use having the body of a demi-god if you’ve got teeth like grave-stones.

I’d eat almonds with everything; sprinkled on the back of my Sunday roast to dappling vanilla ice-cream, from inclusion in salads to home-made milk-shakes (especially banana), they’re divine.

Like hazelnuts, almonds are cracking sources of Vitamin E, antioxidants for the skin and can go toe-to-toe with cow’s milk when it comes to volumes of calcium.

In addition, in just half a dozen almonds you get a quarter of your day’s entire calcium RDA and due to their high fibre content, research is beginning to strongly suggest almonds are beneficial in staving off colon cancer.

Brazil nuts

From A to B, for Brazil nuts. It was always these buggers that showed me up for the wimp I was. If only they were inside out, I could have cracked the shell no problem had I access to the goodness inside Brazil nuts.

Again, vitamin E, magnesium, fibre and selenium are ever-presents, as per the almond. But the Brazil nut is also a great source for copper and, more importantly, miracle mineral niacin, too.

If you’re suffering from osteo- or rheumatoid arthritis, poor circulation, cartilage erosion and muscle fatigue – all of which can be ‘discovered if you’re taking up a physical workout program for the first time – niacin (vitamin B3), along with its anti-inflammatory powers is proved to help reverse, or at least impede progression of, these effects after 3-4 months usage in the right dosage.

Important note: It is worth consulting a doctor before running out to buy niacin, though. There is such a thing as the ‘niacin flush’, which can result in redness and itchiness as the blood vessels open.

Whilst in most cases this is purely a sign that the niacin is working, a small minority have shown extreme sensitivity to taking to strong a dose first time around with this wonder-mineral.

And talking of wonders, we come finally to – drumroll, please:

The Walnut.

And, yes, it is very worthy of the capital T and prefix of The.

As well as many of the benefits already outlined in the above nuts, walnuts have been accredited with improving functionality in our brains. It also has properties that help keep our heart regulated and keeps skin blemishes and skeletal issues at bay.

It’s not that surprising that The Walnut does all this and more, considering. They have more than a half a dozen polyphenols that help fight disease contained in the anti-oxidant ellagic acid, with which walnuts are rammed with.

But alas, thinking that you can avail yourself of a Walnut Whip (go on, say it like Stewie Griffin, dare yer!) is a stretch too far. All of that sugar and saturated fat, plus the walnuts (or half of one) are baked, they’re a definite no-go treat, sorry.

I will stress again that nuts are high in calories, so do be sure to measure out your consumption and build it into your day’s caloric intake count.

Having said that, the benefit of adding these four nuts (try them with raisins and chilli powder and a glass of iced water – but be warned, they’re moreish) far outweighs snacks like crisps, ‘good for you’ chocolate bars or pastries.

So go on, come out of that shell and get nutty. But not so much that you’re reliant on getting crackers, if you know what I mean???

Speak soon,

Martin Smith
Author of The Definition Method
[email protected]

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