Over the years I have had an on again / off again relationship with nuts. I was influenced by the fickle diet trends with nuts being bad, being fattening, being healthy and on and on!
My current opinion is that nuts provide us with amazing benefits and essential nutrients such as:
- Walnuts are high in the omega-3 fat ALA, alpha-linolenic acid (converts to EPA and DHA).
- Almonds are a good source of calcium and vitamin E.
- Brazil nuts are very rich in selenium.
- Macadamia nuts are high in monounsaturated fat.
- Cashews contain magnesium, iron and copper.
- Pecans are high in vitamin B3.
That being said, we still need to keep the “in moderation” motto in mind! Although I don’t believe in calorie counting, these guys can quickly add up since they are a trigger food for many people.
Nuts are one of my most convenient travel companions. At least you can bank on them to provide real nutrition in comparison with airline food. I always have a small portion of macadamias in my handbag. (Confession – I am nuts about macadamias!)
I have battled with hypothyroid issues on a continual basis. One of my health hacks is to eat two Brazil nuts daily due to their selenium content for thyroid regulation. Selenium assist with thyroid balance because your body needs selenium to produce thyroid hormones. I find that my selenium uptake is optimal when eating Brazil nuts in comparison with taking selenium supplements. However, you can overdose on selenium and therefore, check your selenium intake should you consume other selenium rich foods.
Since I am still sensitive in all matters digestion, I soak and dehydrate ALL nuts before consuming them to rid them of phytic acid. This is a bit of a mission BUT it also affords me the opportunity to season them with all sorts off interesting treatments before the dehydration to add ZING! I am speaking of sprinkling them with variations of Herbamare, lemon juice, ginger, nutritional yeast, chilli or whatever takes your fancy. WARNING: portion control then becomes a challenge!
Another tip is that I make a small but luxurious dessert or pick me up snack (as per photo) with a mixture of almond butter, dark chocolate shavings, a few salty (Herbamare) macadamias and blue berries (or whatever takes your fancy).