Don’t get fooled by their size, nuts are a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants. They are rich in wholesome proteins, healthy fats and calories. They help nourish an individual and avoid malnutrition or wasting syndrome [a condition where you lose body fat as well as vital muscle]. They help diabetics control their glucose levels, reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease and are often prescribed to TB patients as they are energy dense. In addition, they have lipid-lowering properties and are good for mental development.
- Reduces inflammation and oxidative damage.
- Lowers LDL [bad cholesterol] and raises HDL [good cholesterol].
- Provides enough roughage [fibre], facilitating efficient waste removal from the body.
- Improves cognition.
How to eat them
Nuts should be eaten in their natural form. Ideally, you should soak them in water overnight. This makes them easy to digest. It also reduces their heat-producing nature and improves taste and texture.
You can even peel the skin [in case of nuts like soaked almond] if you like. However, avoid eating dry roasted nuts as the healthy fats in them can turn rancid. Also, avoid eating the salty variety because of the high sodium content.
Don’t eat more than a fistful of nuts at a time—less is better as they are high in calories. Eating nuts in excess can cause allergic reactions in many people as they are also a concentrated form of protein.
The best time to eat nuts
Nuts are best eaten in the morning, in-between meals or post workout. Avoid eating them in the evening say between five and seven as a person’s hunger is at its peak during this time and you may eat a bigger portion than recommended. But if you are able to control your portions, have them any time.
Being energy dense, they are considered one of the best foods in winter.
How to store nuts
Nuts have a good shelf life [around six months] as they have little water content, which discourages bacterial growth and spoilage. They are best kept in dark coloured bottles stored away from sunlight in a cool place or refrigerator.
So the next time you visit the grocers, don’t forget to add nuts to your cart.
|Commonly eaten nuts||Less commonly eaten nuts|
|Cashew nuts||Chest nuts|
Did you know?
A serving size of 100g nuts has
- Energy: 500kcal – 600kcal
- Fats: 50g – 55g/100g
- Proteins: 20g – 25g/100g
- Carbs: 15g – 20g/100g