Holiday season is here and those addicting bowls of nuts are on the table looking at you. But are you looking back at them? Or are you mindlessly dunking your five metatarsals into the what seems to be a harmless bowl of crunchiness?
Many of you have seen the numerous claims of how nuts are healthy to eat. They make you mighty and powerful, increase your energy, reduce blood pressure, make your heart healthier , and deliver a great source or protein, fiber, and antioxidants. The great part is that all of this true! But remember we are talking about food claims here so lets look more into this. Beware of what nuts you are grabbing and how much.
Eating a ONE ounce serving of nuts a day is a healthy snack. One ounce of nuts contains about 150-200 calories but the serving sizes per nuts varies so see below for the number of nuts in a 1 oz serving.
- 13 walnut halves: highest in omega 3’s (heart health, reducing inflammation)
- 16 cashews: High in copper. Gives you 30% of the recommended intake. (Copper is critical in helping build tissue, maintain blood volume, and produce energy in your cells.)
- 24 almonds: highest of other nuts in the antioxidant Vitamin E (can help to prevent coronary artery disease, increases immune system, helps the health of hair and nails, reduce the risk of cataracts.) Also very high in Calcium and Magnesium
- 21 hazelnuts: also contains the highest Vitamin E content of other nuts
- 15 pecans: Even though pecans are one of the highest calorie nuts with the lowest protein and highest fats, it does contains more antioxidants than any other nut! Also one of highest content of fiber out of any nut (provides 10% of the daily recommended fiber)
- 28 peanuts: Good source of protein. When buying peanut butter, make sure it is “natural” peanut butter
- 47 pistachio kernels: protein, potassium, plant sterols and the antioxidant resveratrol (antioxidant in your vino!)
To tell you what nut is the best to crack is quite difficult as they all have great health benefits. The main things to look at when buying or eating nuts is to 1. WATCH YOUR PORTION SIZE! Nuts are only healthy and a great snack if they you are only eating 1 oz per day. 2. did I mention WATCH YOUR PORTION SIZE? 3) Buy unsalted nuts to reduce sodium intake by almost 200 mg per serving versus some other nuts.
Now if you ask me to pick one nut to eat, well a girl’s gotta eat, so the fact that pistachios offer the most nuts per 1-ounce serving and great health benefits, those are my choice!
Happy non-mindless nibbling!