When Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine,” he wasn’t joking around. The foods we eat play a major role in the level of health that we experience (or on the flip side – level of disease). Certain foods contain specific nutrients and compounds, like antioxidants and essential fatty acids, that can effect our health in profound ways. In honor of National Nut Day today – we are highlighting 10 reasons why NUTS should be an essential part of YOUR “medicine cabinet” aka kitchen pantry.
1. “But..What About Protein?”
As more people learn about the massive health benefits of eliminating animal products in exchange for a more plant-based eating structure, the question of getting adequate protein often surfaces. Nuts offer high quality amino acids, and are definitely a great option for those with a protein scarcity mentality. Plant protein abounds and nuts are a great sour! For instance, just 1oz of almonds (1 small handful) contains 6 grams of protein.
2. It’s a No Brainer
The essential fatty acids found within nuts, especially the high levels of omega 3’s found in walnuts, offer incredible benefits to our brains and cognitive health. Nature even tries ensure we get this memo by making walnuts LOOK like a brain! Mother Nature knows best…
3. Stay Full Longer
Research from the European Journal of Nutrition indicates that women who eat a mid-morning snack of almonds feel more satisfied as they go about their day, and tend to consume less calories for lunch and dinner. Nobody likes to feel hangry (hungry + angry) after a long work day- so keeping nuts tucked away in your desk is a must!
4. Balance Blood Sugar
Eating nuts with meals or as a snack helps to ensure even blood sugar levels throughout the day, as the healthy fat and protein contained within them slow down the rate at which sugar molecules enter the blood stream. This means less of the spike and crash blood sugar roller coaster ride that can severely effect our moods, energy levels, overall health, and yes, even relationships.
5. Weight Management
A stable blood sugar and higher degree of satiation after meals means less cravings for unhealthy foods we know we shouldn’t be eating. This is great news whether you’re looking to lose weight in a balanced and sustainable way, or are simply looking to maintain your weight right where it’s at.
6. Live Long and Prosper
In one of the largest studies done of its kind, the New England Journal of Medicine published some incredibly good news for nut lovers everywhere: those who ate just a handful of nuts per day were 20% less likely to die from any cause (yes, ANY cause) over a 30 year period than those who did not consume nuts.
7. Protect Your Heart
The naturally occurring levels of unsaturated fats – namely a type of monounsaturated fat called oleic acid – found in macadamia nuts and also olives and avocados, have well-documented positive effects on the prevention of heart disease – one of the leading causes of death in the USA.
8. Hormonal Health
Our various endocrine glands need healthy fats in order to produce healthy and balanced levels of hormones. Hormones effect everything from our growth and development, to our metabolism, sexual and reproductive health, and even overall mood and brain chemistry. When we don’t get enough essential fats our hormonal system is one of the first to suffer.
9. Healthy Digestion
Nuts improve digestion several ways: they are a good source of dietary fiber, and their natural oils help to lubricate the digestive system, both of which help keep things moving along (so to speak).
10. A Flavorful Life
Whether you’re eating a handful of crunchy raw nuts, or are enjoying a drizzle of creamy nut butter over your smoothie bowl, it’s undeniable that nuts can add delicious flavor and incredible texture to your meals. One of the most delicious and versatile ways to get the benefits of nuts is through raw nut butters! Dastony has created an incredible range of silky smooth, low temperature stone ground nut butters which are minimally processed and 100% pure. No added oils or sugars and 100% organic.