Thursday, March 20, 2014

AHHHH Nuts! I Didn't Know That

I love nuts but didn't really know very much about them, other than the fact that they taste good.  I had always heard that they were healthy but also grew up with the old saying that "if it taste good it probably isn't good for you."  Well, I went checking to learn a little more about some of my favorites and here is what I found.

Peanuts - They supply 7 g of protein per serving and are an excellent source of niacin and a good source of magnesium and vitamin E.

Pecans - These delicious nuts are the only popular nut native to North America.  One ounce of these domestic nuts is a good source of copper, fiber, thiamin and zinc.

Almonds - Excellent source of vitamin E and a good source of dietary fiber.  Early explorers traveling from Asia to the Mediterranean brought almonds and dried fruit along with them.

Walnuts - Are a nutritious addition to desserts, salads, pastas and sauces.  The botanical name is Juglans Regia.  No matter what you decide to call them, these nuts are a good source of copper and magnesium.

Pistachios - These delicious nuts are ripe in late summer when their shells naturally split open along their seams.  An ounce of these provides a good source of phosphorus and almost 290 mg of potassium.

Hazelnuts - These nuts are also called filberts and are a good source of Vitamin E.  Toasted hazelnuts not only remove their bitter skins but also bring out their rich, buttery flavor.

And just so you'll know how much is in a serving, I found this in my research:  A handful of nuts is equal to about 1 oz., which corresponds to a standard serving size on many packages of nuts. Looking at the actual number of nuts in a serving, 14 shelled walnut halves and 24 shelled almonds equal one serving. Other measures of serving size by number include: 16 cashews, 28 peanuts and 45 pistachios. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends 1.5 oz of nuts a day, roughly equal to 1/3 cup.
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