Are you craving a snack? A portion of nuts can be your best choice.
Nuts are rich in health promoting nutrients such as proteins, fats, a variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and bioactive phytochemicals.
Many studies suggest that they have a positive effect on heart disease, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, hypertension; they lower blood lipids and they increase good cholesterol (HDL), they also lower all-cause mortality.
A recent study on almond consumption shows evidence of their influence on the immune and inflammatory processes. In the study participants who consumed 2 oz. (56,7 gr)of almonds a day for 6 weeks, had an increase of colon bacteria such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus (Burns, 2016).
Nuts can be very rich in fat, but epidemiologic and clinical evidence showed no relation of frequent nut consumption to obesity and weight-gain risk (Sabate, et al, 2009). On top of that, a heart study from the University of Nevada, found that frequent nuts consumers have lower body weights compared to those who do not eat nuts. (Craig, 2016)
Nuts can be eaten raw, cooked or peeled but they are better eaten raw with their pellicles because this is where the most antioxidants are located. Roasting lowers the concentration of thiamin and carotenoids and tocopherols, with almonds and walnuts suffering the greatest loss than other nuts
There is a drawback, however. Tree nuts and seeds are among the most common food allergens (Koppelman, 2006). Tree nuts, peanuts and shellfish are the food allergens most frequently linked to anaphylaxis (American college of Allergy, Asthma and immunology., n.d.). An allergic reaction to nuts can be fatal and roasting does not protect from allergic reaction. (Koppelman 2013)
Burns, A.M., Zitt, M.A., Rowe, C.C., Langkamp-Henken, B., Mai, V., Nieves Jr., C., Ukhanova, M., Christman, M.C., Dahl, W.J., 2016. Diet quality improves for parents and children when almonds are incorporated into their daily diet: a randomized, crossover study. Nutrition Research 36, 80–89. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2015.11.004
Craig, W. (2016) Health Benefits of Nuts – Vegetarian Nutrition. Available at: https://vegetarian-nutrition.info/health-benefits-of-nuts/ (Accessed: 4 January 2017).
Koppelman, S. (2006). 12 – Detecting tree nuts and seeds in food. In: Detecting Allergens in Food, pp. 201-218. Koppelman, S. J., and Hefle, S. L. (Eds.), Woodhead Publishing.
Koppelman, S. J. (2013) Detecting tree nut and seed allergens in food, Improving the Safety and Quality of Nuts. Woodhead Publishing Limited. doi: 10.1533/9780857097484.2.379.
Sabate, J. and Ang, Y. (2009) ‘Nuts and health outcomes: new epidemiologic evidence’, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. American Society for Nutrition, 89(5), p. 1643S–1648S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736Q.
Aune, D., Keum, N. and Giovannucci, E. (2016) ‘Whole grain consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause and cause specific mortality: systematic review and dose–response meta-analysis of prospective studies’, BMJ, 353. doi: 10.1136/bmj.i2716.
Ros, E., 2010. Health Benefits of Nut Consumption. Nutrients 2, 652–682. doi:10.3390/nu2070652
Ros, E., 2016. Nuts: Health Effects, in: Encyclopedia of Food and Health. Academic Press, Oxford, pp. 111–118.”
Stuetz, W., Schlörmann, W., Glei, M., (2017). B-vitamins, carotenoids and α-/γ-tocopherol in raw and roasted nuts. Food Chemistry 221, 222–227. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.10.065
Tree Nut Allergy – Food Allergy Research & Education (no date). Available at: http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/tree-nut-allergy (Accessed: 5 January 2017).
Tree Nut Allergy | Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | ACAAI Public Website (no date). Available at: http://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/types-food-allergy/tree-nut-allergy (Accessed: 5 January 2017).
Wells, M.L., (2013). 1 – Agricultural practices to reduce microbial contamination of nuts A2 – Harris, Linda J., in: Improving the Safety and Quality of Nuts, Woodhead Publishing Series in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition. Woodhead Publishing, pp. 3–21.