Health and Nut Nutrition Nuts are a great source of plant based protein and are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Nuts can be regarded as a complete food because they usually contain enough of the essential nutrients that we need – energy from oils and fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Nuts also benefit overall overall health in the following ways:
- Nuts help in keeping arteries elastic and controlling blood pressure.
- Nuts have antiviral properties.
- Nuts help to reduce the factors that lead to cancer.
- Nuts are a healthy energy source.
- Nuts, in common with other plant products, contain no cholestrol.
- Nuts assist in weight reduction and lower the risk of weight gain.
Typically the following serves equate to about 30g each:
The nutritional and daily value of the above amounts are included in the table below.
Nuts differ in their health properties and the best way to derive health benefits is to eat a variety of nuts every day. The following list identifies nut varieties which are most commonly available and includes links for more detailed information.
For more information see the Almond Health and Nutrition page.
For more information see the Chestnut Health and Nutrition page.
For more information see the Hazelnut Health and Nutritition page.
For more information see the Macadamia Health and Nutrition page.
For more information see the Pecan Health and Nutrition page.
For more information see the Walnut Health and Nutrition page.
Nutrients and % Daily Value in 1 ounce of Tree Nuts (daily recommended amount – see table above) (Courtesy of the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation)
An activated nut is a nut that has been soaked and sprouted to release its enzyme inhibitors.
Prior to the making of nut milk, nuts are often activated to assist the digestion and the breakdown of the nut. Denser nuts require a longer soaking than less dense nuts.
- Almonds require 10 – 14 hours
- Hazelnuts require 12 – 14 hours
- Brazil nuts, walnuts and pecans require 4 – 6 hours
- Cashews, chestnuts and macadamias require only 2 – 4 hours
More information may be obtained from the following sites:
- Raw Activated Nuts – Loving Earth
- Dieticians Association of Australia
- Diabetes Channel – Eating Nuts Helps with Weight Management
- Better Health Channel – Nuts
- Nuts for Life – The Role of Nuts in Weight Management Full Literature Review May 2006
Tree nuts and peanuts are associated with allergic reactions for a small percentage of people and are one of the foods associated with more severe reactions. Studies show some nut varieties are more likely to result in an adverse reaction than others.
The following sites provide comprehensive advice on the subject of nut allergies:
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy – Is a professional medical organisation, comprised predominantly of Clinical Immunologists, Allergy Specialists and Immunology Scientists. Their mission is to advance the science and practice of clinical immunology and allergy, by promoting education and the highest standard of ethical medical practice.
- Allergen Bureau – Provides rapid responses to questions concerning the management of food allergen risks in food ingredients and manufactured foods in Australia and New Zealand.
- Food Standards – Australia and New Zealand – Tree Nut Ingredients to avoid if you if you are allergic to tree nuts.
- Kids with Food Allergies (US) – A national nonprofit food allergy support group dedicated to fostering optimal health, nutrition,
and well-being of children with food allergies by providing education and a caring support community for their families and caregivers.
- Buzzle.com – Nut allergy Symptoms
- The Allergy Site (UK)
- Nut Allergy Net (UK)
Rancidification is the chemical decomposition of fats, oils and other lipids. There are three basic types of rancidity. Hydrolytic rancidity occurs when water splits fatty acid chains away from the glycerol backbone in glycerides. Oxidative rancidity occurs when the double bonds of an unsaturated fatty acid react chemically with oxygen. Microbial rancidity refers to a process in which micro-organisms such as bacteria use their enzymes, including lipases, to break down chemical structures in the fat. In each case, these chemical reactions result in undesirable odors and flavors. For more information on rancidity see the online Wikipedia encyclopedia
Nuts are best fresh. Rancidity occurs more quickly with some varieties of nuts than others. Walnuts, hazelnuts and pine nuts are at risk of going rancid more quickly than some other nut varieties.
Nuts are best stored in the fridge, preferably in a plastic bag with the air squeezed out and the top fastened by a tie or clip. See the respective pages on this site for comments on storage requirements for various types of nuts.
- Journal of Nutrition – The 2007 Nuts & Health Symposium Proceedings
- NutHealth.org – Nutrition Research
- Nut Grower’s Guide (Jennifer Wilkinson) – “What’s in a Nut” chapter.
- Nuts for Life This site aims to educate lovers of nuts about the latest scientific findings on nuts and their role in nutrition and health.This site aims to educate lovers of nuts about the latest scientific findings on nuts and their role in nutrition and health.
- Nuts Ready Reckoner 2009 Edition – Nutrient Composition (Nuts for Life)
- Impact of Peanuts and Tree Nuts on Body Weight and Healthy Weight Loss in Adults (2007) – American Society for Nutrition
- International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation.