Nuts Health and Nutrition – Austnuts Nut Directory

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.

Nutritionists and dieticians advise that a serve of nuts a day (30g approx) contributes to a healthy diet and good health.

Typically the following serves equate to about 30g each:

23 almonds
6 Brazil nuts
18 cashews
4 chestnuts
21 hazelnuts
11 macadamias
10 pecans
2 tablespoons pine nuts
49 pistachios
7 whole walnuts
A small handful of mixed nuts

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.


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)

Tree nut nutrition table

Activated Nuts

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:


Diet

If you have specific needs in your which you feel could be accommodated by nuts an Accredited Practising Dietitian can provide you with advice and suggestions.


Nut Allergies
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)

Nut Rancidity and Storage

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.


Further Information