Thanks to hurricane Sandy blowing through the last couple of days, our oak forest has dropped most of its leaves as well as an overabundance of acorns. Last year there wasn’t a nut to be found which may have correlated to a blissfully mild winter. I don’t know what Farmer’s Almanac is predicting this year but if mother nature is providing the clues, my guess is we better be prepared for a brutally wild winter. While the acorn production may be great for our fuzzy friends, it also reminds us to all go a little nuts this season.
I must confess that I love nuts. They used to be a rare indulgence until I learned more about these power-packed little nuggets. If you’ve ever felt a twinge of guilt popping peanuts, crunching cashews or munching macadamias, I have news for you — you’re not crazy, you just may be a little nutritionally nuts!
I Heart U
According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, nuts can be a kick for your ticker. When consumed regularly, they have a positive benefit on cardiovascular health especially in men. Their research shows that as “little as two ounces of nuts a week appears to help lower heart disease risk” by:
- helping lower cholesterol, especially bad LDL levels
- including heart-healthy mono– and polyunsaturated fats
- increasing omega-3 fats
- containing L-arginine which may help blood vessels
- adding fiber and Vitamin E
While most nuts have a lot of healthy benefits, there are some that rise to the top of the bowl. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, macadamia and hazelnuts are a great first choice. Peanuts are a healthy second choice. Even though they’re technically a legume, they still have some heart healthy benefits. Here are some additional tips to make your day a little nuttier:
- Replace unhealthy snacks with a handful of nuts.
- Due to their higher calorie count, stick with 1 to 1.5 ounces per day, equivalent to a small handful.
- Avoid pre-roasted and salted nuts as they may include other less healthy oils and preservatives.
- Roast your own at home — spread the nuts on a cookie sheet and roast for 7–9 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch out, once the oils are released nuts can burn fast so keep a close eye on the oven.
- Chocolate or sugar coated nuts don’t count, stick with the real raw or dry roasted deal.
- Make nuts a part of a comprehensive healthy eating and lifestyle strategy.
With potential winter woes upon us, we can all get a little squirrelly. Isn’t it nice to know we now have permission to go a little nuts…at least with our diet!
Go Nuts: Here’s your VIP invitation for great discounts on 24KTM (healthy energy/focus/stress relief shot) and access an entire line of beneficial nutty nutrients. Go to: www.My24kVIP.com and enter vip code: gold to enjoy your own private shopping lounge.
Personal note from Chris & Mark: As our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the recent storms, we thank all of our military and first-responders for their courage and commitment to protect our great nation in calm and crisis.
Copyright © 2012 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.