A favorite game of one of my grandsons was to play he was a squirrel. This meant running around, shaking his pretend tail, climbing a step stool or low ledge, and pretending to gather and bury nuts. Sometimes he got me to join him. Pretty good exercise for us both.
Now my interest is in eating nuts. I encourage you to eat them too.
The label on the can of almonds next to me tells me that 28 of them is one serving. By eating one serving I will take in 6 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber. I also get good amounts of Vitamin B2, manganese, copper, biotin, and 8% of my daily value of calcium. Best of all, I get “crunch.” Crunch not only picks up my energy but it also satisfies my desire to just “crunch” some food item between my teeth. This is enjoyable, settling, and filling.
Am I proposing you eat nuts because they’re good for you? I am. Consider that nuts are high in health benefits, like the nutrients listed above. What about the fact that they are high in fat? They are, but most of their fats are the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated kinds that are good for your heart and lower the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Will they make you gain weight? Unlikely, if the studies cited by nutrition experts such as those at whfoods.org, and Dr. Michael Greger in his book How Not to Die, are correct. Major studies have found that people who ate a handful or two daily, or several times a week, of nuts and/or seeds had less risk of weight gain than people who didn’t eat nuts or seeds.
Top rated nuts for healthy fats according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, using U.S. Dept. of Agriculture data, are hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pistachios. Peanuts are also highly rated, but they are not actually nuts. They are legumes. They are also magic food potions for many kids. Even picky eaters often grab food that contains peanut butter. Another of my grandsons who is a picky eater and I have spent happy times “pasting” fruit such as grapes together with peanut butter to make “caterpillars” which he then gobbled up. If your child has a peanut allergy, see if he or she can eat other “butters” from ground seeds or nuts. Pair them with fruit slices. Make trail mixes. You can custom make them by mixing your choices of nuts, seeds, dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries, and a puffed grain such as popcorn or cereal. Grind and add nuts to smoothies, as well as to sauces and stews.
If you want a really impressive elaboration of the great powers of nuts and seeds, go to the whfoods website http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20#nutritionalprofile
This month why not "go nuts?"