Jonesin’ for a snack? Instead of reaching for the box of processed crackers, the bag of greasy potato chips, or the stash of sweets try munching on some mixed nuts. Make your own trail mix in the bulk section of the grocery store and just keep a jar of it on hand. This just happens to be a photo of my trail mix goodie jar at work.
For all you Bemidji-ites…? Bemidjians? For all you Bemidji folks, the Harmony Co-op has a great selection of nuts, trail mixes, seeds, and dried fruit to buy in bulk. I like to create a mix from whatever is on-sale and munch on that for a week, then I try something new the next week.
Nuts are a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and many other nutrients. Plus they are a nice low glycemic index food, meaning they don’t cause our blood sugar to spike. We burn through them slowly and they keep us feeling fuller longer. Could you ask for more in a snack food??
Now just to clarify, when I say nuts are great for your health I am not talking about salted, candied, chocolate dipped, seasoned, or any of the other flavor concoctions which ultimately dumb down the nutritional smarts of these little superfoods. What I am talking about is good, old-fashioned, plain nuts…in their natural form…minus colorful packaging.
Peanuts: Peanuts are a very good source of monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasized in heart-healthy diets. Not only do peanuts contain oleic acid, the healthful fat found in olive oil, but new research shows these tasty legumes are also as rich in antioxidants as many fruits.
Almonds: Almonds provide double-barreled protection against cardiovascular (heart) disease and diabetes. Almonds are a very good source of manganese and a good source of copper, two trace minerals that are essential cofactors of a key oxidative enzyme that disarms free radicals in our bodies. Almonds are also a protein powerhouse!
Cashews: Cashews are a source of magnesium, needed for strong bones. They also have a lower fat content than most nuts.
Walnuts: Walnuts contain the highest source of natural plant omega-3s called alphalinoleic acid – ALA . Eating walnuts is like wearing a seat belt for your heart!
Pine nuts: Pine-nuts are the edible seeds of pine trees, removed from pine cones. They contain nutrients including useful amounts of zinc, niacin, manganese and the amino acid arginine. An average serving is two tablespoons of pine nuts.
Hazelnuts: Hazelnuts contain significant amounts of B-vitamins including folate and Vitamin B6. Plus, they are the highest in fiber of all the nuts.
Brazil nuts: Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium; a vital mineral and antioxidant that may help prevent heart disease. Just two Brazil nuts can provide your entire daily intake of selenium!