Nuts are generally the seeds of the trees, enclosed in shells. Nuts are regarded as nutrient-dense foods. As a general rule, nuts are regarded as containing large amount of Fats, fair amount of Proteins, and low amount of Carbohydrates. On account of their high fat content, nuts provide a large amount of heat and energy. One exception to the mentioned general rule, however exists, i.e. the Chestnut. Chestnuts contain less fat and protein and large amount of carbohydrate material, especially starch, than is found in other nuts. In southern Europe chestnuts are widely used as food. Their skins are removed, and then these are steamed, boiled or roasted. Sometimes they are dried and converted in flour.
Health benefits of nuts consumption - Research and Evidences
Extensive research has been carried out on nuts and their health outcomes in the past two decades. Evidences are there that nut consumption reduces the chances of coronary heart disease, gallstones and diabetes. Limited evidences suggest beneficial effects on cancer, inflammation and hypertension. Some studies show that nut intake also results in cholesterol-lowering, and even help in weight loss.
How Nuts should be used?
Nuts however very beneficial, but these should not be depended upon to furnish more than a small amount of the whole food supply. This is on account of the fact that nearly all nuts contain pungent or bitter aromatic oils and ferments, which give them their flavors. These oils have tendency to upset the digestion. This is particularly true of the peanut, which is not a true nut at all. Peanuts contain this oil in large amount, and because of this Peanuts are among the most indigestible and undesirable articles of diet in common use. A certain amount of this irritating substance may be destroyed by careful ROASTING AND SALTING; BUT THIS MUST BE MOST CAREFULLY DONE. Apart from these, nuts should be thoroughly masticated, whenever they are taken. Otherwise, it would be hard to digest and even can produce other digestive troubles.
The proper place for nuts is where they usually come on our tables — at the end of a meal. Those who attempt to cure themselves of DYSPEPSIA by a consuming nut diet, are simply making permanent their disease.
Nutritional Values of Some of the Widely Used Nuts
Average nutrient composition of nuts (per 100 g)
|Nuts||Energy (kJ)||Fat (g)||Protein (g)||Fiber (g)|
|Brazil nuts (dried)||2743||66.4||14.3||8.5|
|Pine nuts (dried)||2816||68.4||13.7||3.7|
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