reasons to eat nuts
Nuts have so many health benefits, it’s really hard to know where to start. The great thing is that all nuts have benefits, not just one particular type. And if you eat nuts on a regular basis, give yourself a pat on the back – you’re doing better than 95% of the population!
I eat nuts all year round, and have my favourites (almonds, pecans and pistachios), but really look forward to late summer: it heralds the start of cobnut season. Cobnuts are technically a type of hazelnut, grown in Kent, and they’re available ‘green’ for just a few weeks of the year. ‘Green’ cobnuts taste utterly delicious and totally unlike their dried versions. There are various dilemmas about whether we should soak and dry our nuts and seeds to make them more digestible, but eating fresh nuts in their shells totally gets around this issue as they’re ‘wet’ anyway.
We have some hazelnut trees in our garden, but the squirrels take all the nuts before I can get anywhere near them, so I have to buy my fresh nuts. All nuts and their oils are deemed as heart healthy, but hazelnuts, (including Kentish cobnuts) in particular have been the subject of a number of studies suggesting they may help to lower cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation in the body. They’re also a great source of vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and copper. As with all nuts, they contain fibre and protein so are good for people looking to balance their blood sugar levels. We regularly use hazelnuts as the main ingredient in our chocolate nut butter, and use cold-pressed cobnut oil on salads – it’s such an easy way to benefit from the health properties of these tiny nuts.
You might also see fresh almonds, or fresh walnuts – known as ‘wet’ walnuts – although it’s undoubtedly more hassle to shell fresh nuts, the taste and health benefits are more than worth it; it’s an unusual, peaceful past-time while chatting with the kids about their school day, or with my husband over an early-evening glass of wine.
Regular nut eaters weigh less and have a smaller waist size than non-nut eaters – so for me that’s just one more (cosmetic) compelling reason – in addition to the health benefits – to eat more nuts each day!
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