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10 Completely Random Facts About Nuts.
1. A nut is a fruit composed of an inedible hard shell and a seed which is usually edible.
2. From prehistoric times, nuts have been a reliable source of food. There has been evidence, found on an archaeological dig in Israel, that nuts were a large part of the humans’ diets 780,000 years ago.
3. Did you know cashew nuts are poisonous? They belong to the poison ivy family.
4. Pistachios are fruits because they contain chlorophyll; a pigment found in plants which is used to absorb sunlight.
5. Peanuts are legumes which are seeds that grow inside pods and grow underground.
6. Whatever you do, don’t ever give macadamia nuts to dogs because they are poisonous to them. For humans, these nuts have the highest unsaturated fats.
7. Walnuts are the oldest known tree food. They date back to around 10,000 BCE, have the highest content of omega-3 fatty acids and can be used to remove scratches from wooden floors and furniture. I have, myself, used a walnut on scratches and was pleasantly surprised to find it reduced them a lot!
8. Hazelnuts are also charmingly known as ‘filberts.’
9. Almonds need bees to pollinate them.
10. Talking of bees, Brazil nuts need a specific species of bee to pollinate them and they can take as long as 10 to 30 years to mature. Also, despite being called, ‘Brazil’ nuts, they’re actually from Bolivia!
Health Benefits of Nuts.
Nuts are powerhouses of nutrients, assuming you don’t have allergies to them.
Pecans are particularly rich in vitamin E while chestnuts in vitamin C. More impressively, a single Brazil nut gives you 100% of your daily recommended intake of selenium. This mineral helps to protect against cell damage and infections.
According to Healthline, the top 9 nuts beneficial for our health are:-
In general, nuts are high in unsaturated fat, protein, selenium, magnesium, zinc and copper.
They contain a lot of antioxidants whose purpose is to neutralise free radicals. (Unstable molecules that may cause cell damage and increase your risk of disease.)
Studies show that nuts, in particular, almonds and pistachios, may help with weight loss. One study found that participants who ate nuts with their meals lost an average of 2 inches from their waists. This was more than those who consumed olive oil.
Nuts may lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Obese people in a 12-week study who ate pistachios had triglyceride levels of nearly 33% lower than those people in the control group.
They may reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Nuts’ high fibre content could reduce your risk of disease, keep you full and improve your gut health.
Finally, nuts may reduce inflammation in your body. In one study, people’s inflammatory markers were significantly reduced by supplementing their diet with them.
Not only can they cause serious allergies, but eating too many nuts can cause weight gain, diarrhoea, cramps and bloatedness.
As a rule, if you love nuts, eat no more than a small handful (about 30g) a day. This is approximately 10 Brazils, 12 walnuts halves, 21 cashews, 27 almonds or 43 pistachios.
I love eating nuts but have to admit, I love them a bit too much! I need to cut down on the amount I eat.
Do you like nuts? If so, what are your favourites?
Thank you for reading.
Sources: justfunfacts.com, kuali.com, uselessdaily.com, healthline.com, bhf.org.uk, hsph.harvard.edu, medicalnewstoday.com, waitrosse.com