‘But she is a nut and nuts win’. No matter who this was said for, it can be very aptly applied to the food world. To all the people lucky enough to not have a nut allergy, they are great sources of protein, fats and fibre.
Nuts make for excellent garnishing for a lot of desserts. Count on them to give you the aura of a professional baker, even when you aren’t actually one. It also doesn’t hurt that they are a very good, nutrition high, cost efficient snack by themselves. That’s excellent information if you are someone who is forever broke or can’t figure out where all your money went towards the end of the month.
So if you are looking to consume some of the best nuts for their protein content, we have compiled a list that’s bound to drive you nuts!
Surprise surprise…because peanuts are actually legumes that grow underground. 100 gm of peanuts contains around 25 gm of protein and a host of other nutrients as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – the healthy kind. They also happen to be easier on the pockets than other nuts. So now you know where the expression, “It costs peanuts” comes from. One interesting fact is that mothers who ate peanuts during pregnancy were found to have children with lower rates of asthma and allergic illnesses.
Peanuts have more ways of consumption than there are ways to recycle a white shirt. Think about it – there’s peanut butter, which by the way can be prepared at home, roasted peanuts, as part of stir fries or they can be grounded and used as a garnish in lasagnas and pastas for their crunch factor.
This is a nut that has emerged as a clear hot favourite in the recent years. 100 gm of almonds contain around 21 gm of protein. You know that hot new skincare product which has Vitamin E that you put in your wish-list? Well, you can get similar benefits by ingesting the vitamin, which almonds are known to be rich in, along with calcium.
Almonds have also been known to reduce inflammation in people with type 2 diabetes and helps in managing weight. For those of you who are better off not entering the kitchen, almonds are quite tasty just as they are. Another helpful tip – soaking them overnight really multiplies their nutritional value. You can thank us for this.
It’s a seed, to be honest, not a nut but let’s count it as one, since it was once a royal delicacy and we wouldn’t want to offend it. 100 gm of pistachios contain 20 gm of protein and are high in potassium. It’s hard to stop eating pistachios once you start, they are that tasty. Many prefer to consume pistachios as they are, considering their naturally salty taste – the good kind, not the ‘can’t get over this grudge’ kind. Making this a part of your snack drawer should be a very easy choice, as they promote good cholesterol in your body. Also, next time you find your blood pressure rising when you realize that a meeting could have just been an email, pop a few pistachios to manage it. They also provide the long-term benefit of mitigating the risk of heart disease and managing your weight, proving their worth as the multi tasker that you hope to be one day.
Cashews are popular for their creamy texture and make a great addition to snacks and desserts. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering Americans consume 90% of the world’s cashews. Most of the fats in cashews are monounsaturated fats and 100 gm of cashews contain 18 gm of protein.
Next time you see a food blogger adding cashews to a salad bowl, know that it does more than provide the ‘crunch factor’. It increases the efficacy of antioxidants in the diet.
Also read: FODMAP 101 – All That You Need to Know!
Remember when we believed as kids that eating walnuts would make us more intelligent because of the nut’s ‘brain-like appearance’? A study on college students revealed that there might be some truth to it after all. Interestingly, it was found that eating walnuts increased a measure of cognition called, ‘inferential reasoning’. Glad to know that at least one of the ridiculous things we believed as kids is actually true.
100 gm of walnuts contain 15 gm of protein. It also helps that walnuts are as much for the heart as they are for the brain. They help in improving blood pressure and maintaining blood flow through the circulatory system, not to mention how they function as amazing cheerleaders for good cholesterol.
For the uninformed, hazelnuts are more than an addition to your coffee. While close to walnuts in terms of their protein content (100 gm of hazelnuts have 14 gm of protein), they have a distinct sweet flavor that gives them a recurring place in the dessert world. Hazelnuts take after the other members of their nutty family and help in improving heart health and decreasing bad cholesterol. Just like their cousin almond, they have been known to increase Vitamin E in the bloodstream.
7. Brazil Nuts
As per their namesake, Brazil nuts come from a tree in the Amazon and are incredibly rich in selenium. 100 gm of Brazil nuts contain 14 gm of protein. While not bad for you, Brazil nuts are best taken in small doses, preferably one per day. They are that elusive relative of the nut family that stuns everyone with their coolness along with improving everyone’s kidney and heart health. You will not regret making them a permanent part of your dietary routine.
8. Macadamia Nuts
Our first introduction to Macadamia nuts was probably when we saw Rachael spitting them out to annoy Ross right before, spoiler alert, they got drunk and married. 100 gm of Macadamia nuts contain 7 gm of protein. These nuts, while not very high in protein, are excellent for heart health. Can’t speak for Rachael’s blood pressure that day after having her face doodled on, but her cholesterol must certainly have been in control if she managed to get any macadamia nuts in her system.
Related: Busting Food Myths
All nuts are an excellent source of protein, fats and fiber along with quite a few minerals. Isn’t it amazing how so much goodness fits in such a small space?
Anyway, it would be advisable to assess your dietary needs and select your nuts of choice accordingly. A tip for all the picky eaters out there, combination of two or more nuts everyday would be more sustainable and satisfactory to your taste buds as well.
Substituting snacks like bagels and pretzels with nuts would be the most optimally healthy step to take, but not to worry, you wouldn’t be missing out on the taste of things. Nuts are delicious by themselves, and they can be roasted to enhance the flavor. They can also be turned into butter or milk, and a lot of them make for great garnishing for almost every dish that you can think of. Don’t believe us, just try it.
See Also: Change The Way You Cook: Adapting To A Dairy-Free Lifestyle| Alter your Diet as per Workout Regime