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Nuts – natural source of oils

You do not need to talk much about why you should eat nuts. They are a rich source of oils, vitamins, minerals and protein. Together with vegetables, fruits and seeds should be included in our daily diet. It’s hard to choose the ones that are the best, the varieties of nuts are many, and including each of them in your menu brings many benefits.

1. Walnuts
2. Almonds
3. Hazelnuts
4. Cashews
5. Brazil nuts
6. Pistachio
7. Coconuts
8. Peanuts
9. Summary

1. Walnuts

On the basis of many studies, it can be concluded that walnuts on the background of other nuts are characterized by the highest content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is not without reason that the walnut looks like a brain. One of the advantages of nuts is their beneficial effect on the functioning of this body. In addition, the high omega-3 content promotes the prevention of, among others, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory diseases.

Consuming nuts allows you to deliver large amounts of vitamin B1, which improves the metabolism of carbohydrates, as well as vitamin B6, necessary for the synthesis of proteins and folic acid. That is why they are especially recommended for pregnant women. According to the researchers, consumption of walnuts in the amount of 30-40 g / day may improve the functioning of our body, so it is worth to include nuts in our daily menu.

Nutritionally, walnuts are a source of vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and potassium. They soothe the nervous system and concentration, have strong antioxidant properties, alleviate menstrual discomfort, improve muscle excitability, condition of the bones, as well as libido. The nuts also contain a large amount of the amino acid L-arginine, which is used to synthesize nitric oxide in the blood vessels and is responsible for their extension.

2. Almonds

They should be in our daily diet, because of all the nuts contain the most vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells against aging and the influence of cancer factors. The vitamin B2 contained in them affects carbohydrate metabolism, that is why almonds can be a good source of energy for athletes.

100 g of almonds provide approx. 21 g of vegetable protein. In addition, almonds are full of other nutrients such as manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and copper. Copper is essential in the synthesis of hemoglobin, it is also a component of many proteins and enzymes responsible for cellular respiration. Almonds contain a large amount of an amino acid called histidine, the increased supply of which is essential for children – almond milk will be a good alternative to cow’s milk.

3. Hazelnuts

They are a valuable source of, above all, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Immediately after almonds hazelnuts are the best source of vitamin E. High content of monounsaturated fatty acids in them has a positive effect on lowering the LDL cholesterol fraction (so-called bad cholesterol) and raising the HDL fraction, so-called good cholesterol. It is also worth mentioning that hazelnuts are rich in quercetin – a flavonoid that helps, among others, in the fight against heart disease, diabetes, viral infections or sight problems.

4. Cashews

Of all nuts, they contain the least fat, thanks to which they are less caloric, which is important especially for people using low-energy diets. Their presence in our diet will ensure the supply of such ingredients as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, calcium, iron or zinc. Cashews are widely used, including they are a very important component of people who have turned to veganism. They are a substitute for dairy products (they are a component of vegan cheese), thanks to which they will be perfect when preparing a vegan cheesecake.

5. Brazil nuts

They are rich in selenium – an element with antioxidant properties that fight free radicals. Research is being conducted to use it in the treatment of cancer treatment. The selenium content in 100 g of Brazil nuts is estimated at around 50 μg. Therefore, the consumption of one nut per day will cover the daily demand for this element! In addition, the consumption of Brazil nuts increases the body’s share of ingredients such as magnesium, copper, B vitamins, zinc, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus. Brazil nuts are also credited with beneficial effects on the heart and immunity. They also help control diabetes.

6. Pistachio

They contain a large amount of protein (about 20 g per 100 g of product). They are the only ones that contain carotenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin, which have a positive effect on the eyesight. They contain the most potassium of all nuts, therefore (of course unsalted) their consumption is recommended for people suffering from hypertension. They are rich in vitamins B1, B6 and vitamin K, which affects blood clotting.

Among other ingredients that can be found in pistachios, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C and E are exchanged. Pistachios are an ideal snack for people who are at risk of developing, among others for diabetes, metabolic syndrome or heart disease.

7. Coconuts

The pulp contained in them is rich in saturated fats. Animal fat is different in that it contains medium-chain fatty acids and virtually no cholesterol. The lauric acid contained in the coconut has strong antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. They are also easier to digest and provide a quick source of energy. Coconut also contains pregnenolone – a substance that is a powerful antioxidant. It is difficult to find a fresh coconut in Poland, but you can use equally valuable ingredients – milk, shavings, oil or dried petals.

8. Peanuts

Peanuts (peanut) among all nuts contain the largest amount of protein (25.8 g per 100 g of product). Therefore, it is not without reason that they are included in the legume seed family.

In their composition is also the most vitamin B3, which takes part in the metabolism of carbohydrates and positively affects the condition of the skin.

In addition, peanuts are a valuable source of fiber, fat (mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids) of potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E or folic acid. It has also been shown that the consumption of peanuts has a beneficial effect in cases of weight control, prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease, as well as inhibition of cancer cells development.

9. Summary

This is not all kinds of nuts, of course, but the tastiest, most valuable and easily available ones. They can be eaten raw,

in the form of peanut butter, you can also prepare milk from them. Although the tastiest are roasted, in this form you can eat them from time to time, because the heat treatment negatively affects the fats contained in them, and yet we want to draw from them the best!

Bibliography

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Stróżyk A., Pachocka L., Nuts as an important component of athletes’ diet, Problems of Hygiene and Epidemiology 2016, 97 (4), 328-334.

Sikora E., Liszka P., Nutrients and non-nutrients in raw and processed peanuts (Arachis hypogea), Bromatologia and Toxicology Chemistry 2011, 44 (4), 1047-1053.

Marciniak-Łukasiak K., The role and importance of omega-3 fatty acids, FOOD. Science. Technology. Quality 2011, 6 (79), 24-35.

Mikołajczak N., Mineral components in nuts found in student mixtures = Minerals in nuts which are components of Trail Mix, Journal of Education, Health and Sport 2016, 6 (9), 832-840.

Majewska K. et al., Selected Physical Properties of Mature Walnut Fruits, Acta Agrophysica 2003, 2 (3), 597-609.

Borecka W. et al., Walnut (Juglans regia L.) – a natural source of health-promoting food ingredients, Science. Nature. Technologies 2013, 7 (2), 1-7.
United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/ (9/10/2018).

Manolas S., SUPERFOOD, or how to treat yourself with food, Warsaw 2017, 115, 112, 110, 120, 117, 106, 125.