Why is it “nuts” not to eat nuts?
The word nuts is being used very loosely here, so don’t read into it because I’m really not nuts. It gets better and you’ll understand the reason for this post and hopefully if you don’t eat nuts, you will start eating them. When most people hear the word nuts when used to describe a person, the translation is usually that the person has a strange obsession or is obsessed with something “normal”. Like being nuts about folding towels the same way all the time, or nuts about a clean house. You have to understand that there’s nothing wrong with believing in something so deeply that you live your life to accommodate whatever you believe you in, and that is perfectly okay. So, I want to tell you about one of my “nut” problems, or should I say obsessions. It started a long time ago. I was nuts about fitness to the point where that it what I lived for. I got up at 4 am and turned on “Bodies in Motion” and jumped around for the 30 minutes before getting ready for work. After work, I’d hit the gym and take 2 aerobic classes. I read fitness magazines in search of all the education I needed to get the perfect body, and that is where the obsession and nuttiness started. A particular article I read in one of my “girl” magazines, not very sure which one, although I am very sure that a magazine article is where my nut avoidance started. After all, what they say in magazines is the truth and by gosh they didn’t have some photoshop program back then to touch up photos…or did they? So, what you saw and what you read was the truth. Anyway, it was around the holiday’s when I read an article about how to not pack on the pounds at holiday parties. There was a picture of a skinny chick standing next to a fat chick who, by no coincidence, was eating peanuts at a party. The fat chick had a protruding butt on her that could have easily served as a table or a back cushion when sitting. My attention was laser sharp as I continued to read and learned that you really had to watch yourself during the holidays because the parties were equipped with snacks crying out your name in hopes of landing on your waistline, especially the cute little tiny peanuts. I learned that Just 15 peanuts was 150 calories! I was lored into believing that you could never stop at 15 either! By gosh, the possibility that you could gain 10 pounds in no time from some nuts and bear (or should I say “wear”) the hideousness of it caused me to react. There would be no way to walk without shame and no way to fit into my clothes if I indulged in nuts. So, when invited to parties, I avoided those cute little dishes of nuts and they stayed away from me. I wore a mental string of garlic to keep the evil little “nut” snacks away. So, hence my obsession with avoiding the nuts. After over 20 years of avoiding nuts and being concerned about my nutrition and overall health, I began to wonder if it is just plain nuts to continue avoiding those tempting nuts. So, I started to investigate the scoop on nuts. I came up some very interesting data that puts and end to the tarnishment of mind so many year ago. The first thing that I discovered is that nuts are essential to health and to the contrary, can result in weighing less when replacing other food. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people that ate nuts in place of something else reduced their waist sizes by more than half an inch. And we all know that half an inch is the difference between getting into the skinny jeans or not.
More alarming than learning about “skinny” nuts is learning that we REALLY need to eat nuts (as long as we’re not allergic) and THAT is the truth. Nuts are rich in alpha linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is an essential Omega 3 fatty acid and organic compound. ALA helps combat the effects of stress on our bodies thereby protecting our hearts from damage. It is a known fact that during times of stress, that our cardiovascular system is being threatened. Maybe you are one of those people that have stress? Even occasional stress beats your system down and with each bout of stress your body continues to be attacked and chipped away at until it breaks down. Stress is one of those things that has a memory of destruction and builds on it. It is kind of like the ocean tumbling shells and eventually turning these once solid and beautiful shells into sand. I know it’s frightening, but you can do something about it. If you are worried right now…go grab a handful of nuts and come back here and continue reading. Okay, so now for some really great news! Nature has provided us with a defense, that defense is nuts. Think of stress like the rain, when it’s raining you protect yourself with an umbrella, when you’re stressing,you protect yourself with nuts. So, don’t even think of going out into the world not prepared for stress. I’m not saying you need to gorge yourself on nuts…you only need a few to reap the benefits. Put a small bag in your purse or in your desk drawer too. Also, if you are making a salad, throw some slivered almonds on top. They add crunchiness and texture to salads and will not only give your body a defense against cardiovascular damage, it will satisfy hungry in a jiffy. So, now you have to decide which nuts to eat. I say, get 360 protection against cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, cancer, aging, brain health and skin health and eat them all, enjoy them and enjoy variety, the spice of life. Nuts will protect you and make you beautiful on the inside and the outside, and will not make you fat when eating only a few here and there.
As a MATTER OF FACT, since I started eating nuts including peanut butter thinly spread on a low fat piece of toast, I’ve gained a lot of energy and lost 2 lbs!
Want to learn more about specific nuts?
Almonds: This nut is one of the best food sources of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
Walnuts: Walnuts have a great balance of healthy fats, including omega 3 fatty acids. I even indulge in the ones that are candied! They are delicious in a chicken salad made with celery, red onions, non fat sour cream, a teeny bit of light mayo, cut up grapes and curry spice…just grab a few almonds and break them in little pieces and mix them in. You’ll never eat chicken salad any other way.
Macadamia nuts: Who doesn’t love Macadamia nuts? Although they are calorie large, they are packed with antioxidants vitamin E and selenium, so just have a few.
Pecans: Pecans are higher in fat than some of the other nuts, but they have a very rich nutrient profile. In addition to many antioxidants, minerals and phytonutrients, these nuts are also a great source for several important B-complex vitamins. I indulge in candied pecans which in my opinion are better than chocolate. Just take a few, break them up and add them to your salad and you’re in heaven.
Pine nuts: Pine nuts are rich in lutein and vitamins A, C and D. They make a great addition to most any dish. Just a few!
I hope this article will be helpful in some way to helping you live a lifetime of health and beauty.