Tuesday, 13 January 2009

NUTS about nuts

High fat foods that are good for your health! Yes you heard correctly, and what a choice we have ; my favourites are macadamias, walnuts and Brazil nuts but whichever ones you pick they have health benefits.

The habits of traditional people should serve as a guide to us - they ate nuts in abundance because they were readily available, unlike microwave meals, McDonald's and chocolate bars!

Nuts and seeds are in fact best eaten when they've been pre-soaked or they're partially sprouted. This is because - science bit coming - they contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess.

Best way to do this is to soak them overnight in water with some natural salt, and then dry them in a warm oven before eating. Or if you're hi-tech enough to have a dehydrator, you can obviously use this!

The salt in soaking water activates enzymes that neutralise the enzyme inhibitors.

Nuts are a useful addition to the diet, any diet,but if you do the METABOLIC TYPING DIET you'll find out which specific nuts will work best for you.

They're full of omega 3s, are rich in protein and contain fibre. They have a low GI and GL meaning that they won't spike blood sugar levels, leaving you energised for longer. They're also a great source of minerals, vitamins, and plant hormones called phytoestrogens - which appear to protect against hormone related cancers.

An excellent snack between meals is a small handful of nuts with an apple, combining protein and carbs to balance blood sugar.

So what's the choice and what's in them? :

Pistachios - high in potassium (good for blood pressure), calcium (bones and teeth) and Vit E (skin). They also contain high levels of plant sterols which help protect the heart.

Walnuts - Omega 3 rich they're one of the highest in polyunsaturated fats. They contain a high level of alpha linoleic acid which is a type of Omega 3 that helps prevent clots and heart attacks by thinning the blood.

Brazil Nuts - My favourite, favourite! High in selenium which is an antioxidant, helping to protect against cancer. You can get all your daily selenium requirements from just three brazil nuts!
Also the richest nuts in phytoestrogens.

Cashews - High in iron helping prevent anaemia, and Vitamin K, which is essential for helping the blood to clot. High in mono unsaturated fats too!

Macadamia - Improves the ratio of good(HDL) and bad (LDL)cholesterol, and taste yummy!

Pecans - high in Vitamin E, and phytoestrogens, and the minerals potassium and magnesium which many diets lack, and are very necessary for the healthy running of the body.

Almonds - these nuts are always in the superfood lists, and with good cause.They contain more fibre and Vit E than any other nut. The fibre they contain is great for digestion and healthy bowels and just twenty will give you as much as an apple.
Also rich in calcium. Almonds have a great versatility and ground they can be used instead of flour in baking.

Peanuts - I've included these but actually they're not officially a nut (why are they called peaNUTS then?!). They are in fact legumes, like a pea or a bean but they are very nutritious, as my four year old will testify - he just loves peanut butter!
They're rich in chromium which helps regulate blood sugar levels, and folates (a type of B Vit) and isoflavones (plant hormones with similar effects to phytoestrogens).

Nut butters are yummy and are now widely available, and a great alternative to jams and marmalades on toast. I found some brazil nut butter the other day for the first time - that was a good find! Try them, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

TODAY'S TIP : To follow the best diet for you, for the rest of your life get yourself Metabolic Typed. Call/message me today!It's quick, easy and it won't hurt, promise!

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Kirsten, deleted your comment by accident, could you leave again please? Thanks very much .RX