The moment comes every day, typically mid-morning or mid-afternoon, where your energy slumps, hunger creeps up and you need a snack, but you’re stuck at the desk on a conference call or responding to emails. So what’s the best desk snack? What can you grab that will satisfy you but not create a spike and then fall in blood sugar? What can you store in your draw that won’t go off within a few days? Easy – NUTS!
Some of you may already be regular nut munchers (especially anyone currently doing the whole life challenge)…but just in case here’s a little reminder why you should grab your nuts on a regular basis, and girls – yes this includes you too.
- Paleo approved. A completely natural source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, unsaturated fatty acids, and of course protein
- Enhanced brain power. Nuts (and seeds) are awesome sources of vitamin E, and higher levels of vitamin E correspond with less cognitive decline as you get older. (source Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life by Steven Pratt, MD)
- Improved cholesterol balance by reducing your low density lipoproteins (LDL or bad cholesterol) and increasing high density lipoproteins (HDL or good cholesterol)
- Helping poor people. Macadamias, introduced in Kenya in 1945 as an ornamental plant, are proving an environmentally friendly nut with far-reaching poverty-eradication benefits that can transform the rural areas into agriculturally rich and productive beds. (Source – nutfruit.org)
- Healthy hearts. While all nuts contain heart-healthy omega-3 fats, walnuts have high amounts of alpha linoleic acid (ALA). Research has suggested that ALA may help heart arrhythmias, and a 2006 Spanish study suggested that walnuts were as effective as olive oil at reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after eating a fatty meal. The authors of this study, funded in part by the California Walnut Commission, recommended eating around eight walnuts a day to achieve similar benefits. (Source – health.com)
- Save the rainforests. Brazil nuts trees grow best in healthy primary forests, which means the farmers don’t chop down the surrounding tree’s as this would reduce the trees production by two thirds or more. (Source treehugger.com)
- Prevention of constipation. Natural fibre, nuff said.
- Squirrels. They love nuts too! (As do birds, horses and a whole bunch of other wildlife). Logic dictates that if we eat more nuts, there will be more nut trees in the world and this will support more wildlife (cue cute squirrel image)!
A few words of warning (nothing comes without risks these days…!)
- Choose raw. Cooking reduces the protein content in nuts by ½
- You might die. c.100 people a year die from nut allergies in the US, and around 10 in the UK, with the majority being caused by peanuts
- Mind the gap – Nuts get stuck in your teeth easily – so after a nibble it’s worth checking your nashers in the mirror before leaving the safety of your home / desk
Feeling peckish? Me too. Time to go munch some nuts…