On a recent visit to San Francisco’s Rainbow Grocery, I discovered a wonderful Hazelnut Almond Butter from Riverview Orchards. Nut butter is a pantry staple in my home. It is perfect on toast, seasonal fruits, morning oatmeal, in baked goods… So why do nuts get such a bad rap? Yes, nuts contain fat (good fat, mind you) and have a naturally higher caloric content then, say, a rice cake- but eating a healthy serving nuts has many health benefits. If you are calorie-concerned, might I suggest these nifty 100-calorie packs in a variety of flavors.
Here’s a shortlist of my favorite nuts and just some of their health benefits:
Almonds: One ounce has as many heart-healthy polyphenols as a cup of green tea and 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli combined; it may also help lower LDL cholesterol
Hazelnuts: Rich in arginine, has high levels of vitamin E, Folate, and B vitamins
Cashews: Rich in Copper, Magnesium, and Calcium and high in oleic acid (a monounsaturated- read, good fat, found in olive oil
Pecans: Highest overall concentration of disease fighting antioxidants among all nuts. Plus, just one ounce contains 10% of your daily fiber!
Pistachios: A daily serving or two may decrease LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 12% and are a good source of potassium and iron.
Brazil nuts: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids (great for your skin and combating depression), and selenium
…Put the rice cake down and step away slowly.
Happy, healthy snacking!