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Magic in a Nutshell: Health NutsMagic in a Nutshell: Health Nuts

October 19, 2012

3 Min Read
Magic in a Nutshell: Health Nuts

By Ed Engoron, Contributing Editor

Consumers today are not looking for more ingredients to take out of their diets, but are seeking foods that offer health benefits. Nuts help answer the call. They are phytochemical powerhouses, and are also low in saturated fats. Further, they contain many other protective nutrientscalcium, magnesium and potassium, vitamin E and other compounds that may help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer. They're also rich in arginine, which the human body uses to make a potent natural vasodilator. Walnuts provide omega-3 fatty acids. Peanuts and most nuts contain resveratrol, the anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy agent found in grapes. Like chocolate, nuts contain an abundance of flavonoids and isoflavones, compounds thought to help ward off cancer and cardiovascular disease. And, although nuts contain fat, the majority is unsaturated.

With all of the wonderful nuts from which to choose and all of the textural, flavor and health benefits associated with consuming them, it cannot be denied nuts are truly magical. The best part is unlike most magic we enjoy, this ones not an illusion!

Nuts offer an easy way to add both the flavor and nutrition consumers are looking for in retail and foodservice products. See how some popular nuts stack up nutritionally.

  • Almonds: According to the Almond Board of California, 1 oz. of almonds contains 35% Daily Value (DV) of vitamin E, 3.5 grams of dietary fiber, 6 grams of protein and 8% DV of calcium.

  • Hazelnuts: Oregon Hazelnuts says hazelnuts rank No. 1 among tree nuts in folate and proanthocyanidin content. Further, 1. oz. of raw hazelnuts contains 2.7 grams of dietary fiber. Hazelnuts are also high in manganese (90% DV) and copper (65% DV).

  • Peanuts: This "groundnut" contains 20% DV for niacin and 10% DV of magnesium, vitamin E, folate, copper and phosphorus per 28-gram serving. One serving also contains 7 grams of protein.

  • Pistachios: A 30-gram serving (about 1 oz.) of pistachios has 49 kernels, 170 calories and a variety of different vitamins, minerals and beneficial phytonutrients. According to Pistachio Health, the nuts provide 3 grams of dietary fiber (12% DV), and are an excellent source of copper and manganese, and a good source of phosphorus. Theyre also an excellent source of vitamin B6, offering 20% DV per serving, and a good source of thiamin (15% DV).

  • Walnuts: The California Walnut Commission says 1 oz. of walnuts provides 2.5 grams of alphalinolenic acid, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and are high in antioxidants.

For more information:

Magic in a Nutshell: Points for Peanuts

Magic in a Nutshell: Going Nutty

Ed Engoron, Ph.D., is president and CEO of Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., and co-founder of Choclatique, Los Angeles. He has over 35 years of experience in the food and foodservice industry creating food concepts, recipes, packaging and promotions. He attended Cordon Bleu in Paris, hosted ABCs syndicated programs The Food Show, Stump the Chef, and Super Foodies, and authored "Choclatique150 Simply Elegant Desserts" (Running Press, 2011). Contact him at [email protected].

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