Go Crazy for NUTS!

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA HUNTER

Nuts and seeds are nutritional powerhouses. And whether you sprinklethem on cereal and salads or use them as a snack, they provide an almostcomplete package of high-quality protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins,minerals and phytochemicals. All nuts and seeds are rich in unsaturated fatswhich keep the heart healthy by reducing cholesterol, but different types ofnuts contain different vitamins and minerals which offer many other health benefits

ALMONDS

Almonds are a fabulous source of vitamin E, just 25g providing 70 per cent ofthe Recommended Daily Amount (RDA). They also provide useful amounts ofmagnesium, potassium and dietary fibre. They contain more calcium than anyother nut, making them a good source for those who don't eat dairy products.Almonds are also said to be good for digestion as they are higher in fibre thanany other nut.

BRAZILS

It's their extraordinary selenium content that makes brazil nuts stand out fromthe crowd.

Four nuts provide more than 100 per cent of the RDA of this important mineral,which surveys show is often lacking in the typical UK diet. Selenium protectsthe body from free radicals that can generate heart disease, cancer andpremature ageing. Brazil nuts are also a good source of magnesium and thiamine.

LINSEEDS

Linseeds, or flax seeds as they are often called, are rich in alpha-linolenicacid (ALA), an essential fatty acid that belongs to the omega-3 group of fattyacids. Linseeds are also rich in phytoestrogens which can help reduce many ofthe symptoms of the menopause. The outer coating of the seed is extremely hardand unless you grind them, your body isn't able to absorb any of the good stuffthe seeds contain. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or mini foodprocessor.

PEANUTS

They may, strictly speaking, be pulses, but peanuts are high in protein, richin antioxidants and a source of niacin (B3) which raises levels of goodcholesterol. Despite their high fat content there's no need to avoid them ifyou're on a diet. …