I love nuts – cashews, walnuts, almonds, Brazil and so many more. I allow myself a portion every day. They are packed with nutrients and are so good for you there’s no reason not to add nuts to your daily nutrition. It’s best if you eat them raw, without salt and unroasted. Nuts are heart healthy, support brain health and are have healthy fats. Here are a few of my favorite snacking nuts and their benefits.
- Brazil nuts are rich in magnesium and copper and are an outstanding source of selenium. Selenium has antioxidant properties and is necessary for thyroid function. You don’t need to eat many Brazil nuts because one nut packs in more than a day’s worth of selenium.
- Almonds are rich in antioxidant vitamin E, magnesium and manganese. They have omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber. Eating almonds can help curb your appetite. It’s best to eat them raw since roasting uses hydrogenated unhealthy fats and destroys some nutrients.
- Cashews are an excellent source of magnesium and copper and a good source of vitamin K, which is helpful for blood clotting. They are loaded with B vitamins: pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), riboflavin (B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1).
- Walnuts are an excellent source of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) omega-3 fatty acids, manganese and copper. Walnuts help reduce inflammation and oxidation in the arteries.
I stay away from peanuts, mainly because they are a legume and not a nut but they also have a tendency to be moldy. Peanuts can contain aflatoxin, a known carcinogenic in the mold. You probably have not seen the moldiest peanuts because they are sent to the factories to make peanut butter. I would discourage you from feeding your children the average peanut butter because of the potential health concerns around the methods used in manufacturing.
Another favorite, pistachios, are also on my hit list. They too can become moldy very easily can contain aflatoxin. The main issue is they are not always handled properly and the toxic mold grows depending on the temperature, humidity, soil and storage conditions.
For someone like me who has multiple food allergies it’s best to air on the side of caution. I would consider how much I would expose my children to the potential health problems that could arise from eating moldy nuts. Even when buying organic nuts, I would check out as much information about the manufacturer’s harvesting and handling processes.