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A Nation of Nuts!

Assorted NutsNational Nut Day is October 22nd! Some may take a moment on this day to give some special attention to those kooky people in their lives, but others who are even kookier (like myself) will celebrate the glorious nut, which is wonderfully nutritious and convenient as can be.

When talking about nuts, I’m referring to any hard-walled edible kernel, including the peanut which is technically a legume. While nuts can be a fantastic addition to your diet for many reasons, first and foremost, proceed with caution, since in a select sub-population, nuts can actually trigger major allergic reactions that can often times be quite severe. If you know you don’t have peanut or nut allergies, or you’ve checked with your doctor and determined that they are safe for you, I recommend that you go nuts!

Clinical studies confirm that regular consumption of nuts is not associated with a higher incidence of weight gain compared to those not eating nuts. Long term consumption is actually linked to lower body weight. Furthermore regular consumption of nuts has been shown to be associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and gallstone diseases. Nuts tend to be high in calories, but that is because they are so high in healthy fats. Only a quarter cup of nuts can have up to 200 calories of largely healthy essential fats. Again, don’t confuse healthy essential fats with an unhealthy gain in body fat. In fact, it is the high-calorie content of healthy fats that do a good job satisfying the appetite and cravings for much unhealthier saturated fat foods and sugary snacks.

The FDA recommends 1 ounce of nuts per day. Different nuts contain varying amounts of healthy fats and nutrients, so it is best to incorporate a variety of them in your diet. Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (also known as filberts), and pecans are full of minerals like selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and iron. Nuts contain carotenoids, vitamin E and C, B vitamins, and potassium. Sounds like nature’s multivitamin, no wonder they are associated with healthier bodies!

Visit the Fairway Market bulk bin section or look for the range of prepackaged choices for a mind-boggling selection to choose from. At Fairway, you can also make or buy your own freshly ground nut butter! Nut butters are not only great as a natural spread, but also delicious in soups and sauces. Chopped nuts add crunch to warm breakfast grains like oatmeal and yogurt. Try nut meal on meat or fish instead of breadcrumbs. It’s easy to make: Just take the nuts of your choice, drop them in a food processor or blender, and grind them on pulse until they’ve been pulverized but before they turn into butter (so don’t pulse too much!).

At Fairway, you’ll find every kind of nut you could wish for, and many are sold in different varieties from salted and unsalted, from roasted to raw, from organic to flavored, and from whole to sliced. And if on the very rare occasion, Fairway doesn’t have a nut you want, tell a store employee. Recently, a customer was looking for black walnuts, and guess what? Fairway started selling it earlier this month. Now that’s service!

TELL US: What’s your favorite nut?

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2 Responses to “A Nation of Nuts!”

  1. Bob
    October 19, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    Seems as though there is a day for everything and everyone! But nuts (the kind you eat, that is, as opposed to, well, the kind that gives nutritious nuts a bad name by comparison) are something I enjoy. And I also very much enjoy grinding my own nut butters at my local Fairway. Fresh and good.

  2. John Rigo
    October 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Favorite fall holiday nut is chestnuts, to roast!

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