Go Nuts! 5 Healthy Nuts To Snack On

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Published: April 2, 2014

Healthy Eating

When it comes to snacking, it is oh-so-easy to grab the nearest sweet-nothing to curb your hunger pangs. But it is this frequent absent-minded grazing that can sabotage your health and nutrition goals.

Nuts are a superb snack choice. Silence all those nutty niggles in your mind about high calorie count and zits. Remember not all calories are equal – yes nuts carry a wealth of energising calories, but they are stuffed with nutrients, proteins and essential fats that will send your body into a frenzy of excitement and gratitude. It will use these calories to enhance radiance, energise the body and help encourage blood sugar equilibrium until your next fuel refill.

Your body will treat the calories from nuts very differently to how it treats those in a chocolate bar – eaten wisely, they will not be stored on your love handles.

It is important to understand how to eat nuts. A portion is equal to a small handful, and it is always best to balance out your snack with a little fresh fruit or vegetable. This is because eaten alone nuts have an acidic effect on the body.

If your diet is too acidic this can lead to inflammation and blemishes – hence the zit rumours. If you strike a healthy balance with an alkalinising piece of fruit or vegetable alongside your nutty snacks, you will be setting a far more favourable pH, keeping your skin beaming with radiance and clarity.

So let’s look into what nutritious nibbles to have to hand for when your tummy rumbles and temptation calls…

Peanuts (Or Groundnuts as we know them)

These nuts are bountiful in antioxidants, they even rival super foods such as berries, apples and beans. Your heart will thank you for a handful of groundnuts as these tiny pods host a mighty hit of monounsaturated fats, which when eaten frequently alongside a healthy diet, were recently shown to help reduce cardiovascular disease by 21% compared to an average American diet.

peanuts

Groundnuts are also a surprisingly rich source of the much celebrated resveratrol, famed for making red wine so good for us. This anti-aging, heart pampering antioxidant makes peanuts a winning snack.

Try combining a small handful with a slightly under-ripe banana. Or try 100% natural peanut butter as a banana dip! Crushed peanuts make a superb topping on salads and yoghurt too.

‘Tiger Nuts’ (Also known as Ofio in Yoruba, Akihausa in Igbo, Ayaa rigiza in Hausa)

These versatile gems are packed with minerals magnesium and potassium. Magnesium helps to balance your hormones and aid good sleep – both skin friendly effects!

tiger-nuts

Potassium helps to banish water retention and keep you well hydrated and energised. Try a small handful with fresh paw paw (papaya) or pineapple chunks; and why not try tiger nut milk (Kunnu aya) while you’re at it?

Cashew Nuts

These delicious, creamy nuts make an ideal snack. They are crammed with copper which is important for energy supply and bone density. The low GI effects of nuts like cashews make them ideal as between meal go-to bites, as they will help to keep your energy levels up and blood sugar levels in balance.

cashew_nuts

Nuts like cashews are shown to help manage your weight, as people who ate nuts such as these at least twice a week were recently found to be much less likely to gain weight than those who avoided them. Sprinkle cashews over coconut milk dishes and to add a creamy dimension to stir fries.

Almonds

Crammed with vitamin E and essential fats, in a nutshell almonds are the ‘skin’ snack. This powerful antioxidant helps to protect your skin from UV damage and nourishes each and every cell, to help promote youthful radiance and maintain an all-clear complexion. Their wealth of riboflavin and L-Carnitine also make them food for thought as they nourish the brain, boost activity and are shown to help ward off Alzheimer’s.

almonds

Did you know that almonds go deliciously well with olives, and the two together make a tantalising, beauty and brain-enhancing snack? Try it!

Walnuts

These special nuts host a stream of omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, magnesium and selenium, to name just a few of their nourishing highlights. Omega 3 fats are required to fight inflammation in the body, and carry heart protective properties and anti-aging effects.

walnut

Often touted as the healthiest nut going, they make a hefty contribution to your day’s nutrient intake. Crush them into salads with celery and pineapple or add to desserts and sweet dishes.

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About Radiant Health

Radiant is a bi-annual print and digital health magazine dedicated to the discerning African woman and her journey to wellness through health, beauty and culture. Available at Barnes & Noble stores and other retailers (see stockists) and online. Ships worldwide. Subscribe to our newsletter and get a free digital copy of issue No.06.

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