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Which nut and seed for what?
Chances are you know what nuts and seeds are good for us – packed full of good fats, proteins and a range of essential nutrients including zinc, magnesium and Vitamin E, including a serve of nuts in particular each day is associated with a range of health benefits. And the good news is that there are so many delicious choices – walnuts, almonds, cashews along with sesame, pumpkin seeds and chia to name a few, all with slightly different nutritional profiles. So if you are keen to hear more about nuts and seeds, here are some ideas on what nut and seed is best for what.
Good for spreading
If you are after a protein and nutrient rich topping for your toast or sandwich, look no further than a 100% natural spread, like Mayver’s Smooth Peanut Butter. Although not technically a nut rather a legume, peanuts are rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as the B group of vitamins which are involved in energy production and as such teaming them with your favourite protein or grain based bread or crackers is the perfect energy boost for your day.
Good for snacking
A nut that is relatively high in protein with almost 7g of protein per 30g serve, almonds are also packed full of fibre with more than 3g per 30g serve, along with good amounts of Vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc. Almonds also have relatively high levels of antioxidants and research has linked their consumption to reduced insulin secretion in the body, and better blood glucose control as a result. For this reason, a handful of almonds or a 100% natural spread like Mayver’s Almond Spread is a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon protein rich, filling snack choice.
Good for salads
Pumpkin seeds or pepitas
One of the richest natural sources of the long chain, plant source of omega 3’s, pumpkin seeds are also exceptionally rich in the nutrient zinc which plays a key role in immune function. A sprinkle of pepitas on your favourite veggie dish or salad will boost your daily intake of a number of key nutrients.
Good for salads, baking and snacking
Of all the varieties of nuts available, the nobly walnut has one of the highest concentrations of the plant source of omega 3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) making it an extremely good choice for individuals with heart disease risk factors or with Type 2 diabetes. Walnuts are also a good source of the key nutrients zinc, iron, manganese, Vitamin B6 and folate. Studies have shown that eating 30g (~10) walnuts each day can actually help to lower blood cholesterol levels. Walnuts make a great snack choice when enjoyed in controlled portions and also provides Vitamin E, another nutrient known for its heart health properties.
Good for baking, snacking
The ancient grain is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can add to your daily diet. Chia seeds are 20% protein, with just 1 tablespoon equating to 3g of protein, and protein that is nutritionally complete which means it contains all 8 amino acids, making it a perfect protein choice for vegetarians and vegans. Chia also contains plenty of fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium as well as high antioxidant content. Chia also bakes well and can be a nutrient rich addition to smoothies and yoghurt based snacks. If you’re looking for a deliciously crunchy spread for snacking on the go that’s packed with nuts and seeds including chia, try Mayver’s Original Super Spread that’s full of peanuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, chia seeds and sesame seeds.
Good for cooking
One of the richest natural sources of the long chain polyunsaturated fats, sesame seeds are also packed full of iron, magnesium and calcium, making sesame seeds a nutrient rich addition to many meals including Asian based meals, sushi, as a crumb for salmon, fish and chicken recipes.