Nuts can be a good and yummy snack for you or your young ones
Nuts have healthy fats which are essential for your cells, organs, skin, immune system and also aid in weight loss etc
OVER the last few years, most nuts and seeds have been getting a bad name. What used to once be considered healthy is now considered the ‘culprit of your cholesterol’. What most people fail to realise is that it isn’t the nuts that will increase your cholesterol, but a bad lifestyle, overall.
Nuts have healthy fats which are essential for your cells, organs, skin, immune system and also aid in weight loss etc. For the longest time, we were told to munch on a handful of nuts as one of the best natural snacks. So, how did that change? Well, to be honest, nuts would be bad for our health if they’re fried and loaded with salt, because excess salt excites neurotransmitters in the brain making you eat larger quantities and fried foods are generally bad for you; but salt-free, plain and roasted nuts are just fine and actually incredibly healthy. Also, avoiding commercial trail mixes is a good idea because they often contain hydrogenated fats, excess salt, preservatives and additives which make them bad for you.
Among the nuts, the easiest and most accessible in India is the humble peanut, or the groundnut as it also often called. We have forgotten how healthy peanuts are for our body. It is a source of good fat, which is good for the heart, skin, the brain and hormonal health and having a handful of peanuts and roasted gram is a great snacking option and a balance of proteins that will keep you full for a longer period of time. Peanuts contain biotin and zinc which are fantastic for improving hair health, but before consuming them ensure you don’t have any nut allergy. Peanuts are also rich in copper, folate and manganese, which are required for pregnant mothers and the growing fetus. Along with other health benefits, peanuts are also rich in resveratrol — a compound generally found in red grapes, wine etc which helps in fighting cancer, works on improving the immune system and also helps reduce inflammation. Remember, however, to eat peanuts in moderation always.
In the evening, our body’s metabolism changes and sugars tend to dip and that’s when we get food cravings. We have to look at finding a healthy alternative snack instead of having junk foods to keep the metabolic fire in check. That’s when one can choose to opt for a balanced snack like roasted gram and peanuts to satisfy hunger. Apart from its other health benefits, peanuts are also a great snack option for diabetics because they have low GI and low carbs, which work on keeping the sugar level in check. Peanuts are also the perfect snack for travel — easy to carry and perfectly nutritious.
For all the mothers out there, homemade peanut butter with a little jaggery or coconut sugar is a great way to increase peanut consumption for your kids. Plus, they will love it as a side with fruits or a slice of whole wheat bread. It will also give them a good energy boost. Try and avoid commercial peanut butter as it is full of unnecessary oil, sugar, salt and preservatives. Include this healthy snack in moderation to get its benefits, but be wary of overeating peanuts too.