Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds can be a controversial talking point due to their fat content. People that are trying to loose weight sometimes steer clear of them in fear of increasing the number on their scales. But this is not necessarily the case. Eating unsalted nuts and seeds as a snack or as part of a meal can actually increase feelings of fullness, meaning you reduce hunger and eat less. One study including 43g/day of almond nuts found no increase in weight when eaten daily (Tan & Mattes, 2013). The recommended amount is 30g/day.

Walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds all contain omega 3 which supports heart health, can help reduce inflammation and contributes to bone and joint health (just some of the benefits). Almonds, macadamia, pecan and hazel nuts all have monounsaturated fat which is good for heart health. Brazil nuts contain selenium which is important for reproductive health, immune function and thyroid health (just a few benefits).

Flax seeds in their whole form do not fully break down in your gut. So grinding them gives the best nutritional benefit. It is always best if you can grind your seeds fresh before eating them. Using a coffee grinder is a cheap, easy and quick way to do this. For example Cookworks Coffee and Herb grinder (£13.49).

A great idea is to put a mix of whatever you like with a few teaspoons of cinnamon into a air tight glass jar and keep them in the fridge. This gives easy access and saves time on preparing them when you are in a rush. Why store them in the fridge? Because they contain a high amount of unsaturated fat, which makes them highly prone to going rancid and spoiling.

Reference: Tan & Mattes (2013). ‘Appetitive, dietary and health effects of almonds consumed with meals or as snacks: a randomized, controlled trail’, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67, pp. 1205-1212.

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