Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nuts: nature's perfect food

Are you nuts about nuts? I am.

And fortunately, as a health counselor, I can disclose my consumption of these guilt-free. [You should see the messages from my advisers after yesterday's ice cream disclosure.]

Nuts are nature's perfect food: a healthy balance of fat, carbohydrate and protein. Which makes sense if you consider that a nut is basically a seed and contains everything necessary for a plant to create life.

Nuts are extremely compact and durable, which make them very convenient for modern life. It is no wonder they are so prevalent in trail mixes and energy bars.

Fellow nut lovers can rejoice when they visit the Tierra Farm booth at the Park Slope Farmers Market (Sunday @ 5th Avenue and 4th Street). Tierra Farm is a small, privately-owned producer of organic nuts based in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. My current favorite is the Organic Dry Roasted Sea Salt & Onion Cashews. Very addictive! Other favorites include Garam Masala Cashews, Roasted Pistachios, and Tamari Roasted Almonds.

Nuts are one of the few sources of healthy, plant-based fats. They are high in desired monounsaturated fats and essential fatty acids. All of which are important for healthy skin, hair and nails. As well as memory and cognitive function.

However, like all foods, nuts should be eaten in moderation. The foods are rather calorie dense. I recommend just a few at a time. You'll find yourself satiated surprisingly faster than most snack foods.

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Integrative Nutrition