Shelling Out The Facts About Nuts

Shelling Out The Facts About Nuts

Did you know that during the 18th and 19th centuries, chestnuts and pecans were used as currency in some rural parts of the United States? There were even circumstances in which people in Appalachia paid their property taxes with nuts. 

If you’re a nut lover, that may not seem too surprising. Throughout history, nuts and seeds have been valuable food sources. Often prized for their exquisite taste and treasured for their health benefits, they’re neat little packets of energy and nutrition that are easy to transport and store. They’re even mentioned in the Old Testament. 

For instance, in Genesis 43, Jacob had his sons take pistachio nuts and almonds as a gift for Joseph in Egypt. And in 2 Samuel 17, we read about a donation of food presented to David that included “parched seeds” (v. 28). 

Sadly, most people today don’t include enough (if any) nuts and seeds in their diet. Due to extensive research, we now understand that the proper use of nuts and seeds can enhance our health in a variety of ways. Large, long-term studies have demonstrated that regularly consuming them tends to help people live longer, healthier lives.1 

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in abundance in some nuts and seeds (notably walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds), also lower the risk of heart disease and stroke and may even help suppress some autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.2  Of all nuts, walnuts score highest in omega-3s, racking up some 2,500 mg in a one-ounce serving. 

Indeed, of commonly available nuts, walnuts hold champion status. Some of the components of walnuts can reduce inflammation in the body and defend against the harmful free radicals and oxidation that can wreak havoc on our cells. Walnuts can even give our brains a boost! Studies suggest that eating walnuts as part of a healthy diet can improves cognitive function as we age and may even help reduce the risk—or slow the progression—of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders.3 

Amazingly, nuts and seeds even have the potential to help with weight loss. When consumed in small quantities, their rich nutrients can help to satisfy cravings, diverting us from less-healthy munching.4 

Despite their potential advantages, it’s important to eat nuts and seeds in moderation. With their delicious flavors and satisfying crunch, it’s easy to get carried away! Nuts and seeds in their raw form are healthiest. If you eat them roasted, choose an unsalted, dryroasted type without additional oils for best results; loading up on salty, greasy, cooked nuts can counteract any benefit. 

What a gift God gave us in the nuts and seeds that were part of the original diet. Wonderful-tasting and loaded with protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, and other nutrients to optimize our well-being, they’re something we can enjoy and be thankful for every day.  

1 https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/11/eating-nuts-reduces-risk-of-death/ 

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4030645/ 

3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071526/ 

4 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170816181259.htm

Back To Top