Eat Nuts, Live Well

Excited for our October Bulk Sale? You’ll enjoy this article about nuts even more knowing bulk nuts (and everything else in the bulk department) are 10% during October!

Eat Nuts, Live Well

By Anthony Orlando

A late summer riddle: What’s delicious, portable, nutrient dense, and (likely) grows in your own backyard? Nuts! From squirrels, raccoons, turkeys, deer and chipmunks to the early American Colonists and even generations before that to Native American tribes, humans and animals alike have relied upon nuts as a powerful source of sustenance. Between their high quality protein and healthy fat content and their ability to remain unspoiled through long winters, nuts were once a staple of the Native Minnesotan diet. But now we have convenient food co-ops where we can get great nutritious food all year, and while they make a great occasional snack, we no longer need nuts as a fundamental part of our diet. Right? Maybe not…

The Mayo clinic recommends regular nut consumption as part of a heart-healthy diet, citing the high levels of things like unsaturated fats, omega-3s, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium found in most nuts as helpful in lowering LDL blood cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of blood clots. A recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that people who added 1.5oz of almonds to their diet each day felt more satisfied from meals and were less likely to snack on unhealthy foods; curbing both weight gain and risk of diabetes. And if that’s not enough to get you squirreling away for the winter, a study published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine found a strong inverse relationship between nut consumption and death due to heart disease, cancer, and respiratory disease. The study also indicated that people who regularly consume peanuts and tree nuts are significantly more likely to live into their 70s, and lived longer in general.

So what are you waiting for? Get foraging!  While you can find plenty of nuts growing natively in MN (such as black walnut, butternut, hickory nuts, and hazelnuts), if the task of gathering, shelling, and roasting enough nuts for the recommended 1.5 oz per day (about 34 lbs per year) seems a little daunting, there’s always the great variety to be found in the co-ops new and improved bulk department; from our famous curried cashews to maple glazed walnuts to Barsy’s cinnamon-sugar, cocoa and cayenne coated almond Naughties (my personal favorite). And whether you choose to eat them raw, roasted, cocoa dusted, sprinkled on a salad or over yogurt, in an age of ever growing confusion about what you should and shouldn’t eat, it’s nice to know that in this case the evidence is pretty conclusive: nuts are good for you.