Published: 04/22/2010 - Updated: 07/20/2016
Dried fruits and nuts are one of the most complete foods, and rich in minerals and nutrients such as vitamin A, E, B vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, etc., Plus minerals such as zinc, calcium, phosphorus , magnesium, copper, iron etc. They are high in fiber, trace elements and antioxidants and have a unique composition that makes one of the highest levels in healthy eating and prevention of cardiovascular diseases and those related to the deterioration of age. Laura Kohan explains in her book Healthy Eating for the XXI century, that "Another remarkable feature is their high protein content, which can reach 20% in the case of almonds. But keep in mind that these proteins are deficient in an essential amino acid methionine. This amino acid is abundant in cereals, so combining both foods get a complete protein as meat products, fish or eggs." Compounds and nutritional properties of nuts make them valuable tools for nutrition and preventive medicine.
What is a dried fruit or nut?
It is known that fruit and nut in its natural composition (without human manipulation), contains less than 50% water. These are divided into two groups: those who are surrounded by a hard shell, like almonds, peanuts, chestnuts, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, etc., or dried fruit, which come from fresh dried fruit, such as dried plums, raisins, apricots (dried apple).
How to maximize the benefits of nuts?
To take advantage of all their property and benefit from the maximum is recommended to follow the directions that Laura Kohan says in her book. One is to avoid nuts that are roasted, fried and salted, or with saturated oils that are second class, containing depleted of nutrients and without many benefits, they can even be harmful because they are high in cholesterol harmful substances, causing, inter alia, diseases of the kidneys, dry mucous membranes, etc. As an example of poor consumption of nuts are peanuts, almonds or roasted and salted nuts, usually served as an appetizer.
Here we give a brief list of the most important nuts that are recommended in the book Healthy Food for the XXI century.
Almonds: This fruit is one of the richest in fiber, eating 3 or 4 almonds a day encourages intestinal transit and provides generous amounts of calcium, which makes it an ideal food for people who do not drink milk or dairy products. It has powerful antioxidant effects that are accentuated when consumed with skin. Almonds help prevent and combat intestinal diseases such as constipation and diverticulosis. In addition, its greatest contributions in fiber can delay the absorption of sugar, which makes available the energy over longer periods, without being converted to fat. Almonds also prevent osteoporosis, and are ideal for the proper growth of children, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, athletes, vegans, vegetarians, lactose intolerant, etc.
Pistachios: This oleaginous fruit has a high nutritional value, "its distinctive green color," says Laura Kohan, "unique in this food group, gives us a clue to its high content of vitamins, among which highlights the vitamin A levels much higher than other nuts." It is an excellent source of energy, and contains proteins and high quality vegetable oils, besides being rich in thiamin, vitamin B, vitamin B6, Copper, Manganese, Potassium, Fiber, Phosphorus, Magnesium, etc. The pistachio is very healthy and helps prevent coronary heart disease, as it contains no harmful or saturated fats. It is rich in polyunsaturated fat (healthy), which help the body absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. It contains high content of oleic acid, which help lower cholesterol absorption and maintain normal levels. It also helps to reduce or prevent hardening of the arteries, and to protect them to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Nut: it is considered a mandatory food in vegetarian diets because it provides more protein than meat, being more beneficial for the body because it doesn’t contains harmful fats from meat nor its digestive difficulty. Contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, is an ideal food for people with arthritis, who have skin problems and prevents certain types of cancer. Nuts contain substances that prevent the clumping of blood, which benefits the heart, because, among other things, contain alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic fatty acids Omega 3 and 6. Besides all this, the nut is one of the most beneficial foods for the brain and nervous system, among other things, has a strong sedative effect that helps to relax, ideal for night or when there is intellectual stress.
In addition to these nuts, there are other fruits such as chestnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, etc. and the book of Laura Kohan also shows us the proper forms of consumption, and explains why these foods can cause allergies, use in the kitchen and gives us delicious recipes.
Some extra suggestions about the proper consumption of nuts is that these should be eaten as fresh as possible, since their high fat content will cause rancid easily. It should also be noted that its bad combination with other foods can cause fermentation in the gut, causing flatulence. This can be avoided if you avoid combining with fruit or with other proteins.