Add More Nuts to Your Diet for Added Protein
Fitness fanatics, health enthusiasts and vegetarians all turn to nuts as a great plant source of protein. Many people know that nuts can be good for them, but do you know why? Check out some of the reasons you should add nuts to you diet, which types are the best and how to do it.
People used to avoid nuts because they have high levels of fat, but experts now agree that fat from nuts isn't so bad. In fact, the unsaturated fats, fiber and sterols in nuts have been shown to lower bad cholesterol in the body, according to the University of Michigan. Omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts can contribute to heart wellness too.
Nuts are nutritious and dense with vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, copper and magnesium in small servings. But protein is the most attractive nutrient for many, because it's so important to the human body.
As Harvard's School of Public Health explained, protein is part of nearly every part of the human body. Not only does it help build muscle after a workout, but the roughly 10,000 proteins in the human body are critical to a variety of every day functions, including breathing.
Which Varieties Are the Best?
There are many types of nuts, so make sure you pick the type that will give you nutrients you're looking for.
- Peanuts - Although peanuts are technically legumes, they fit the nutritional profile for nuts in many ways. Just 1 cup of peanuts has 37 grams of protein - or nearly as much as is recommended in a single day for adults. They also pack some power with 828 calories.
- Almonds - Known for being one of the leanest nuts, a cup of whole raw almonds has 828 calories as well as 30 grams of protein. Almonds are also rich in vitamin E, fatty acids, copper, riboflavin, zinc and magnesium.
- Pistachios - One cup of pistachios has about 24 grams of protein, 691 calories and more than 12 grams of fiber. Crack open a few of these for a quick snack that also features copper, phosphorus, magnesium and thiamin.
- Pecans - When they're not candied or in a pie, pecans can be a nutritious addition to your diet with zinc, copper, fiber, manganese, phosphorus and thiamin. One cup of chopped pecans has 10 grams of protein and 753 calories.
- Walnuts - A cup of chopped English walnuts has 12 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and only about 500 calories. They're also full of vitamin B6, copper, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.
How Can I incorporate More Nuts Into My Diet?
Once you start eating more nuts, it isn't hard to incorporate them into nearly any food, from walnuts in your chocolate chip cookies to pasta with pine nuts. The easiest way to get started however, might be with some homemade nut butter.
Use the Oster® Versa® Performance Blender With Food Processor And Blend'N Go Cups and 4-Cup Mini-Jar to make whatever butters you desire. All you need is a little salt - and sugar, if you want - and plenty of nuts to whip up your favorite variety in the blender's mini-jar. Within minutes you's have plentiful nut butter to enjoy on a sandwich, slices of apples or celery for a protein-filled post-workout snack.