Nutrition Benefits

The history of the peanut

Despite what the name might suggest, the humble peanut is actually not a true nut. On the contrary it belongs to the legume family, which includes peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. With no real fossil records to speak of, peanuts probably have their origins in South America, in Peru or in Brazil, where they existed for thousands of years.

Subsequently, Spanish and Portuguese explorers discovered them and brought them over with their excursions into the New World, which lead them to Africa. The journey of the peanut continued until it finally found its way into North America, through African traders. Peanuts can be enjoyed in a wide number of ways – they can be eaten plain, added as a garnish, sprinkled as flakes, used as a cooking oil, or spread as a tasty (and popular) butter. However, this variety in consumption is only part of a much bigger reason why everyone should include peanuts in their diet.
 

Top reasons to eat peanuts
 

  • Peanuts contain a lot of protein, which serves as a vital nutrient for the growth and maintenance of overall muscle and body organs such as the skin and hair.
     

  • They serve as a protective function against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer's disease, and viral/fungal infections.
     

  • They are rich in monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and thereby reduces the risk of coronary heart diseases.
     

  • Peanuts also contain high amounts of niacin, which is used to convert starch that can be stored in muscles and liver for eventual use as an energy source.
     

Nutritional composition

Peanuts are a significant source of protein, manganese and niacin. They contain large portions of glutamic acid and monounsaturated fats. Peanuts also feature an array of other nutrients such as Vitamin E, folates and other minerals. It is because of these reasons they make a tasty snack and should be included as part of a balanced diet. Its nutritional composition includes:
 

Proteins: Proteins are commonly known as the building blocks of the human body and are widely considered to be the best-recognized nutrient in terms of its health importance.
 

Manganese: While manganese is not usually first thought of as a dietary mineral, it is nevertheless an important mineral that aids in skin integrity and blood sugar control.
 

Niacin: Niacin is a complex B Vitamin that has an important role in energy production through the synthesis of food and also aids in antioxidant protection by quenching free radicals, which protects the human body against excessive tissue damage.

The history of the almond

The almond has historically always been a nutritious food. Almonds take their roots originally from central and southwest Asia, and were a staple part of the diet of nomadic tribes, since they helped sustain their long journeys. These explorers ate almonds while traveling the Silk Road between Asia and the Mediterranean. Before long, almond trees flourished in the Mediterranean and are now grown in many of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea including Portugal, Morocco, Spain, and California.
 

Top reasons why you should eat almonds
 

  • Almonds are incredibly effective for weight loss, since they help with providing that satisfied feeling everyone wants after a meal or snack. It also provides plentiful nutrients per calorie.
     

  • They help in the development and health of the human brain.
     

  • Almond oil, when applied regularly can protect the skin from dryness.
     

  • Assist with blood sugar control.
     

  • Almonds can help reduce the risk of gallstones in both genders.
     

  • Lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.
     

Nutritional composition

Almonds are among the richest sources of health-benefiting nutrients. They contain large portions of carbohydrates, Vitamin E, manganese, riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and magnesium. Moreover, they contain high quantities of monounsaturated fat (which is beneficial for the heart). Because of these reasons, almonds pack a serious nutritional punch. Its nutritional composition includes:
 

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel. They are required for the central nervous system, the kidneys, the brain, the muscles (including the heart) to function properly.
 

Vitamin E: A vitamin that serves many biological functions, the most important of which is the role of an antioxidant, which helps to slow down processes that damage cells.

Magnesium: Magnesium is a valuable mineral that is required for energy production. It also contributes to the structural development of bones and aids blood pressure regulation.
 

Manganese: While manganese is not usually first thought of as a dietary mineral, it is nevertheless an important mineral that aids in skin integrity and blood sugar control.

The history of the pistachio

The origin of the pistachio has a long and interesting history. The pistachio is native to the Middle East and they have been grown in this region for thousands of years. In Persia (modern day Iran), pistachio trade and ownership of pistachio groves meant riches and high status. The pistachio nut had this luxurious status symbol attached for a peculiar reason. According to legend, the Queen of Sheba decreed pistachios an exclusively royal food, going so far as to forbid commoners from growing the nut for personal use! However, the pistachio is not a nut. It is in fact, a desert plant. It is commonly known as a nut because they look like nuts and are a part of the cashew family.
 

Top reasons to eat pistachios
 

  • Pistachios are the ideal post-exercise snack for fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike because they have protein, healthy fats and antioxidants and provide a satisfying source of energy.
     

  • One of the other health benefits of pistachios is that they are a good source of dietary fiber, which helps in the smooth digestion of food.
     

  • Pistachios contain an array of nutrients that contribute to heart health.
     

  • They are also the first choice for people who are dieting.
     

  • The fiber content of pistachios make them more filling, helping you to eat fewer calories later in the day.
     

  • Pistachio oil extracted from kernels is one of the healthiest cooking oils.
     

Nutritional composition

Pistachios are one of the few delicious tree nuts that contain most of the nutrients that are required by humans for complete wellbeing. Pistachios are rich in phosphorus, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E. Pistachios also contain fewer calories and provide more potassium than other nuts. Just a handful of pistachios provide many essential vitamins and minerals, protein and fiber, and monounsaturated fats. Its nutritional composition includes:
 

Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 plays an important role in converting food into energy and helping the body metabolize fats and proteins.
 

Potassium: Potassium is a vital mineral for the human body that plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function.
 

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is a mineral that makes up 1% of a person's total body weight. The main function of phosphorus is in the formation of bones and teeth.

The history of the cashew

The cashew nut, like most other nuts has a variety of culinary uses, but is in fact a seed. The cashew tree belongs to the same family as the pistachio and is a fast-growing, evergreen perennial. It loves the tropics and in tropical heat can grow to heights of forty or fifty feet. It is because of this reason that the cashew tree flourishes in countries like Peru and Brazil. Native to the latter, the cashew plant made its way to India in the sixteenth century via Portuguese sailors. Today, the leading commercial producers of cashews are India, Brazil, Mozambique, Tanzania and Nigeria.
 

Top reasons to eat cashews
 

  • Cashew nuts help keep blood pressure under check as they are low in sodium and high in potassium.
     

  • Cashew nuts are a good alternative for those seeking to lose weight, as it has zero percent cholesterol content.
     

  • If you’ve always wished for black hair, cashews which are full of copper, can help.
     

  • Cashew nuts bond with iron, to increase immunity.
     

  • Cashew nuts help in growth and development, DNA synthesis and digestion.
     

Nutritional composition

Cashew nuts have gained popularity in North America and Europe not only for their flavor but for their inherent health benefits too. They are an excellent source of copper, and a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and zinc. Its nutritional composition includes:
 

Copper: Copper is essential for all living things. Virtually every cell in the body utilizes copper and, together with iron and zinc, makes up the trio of minerals essential to our well-being. Without it, our nervous and cardiovascular systems would not function normally.
 

Zinc: Zinc is an important trace mineral that people need to stay healthy. This element is second only to iron in its concentration in the body. It plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates.
 

Magnesium: Magnesium is a valuable mineral that is required for energy production. It also contributes to the structural development of bones and aids blood pressure regulation.

The history of pumpkin seeds

‘Pepita’, is a Spanish culinary term for the edible kernels of the pumpkin fruit. Early Native American farmers consumed pumpkin seeds and used them for medicinal purposes too. It is said that Columbus carried pumpkin seeds back with him to Europe. While there, they were used to feed farm animals as the seeds were not considered edible at the time. Today however, pumpkin seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses.
 

Top reasons to eat pumpkin seeds
 

  • They help in developing the body’s immune system.
     

  • A good portion of pumpkin seeds aid cell growth and division.
     

  • Pumpkin seeds can positively affect your mood according to independent researchers.
     

  • Enrich your senses of taste and smell.
     

  • Boost eye and skin health.
     

  • Help insulin regulation.
     

  • Pumpkin seeds provide benefits for heart and liver health, particularly when mixed with flax seeds because they are rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fibers.
     

  • Eating pumpkin seeds a few hours before bed, along with some carbohydrates (a small piece of fruit) can promote a good night’s sleep. This is because it provides your body with the tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin levels.
     

Nutritional composition

The versatile pumpkin fruit has flowers, seeds and flesh that are edible and nutrient rich. Pumpkin seeds are high in calories (about 559 calories per 100 g.) In addition, they are packed with fiber and numerous antioxidants. Furthermore, the seeds have many health-benefiting vitamins and minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc, as well as essential amino-acids such as tryptophan and glutamate. Its nutritional composition includes:
 

Magnesium: Magnesium is a valuable mineral that is required for energy production. It also contributes to the structural development of bones and aids blood pressure regulation.
 

Manganese: While manganese is not usually first thought of as a dietary mineral, it is nevertheless an important mineral that aids in skin integrity and blood sugar control.
 

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is a mineral that makes up 1% of a person's total body weight. The main function of phosphorus is in the formation of bones and teeth.

The history of sunflower seeds

The universal sunflower plant is native to North American soil. The yellow flowers produce small edible seeds which are gray or greenly colored and are found naturally in dark green, gray, or black shells called ‘husks’. Sunflowers grew in abundance all across North America, and from the Paleo-Indian time on, different groups of people used to consume these seeds, for their high fat content. Many years on, sunflower seeds – easy to crack open and eat between meals without ruining your appetite – are a much healthier snacking option. In the early days, the seed oil was used to lubricate hair and skin. Today, sunflower seeds are sourced to extract edible oil on a commercially global scale.
 

Top reasons to eat sunflower seeds
 

  • They help reduce the severity of asthma.
     

  • Help lower high blood pressure.
     

  • Prevent migraines.
     

  • Reduce the risks of heart attack and stroke.
     

  • Reduce blood levels of cholesterol.
     

  • Enhance immunity.
     

  • Decrease risk of certain cancers.
     

  • Sunflower seeds also offer health benefits due to their Vitamin B-1, or thiamine, content. Thiamine activates enzymes within your cells, helping to drive chemical reactions your cells need to function.
     

Nutritional composition

Sunflower seeds, like nearly all types of nuts and seeds, provide a healthy source of essential fatty acids; in the form of linoleic acid. Additionally, sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of fiber, amino acids (especially tryptophan) which make up the building blocks of proteins, B Vitamins (like thiamine, phosphorus, selenium) and are enriched with Vitamin E and copper. Its nutritional composition includes:
 

Vitamin E: A vitamin that serves many biological functions, the most important of which is the role of an antioxidant, which helps to slow down processes that damage cells.
 

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is a mineral that makes up 1% of a person's total body weight. The main function of phosphorus is in the formation of bones and teeth.
 

Copper: Copper is essential for all living things. Virtually every cell in the body utilizes copper and, together with iron and zinc, makes up the trio of minerals essential to our well-being. Without it, our nervous and cardiovascular systems would not function normally.