Jack of All Trades: Tree Nuts and Their Health Benefits

Posted on : September 23rd, 2016

Most foods are really good at one or two things. We craft diets around getting the most benefit from each ingredient, hoping to maximize the health intake and minimize the sugars. Yet somehow nuts find themselves as a recommended food in each one – if you’re wondering why, the answer is simple: Nuts in their various forms of plain, flavored, and our popular nut butters, are the jack of all trades when it comes to nutrition.

health benefits

You can find a vast array of nuts – such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, and walnuts – in whatever form interests your palate at Maisie Jane’s. Looking for a snack? Try out our nut packs. Something to slab on your crackers or toast or add to a smoothie? Our nut butters are best sellers and versatile in their uses. There are a number of ways to use these tiny, nutrient packed, bite-sized belly fillers.

But why should you add nuts to your daily diet? What health benefits do they give you?

Let’s talk about the health benefits you’ll be gaining from the types of nuts we sell here at Maisie Jane’s:

Almonds – Biotin, Vitamin E, Manganese, Copper

These little super-fruits (they are technically the nut of a fruit!) are high in protein and have healthy fats your body can actually use. According to research, almonds have a lot more to offer than good fats and heart health. Here are the percent daily values for additional vitamins and minerals you may not know you’re getting with almonds (all based on 1/4 cup of sliced, raw almonds):

Biotin, 49%. Biotin is an important component of enzymes in the body that break down certain substances like fats, carbohydrates, and others. It’s also shown to help treat mild depression.

Vitamin E, 40%. The neat thing about Vitamin E is it’s fat soluble, meaning your body stores it and uses it as needed. There seem to be no limits to what Vitamin E can do, and there are hundreds of studies currently underway to further assess it’s already proven effectiveness as an antioxidant.

Manganese, 27%. Manganese is a mineral our bodies use to aid in bone production, wound healing, and low levels in the blood or tissue have been associated with multiple        chronic diseases.

Copper, 26%. Copper increases the absorption of iron, aids in energy production, and helps with the formation of collagen. There’s a multitude of consequences for Copper deficiency. Gaining honorable mention is the fact that high intake of Zinc and Vitamin C are known to cause Copper deficiency as Copper battles against them for absorption.

Vitamin B2, 18%. Also known as riboflavin, B2 is prescribed to assist in preventing migraines, anemia, and helps regulate thyroid function.

Hazelnuts – Manganese, Copper, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Thiamin, B6, Iron

Ah yes… the rich, homey taste complimenting both savory and sweet dishes or eaten solo for their tasty flavor. Unlike their counterparts, hazelnuts aren’t harvested in the fall. They are plucked in the height of summer. Much like almonds these beauties provide you with healthy fats and a hefty number of vitamins and minerals. The following measurements are based on 1 cup of hazelnuts:

Magnesium, 55%. Taking the recommended daily amount of magnesium is associated with greater bone density, helps the body metabolize carbohydrates and glucose, and is proven to decrease your risk of diabetes by 15%.

Thiamin, 49%. Otherwise known as vitamin B1, this vitamin helps your body maintain a  healthy nervous system, brain function, improve cardiovascular function, and helps the           body withstand physical and mental stress.

Vitamin B6, 40%. Vitamin B6 is to thank for your body’s ability to unlock energy from food for your body to use efficiently, cellular health, absorption of B12, and is used to make several neuro transmitters in your brain.

Iron, 35%. Iron is what our bodies use to carry oxygen to our cells. It is essential to cellular and brain function, improves the immune system, and can battle fatigue.

Phosphorus, 33%. According to Vitamins-Nutrition, phosphorous helps your body absorb calcium, in turn improving bone density. It also helps your kidneys effectively clean out waste from your bloodstream.

Folate, 32%. Also known as vitamin B9, folate is most commonly known as its synthetic twin: folic acid. Most people know it’s an important B vitamin if you’re pregnant, but folate does much more than that – it helps break down proteins in your body linked to cardiovascular dysfunction, dementia, and stroke. It also aids in DNA production and repair.

Potassium, 26%. Potassium is an electrolyte and so much more. It helps your heart and kidneys function efficiently and stay healthy; it’s good for your blood pressure, decreases anxiety and stress, enhances muscle strength, increases your metabolism, and is good for your nervous system.

As you can see, hazelnuts are a rich source of additional vitamins and minerals. Here are a few more we’ve already covered:

  • Manganese, 355%.
  • Copper, 99%.
  • Vitamin E, 86%.

Cashews – Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin K, Manganese, Zinc

Cashews are great for your heart, eye, blood health, and weight loss. These particular nuts are a great choice for vegetarians due to their high protein content. More specifically, they contain 18 of the possible 22 amino acids including ones that can’t be synthesized and served in a pill. Here’s a closer look at what a 1 cup serving size (137g) brings to the table:

Vitamin K, 59%. This vitamin’s claim to fame is assisting in blood clotting. It’s also thought to be good for bone health as it helps carry calcium through the body.

 Zinc, 51%. Zinc is a metal and classified as a mineral. It helps your body’s immune system operate efficiently, aids in wound healing, helps with the creation of DNA, and assists cellular division (rejuvenation).

Protein, 42%. These little nuts are jam packed with protein at 21 grams per cup. Protein is essential for your body to function, period. Every activity occurring in your body requires proteins at some point. As far as daily recommended intake goes, the amount of protein your body requires is actually unique to your weight. The rule of thumb is 0.36 grams per pound. If you weight 150lbs, you need 54 grams of protein a day. To calculate the intake specific to your body, click here.

Selenium, 23%. Selenium can be considered a beauty aid due to its ability to regenerate vitamins E and C in the body (natural anti-aging vitamins) and keep dandruff at bay. On a more functional note, selenium improves your body’s cholesterol ratio and your immune system’s fight against bacteria as well as a number of viral infections.

Additional vitamins and minerals that cashews maintain a high concentration of:

  • Copper, 152%.
  • Magnesium, 89%.
  • Phosphorous, 67%.
  • Manganese, 57%.
  • Iron, 46%.

Pistachios – Copper, Manganese, B6, Thiamin, Phosphorous, Fiber

Pistachios are known for a few of their signature benefits: lower cholesterol and improved heart health, weight management (they’re high in fiber, so you feel more full), and they’re a great source of L-Arginine. L-Arginine is prescribed as a remedy to 40+ different health problems ranging from breast cancer and chemotherapy to sickle cell anemia. Here’s the synopsis of which vitamins and minerals they have in high concentration, with numbers derived from a 1 cup serving size:

Fiber, 51%. This wonder nut contains both insoluble and soluble fiber. The difference is insoluble fiber helps with digestion and keeping your gut healthy, while soluble fiber helps regulate your blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.

There are several additional vitamins and minerals found in high amounts in cashews, all of which are covered under previous nuts listed:

  • Copper, 81%.
  • Manganese, 78%.
  • Vitamin B6, 78%.
  • Thiamin, 69%.
  • Phosphorous, 60%.
  • Protein, 53%.
  • Magnesium, 37%.
  • Potassium, 37%.
  • Iron, 29%.

Pecans – Manganese, Copper, Thiamin, Fiber

According to the USDA, pecans are still the top-ranked tree nut for the highest antioxidant capacity! Antioxidants protect all the cells in your body from damage. The benefits include a decreased risk of heart disease and increased eye health, particularly regarding age-related macular degeneration. Pecans are highest in the following vitamins and minerals (measured in a 1 cup serving size):

  • Manganese, 245%
  • Copper, 65%
  • Thiamin, 48%
  • Fiber, 42%
  • Magnesium, 33%
  • Zinc, 33%
  • Phosphorous, 30%

Walnuts – Manganese, Copper, Gamma Tocopherol, Magnesium, Phosphorus

Rich in omega-3, these nuts are a great choice if you’re in need of a balanced omega 3 omega 6 diet. They’re also known for their anti-inflammatory properties, specific type of vitamin E shown to improve cardiovascular health in men, ability to battle metabolic syndrome, and are beneficial in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Here’s a more in-depth look at the nutrition information based on a 1 cup serving size:

Vitamin E (gamma tocopherol), 35.98 mg. The suggested daily intake of gamma tocopherol is 50 to 300 mg, walnuts have 35.98 mg of it! This is the anti-inflammatory powerhouse when combined with omega 3 (something walnuts have a decent amount of). Researchers also found this duo helps your body dispose of glucose more efficiently, and improve management of blood sugar and insulin levels.

Previously discussed vitamins and minerals:

  • Manganese, 200%.
  • Copper, 93%.
  • Magnesium, 46%.
  • Phosphorous, 40%.
  • Fiber, 31%.
  • Vitamin B6, 31%.
  • Folate, 29%.
  • Thiamin, 27%.

Order Your Delicious Nuts Today

Tree nuts, in general, bring a dense volume of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to your table. However, it’s easy to overlook exactly how much of an impact they can have on your health by incorporating only a small amount into your daily diet.

At Maisie Jane’s you can find a variety of nuts to choose from, and they come in forms ranging from plain to flavored, candied and nut butters. Everyone can benefit from the goodness packed into these tiny marvels.

Swing by our online store and take a look. You may find yourself only a few days away from increasing your energy levels, softening your skin, and improving your heart health – all the while enjoying the tasty journey!

Almond Butter Recipes