Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, proteins, fiber, vitamins, minerals and multiple antioxidants. Despite their high energy density, meaning their high calorie content, consuming one handful of nuts per day provide a healthy nutrient boost. A regular intake of nuts is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure and colon cancer. Additionally, research shows that people who eat a handful of nuts per day have an overall reduced risk of death.
The research study “Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality” examined the association between nut consumption and subsequent total and cause-specific mortality among 76,464 women 42,498 men. Participants were followed for approximately 30 years. Total nut consumption was assessed at baseline and updated every 2 to 4 years. Deaths were registered among 16,200 women and 11,229 men. The results from the study found an inverse association between nut consumption and total mortality among both women and men, after adjustments for other known or suspected risk factors. This means that fewer deaths were observed among participants who regularly consumed nuts compared to those who did not consume nuts. Furthermore, participants who had a daily consumption of nuts had a 20% decreased mortality rate compared to those who never consumed nuts.
Whether the results from this study is a direct result of the health benefits eating nuts provide is still unknown. Other studies have also shown that people who regularly consume nuts have an overall healthy diet, smoke less and work out more compared to those who do not consume nuts. A balanced diet, an active lifestyle and a regular consumption of nuts seem to be important factors for living a long and healthy life.
There are no limitations to the use of nuts. Nuts can be enjoyed as a quick snack, in breakfast cereals, in salads and as spread on toasts, fruits and vegetables. However, some nut butters can be expensive. Additionally, plastic jars and packages increase the overall waste. A solution to these problems is to make your own nut butters. It is easy, it tastes delicious, it is more economic than buying premade at the store, and it reduces waste.
How to make 1 jar of homemade almond butter:
What you need:
- 200 grams almonds
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Separate the almonds on a baking sheet. Bake them for 10-15 minutes.
- Combine the baked almonds and the salt in a food processor and start blending. The blending will take a while so have patience. It is often necessary to stop blending a few times to push the nuts down from the edges. When you think the blending has taken too long, keep blending. You will see the nuts start to get a smooth texture. This can take from a few minutes up to 15 minutes.
- Check that the preferred consistency has been obtained.
- Pour the finished nut butter into a jar with a tight lid and enjoy!
Tips: Use raw almonds or other nuts for this recipe. Store the finished product in the refrigerator.