I’m going nuts!

nutsI don’t consider myself a full-blown vegetarian/vegan but I have adapted a lifestyle that mostly strays away from animal products (meat and dairy). I realize that because of this choice it is much more important to get my protein in daily. My favorite way to up my protein intake is to eat nuts! I LOVE them, in fact I have an entire drawer in my refrigerator dedicated to nuts. These little treasures are not only jam-packed with protein, they are also full of  vitamins, minerals, good fats (Omega 3’s) and fiber.

According to the Mayo Clinic, eating nuts is healthy for your heart! I like healthy hearts! They can lower your LDL cholesterol (LDL=bad) and can reduce the risk of blood clots that cause heart attacks and strokes and improve the lining of your arteries!

My favorites are pistachios, almonds and cashews but I also have macadamia and walnuts on deck at all times. These little guys make for great snacks-just pack a sandwich bag full and toss them in your purse, backpack, gym bag etc. and you will always have something tasty & healthy to munch on!

Always buy fresh, raw nuts and store them in the refrigerator because when left out (like in a cupboard) they can go rancid. Andddd if you can help yourself, try to buy the ones that aren’t roasted and salted. I know, I know they are so yummy that way but here’s the deal: The roasting process damages the polyunsaturated fats which makes the nuts go rancid much faster. Rancid nuts are pro-inflammatory (inflammation=disEASE)  and carcinogenic (causes cancer). Roasted and salted nuts are also very acid (disease thrives in acid) while raw, fresh nuts are very alkaline (disease can’t live in alkalinity).

I put nuts on my oatmeal every morning and I snack on some throughout the day, usually a few hours after breakfast or a few hours before dinner. Just 1/4 cup of almonds is 7.4 grams of protein, 1/4 cup of cashews is 5 grams, 1 ounce of peanuts is 7 grams! Added to a plant-based, whole foods diet it is easy to get your daily protein intake in and make your heart happy while you are at it 🙂

Peace & nuts, nikki

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