Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Athletes Guide to Nuts

One thing I learned that while doing some reading on this, is you should store your nuts in the fridge.  This helps protect the omega 3 content and keeps them from going rancid.

I've enclosed a chart, for the standard calories, fiber, carbs and fat.  What I am more interested in is the micronutrients.  What else is in there?  Tim Ferris eats Brazil nuts for the extra selenium.  Selenium deficiency hinders testosterone.  But upon further reading Brazil nuts grown in selenium rich soil can have 100mcg while those in selenium deficient soil have 10x less.  How do you know what nut you got?  Don't think you can.  Error on the side of organic and assume you will get a higher nutritional value.  They will influence testosterone levels though.  

Almost all nuts are good sources of copper and magnesium.  These are essential for health and tend to be lacking in (SAD) Standard American Diet.  

Those eating nuts have better heart health.  Most likely from the omega 3's.  

Walnuts contain an unusual amount of alpha-linelenic acid.  What's this?  It's like the plant version of omega 3.  We need this in our bodies, just like a omega 3 fish oil supplement.  ALA is especially important for brain and nerve tissue development.  

Most nuts contain a good amount of the amino acid L-Arginine.  Arginine is a blood dilator. Think of all the NO (nitric oxide) supplements out there.  The winner here is Black Walnuts with almost 1 gram per serving.  Peanuts were 2nd. 

Speaking of the peanut, did you know they are a legume and not a tree nut. I would probably drop Peanuts from this discussion as they often contain a fungus( also found in corn a lot).  Not what we want in our athletic bodies. 

Almonds lead the way for most protein per serving.  Cashews have the most carbs, but also the most zinc.  My problem with cashews is that you have to roast them to get rid of the resin on the outer portion as it is caustic and will irritate the skin.  Seems like that means don't eat it.  (I still eat cashews, I know hippocritcal, but just saying).

Pistachios are the highest in Potassium and B6.  Those prone to night cramps may find some benefit to this one.

Some strict Paleo followers I believe the practice of soaking the nuts in salty water over night to try to extinguish the effects of phytic acid in nuts.  Phytic acid is an anti nutrient.  This means it blocks the absorption of vitamins/minerals.  
All values will be one ounce.  

CalTot. CarbFiberNet CarbSat. FatMono Fatω-3 Fatω-6 Fat
Brazil Nuts1843.
Chia Seeds13712.310.
Flax Seeds1508.17.6.512.16.31.7
Madadamia Nuts20142.41.63.416.50.06.36
Pine Nuts1883.712.
Pumpkin Seeds15151.13.92.440.515.8
Sesame Seeds1606.
Sunflower Seeds1645.


Scott We Go said...

Cashews are also not a nut. :)

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