Saturday, October 10, 2015

Go Nuts With Your Nutrition

Stock Photo: Markus Mainka

I wouldn't say that I am a nut person, yet I do enjoy the occasional handful of these crunchy pieces of nutrient-dense foods. I also enjoy dried/desiccated fruits.

As an active endurance athlete, I use nuts as a supplementary source of nutrients. Here are how I eat them:

1) I sprinkle them over my raw salads. I enjoy pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashews, chia seeds, dried fruit and raisins. They provide a protein boost to the pigmented leaves. I, sometimes, spruce up my nut count if I eat my salad at home.
2) Drink water when eating nut by itself. It can dry your throat.
3) The easiest way to consume nuts is from a bag. Ensure that unused nuts are kept in a resealable Ziploc bag.
4) Although nuts and dried fruits can be refrigerated to ensure shelf-life, consume them as soon as possible. The refrigerator is a dehumidifier, and may cause precious essential oils from the nuts to escape. The same goes for coffee powder.
5) I enjoy nuts as a snack, especially when I feel peckish on a long indoor-ride. I get a mild feeling of satiety or fullness, whilst enjoying the energy from the oils. I have also raced with nuts in Ironman races.
6) Certain nut oils complement the essential and stable cooking fats (extra-virgin olive oil, butter and coconut oil).
7) I developed an appreciation for nut butters (mainly peanut and almond) after I ate some during my time in the Boston Marathon 2014. A trip to Trader Joes convinced me of the relevance of buying a prepared version, or a home-made, bespoke recipe.
8) Invest in a powerful blender/grinder and make your own nut butter flavoured with Himalayan salt, raw honey, bee pollen, berries, and other oils.

Nuts and the nut oils are a relevant complement to our dietary needs as serious athletes. There are many nut-based products you can create in your kitchen like health-bars, smoothies, and spreads.

Nuts can vary in pricing, source, agricultural treatment and preparation. The website 'NUTS.COM' incorporates the expertise of a dietitian to recommend simple treats and solutions for your nutritional needs. Check it out to learn more about healthier solutions about nuts, dried fruit, and other tasty treats for your energy, recovery, and racing needs.

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