Nut Facts That You Probably Didn’t Know About
Nuts are one of the best snack options, as they contain healthy fats that are beneficial for heart health. They are also nutrient rich, containing vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, and other minerals which can help to, amongst many other effects, boost bodily functions, strengthen the immunity, and regulate cholesterol levels. Let us not get too deep into the scientific health benefits of nuts for now, since we have some fun facts about nuts that will pique your interest. Read on to find out more.
- Peanuts are classified as legumes and not tree nuts as they do not actually grow on trees, but rather underground. Hence, they are in the same category as beans and peas since they grow inside a pod.
- 60% of the world’s consumption of nuts are peanuts! This is due to the peanut butter being the most famous type of nut butter.
- Dogs should not consume macadamias, since it will cause weakness in their back legs, vomit, fever, and depression. However, the scientific explanation for these adverse reactions is still unknown.
- Macadamias have one of the hardest shells, and hence you cannot open them by hands or with your teeth.
- Pistachio nuts are green due to the presence of chlorophyll, just like those found in vegetables.
- The Chinese enjoy eating them during the Chinese New Year, as they resemble a smile and are called a happy nut, which is also derived from their Chinese name, kai xin guo (开心果).
7. The reason that cashew nuts are sold without their shells is because the shells are toxic. They contain a liquid called urushiol, that causes dermatitis, which is the condition of having rashes, itchiness and inflamed patches of skin. They may also cause intense swelling and a burning sensation. Thus, the cashew nuts have to be roasted at high heat to remove any traces of the urushiol. They cannot be heated in the oven in your home however, as the heat required exceeds the oven temperatures available.
8. Cashew nuts are the seeds that stem from the cashew apple. Hence, they are not nuts but are a drupe seed.
9. Almonds rely on bees to pollinate them, otherwise they will not grow. Hence, farmers gather one million beehives to California every February to pollinate the almond trees.
10. Chocolate producers purchase 40% of the almond produce in the world.
11.Brazil nuts do not actually come from Brazil, but Bolivia. Cashew nuts on the other hand, are the ones that originate from Brazil.
12. The flowers of the Brazil nut tree are only pollinated by Orchid bees, as they are the only bees that have large tongues and are strong enough to pry the flower open to collect the nectar. These bees also do not grow in other plantations or forests other than those in Mexico or southeastern Brazil, making the bees quite rare and Brazil nuts a difficult production process.
13. Brazil nuts are so packed full of selenium, that around 28 grams of Brazil nuts will fulfill 700% of your daily selenium requirement! Hence, all you need to consume is less than two Brazil nuts a day.
14. Greeks in the past believed that hazelnuts could treat cough and baldness.
15. The pecan tree became a state tree of Texas in the 1919 and the Texas governor, James Hogg loved it so much that he requested one to be situated next to his gravesite.
16. Pecan trees are native to North America and the US produces 80% of the world’s pecans.
17. Walnuts contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, but these acids are different from the ones from salmon and algae. The fatty acid in walnut is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which helps to reduce the risk of developing heart illness, lowers “bad” low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol. On the other hand, the fatty acid found in salmon is eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which helps to reduce inflammation in the body and promotes brain health. Between the two, the omega-3 fatty acids from salmon are better.
18. Walnuts are a suitable gluten-free base or crust for your baking. Hence, you could use them instead of your digestive biscuits.