They may have gotten a bad rap years ago, before we really understood the difference between “good” fat and “bad” fat, but these days, it’s pretty clear that nuts are a vital part of a healthy diet.
Not only do the unsaturated fatty acids, fiber and protein in nuts help lower high cholesterol, reduce blood clots (which lead to heart attacks), and improve the lining of our arteries, they also keep us full for longer periods of time, and provide a good dose of Omega-3s.
If you’re a fan of nuts in all forms (especially in smoothies!), keep reading for some super cool facts that might just make you the most interesting person in the room!
1) Walnuts are the oldest known tree food — they date all the way back to 10,000 BC.
2) If you love almonds as much as we do, thank bumblebees! Almonds can’t grow on their own. They need bees to help them pollinate.
3) The shell of the cashew is toxic and can’t be eaten. Cashews are in the same plant family as poison ivy and poison sumac and their itchy oil is primarily contained in their shell.
4) Pistachio is known as the “smiling nut” in Iran and the “happy nut” in China.
5) Macadamia nuts are never picked. They are harvested from the ground after they fall off the tree. They also have the hardest shell of any nut, taking 300 PSI of pressure to crack it open.
6) Brazil nuts are a truly special nut. They require a specific bee to be pollinated and take as long as 10 to 30 years to mature.
7) Americans spend almost $800 million a year on peanut butter and with six cities in the US named Peanut, it’s safe to say America loves this popular nut butter…
8) …The only thing is, peanuts aren’t actually nuts – they’re legumes.
9) Texas adopted the pecan tree as its state tree in 1919. In fact, Texas Governor James Hogg asked that a pecan tree be planted at his gravesite.
10) Ancient Greeks believed hazelnuts could treat coughing and baldness.
11) Almonds have a long storage life and can be refrigerated for up to 2 years. The longer shelf life is due to the fact that they are rich in Vitamin E.
12) Pistachios are actually seeds of a grape-like fruit.
13) Cashews are actually fruit, too.
14) Chestnuts contain vitamin C (around 20%).
15) Macadamia nuts are poisonous for dogs.
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