Assorted nuts make a perfect holiday gift because not only are they delicious, but they are one of the healthiest snacks we can eat as well. Not only that, they are very affordable.
For around $10 you can find an attractive collection of organic nuts at your local health food store. Simply stick a bow on it and you’re all set. Of course, you can go all out and put them in some beautiful holiday wrapping if you prefer.
If you’re the kind of person who likes the hands on approach to gift giving, you could buy a variety of nuts from the bulk section of the health food store and a beautiful glass dish with a lid from any department store and make your own collection. After they eat the nuts, then the glass dish can be enjoyed for years to come, so it actually becomes two gifts in one.
Nuts are high in unsaturated fat and high in monounsaturated fats – which lowers your ldl cholesterol and increases your hdl cholesterol.
They are also abundant in protein and rich in fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, manganese, and calcium. Be sure to include Brazil nuts because they are very high in selenium, providing you with more than the recommended daily allowance, as well as a good source of magnesium. Macadamias are also a good source of thiamin.
Be sure your collection contains walnuts and you have a great supply of omega-3s. However, the omega-3s in nuts are in the ALA form and they must be converted to EPA and DHA, so they should not be your only source of omega-3s. Your best omega-3 source comes from meat and fish.
The high fat and protein content will provide lots of satiation and keep blood sugar stable, which also make them the perfect aid for curbing cravings for carbs and preventing overindulging of sweets that often occurs on the holidays.
Most nuts are low on the glycemic index, thus making them a good choice for people with sugar addiction, depression, anxiety, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity, etc. Unlike all other nuts, cashews are high in carbs, so you want to eat less of those. However, indulging in some high carb cashews just on the holiday, is not too detrimental.
Avoid peanuts because they are a common allergen, not only that they are high in mold and aflatoxins – toxins that mold produces. Peanuts are not actually nut, they are a legume, and like all legumes contain anti-nutrients that can lead to inflammation in the gut, autoimmune disorders, nutritional deficiencies and more.
The healthiest assortment would include walnuts, macadamias, Brazil nuts, pecans, almonds and hazelnuts.
Sometimes you can find a collection that contains dates for a little added flavor. Dates are a great alternative to all the sweets that typically accompany the holiday. They too will fill you up and prevent overindulgence.
However, keep in mind that many people have food allergies or sensitivities to nuts, so be sure you check this out before purchasing. You don’t want to send anyone to the emergency room on the holidays.