The following article will discuss the importance of adding healthy fats to your diet and how nuts can contribute. We also list the best nuts for smoothies.
What Are The Benefits Of Nuts For Smoothies?
Nuts are a good way to add healthy fats to your diet because they provide essential fatty acids, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E and potassium; all important nutrients for optimal health.
The fat in nuts is also more satisfying than other types of fat because it takes longer for the body to break down which helps control appetite.
Nuts are an excellent source of protein as well as containing significant amounts of calcium and zinc.
Research has shown that there is not a single type of nut that should be avoided due to its high content or low content of any particular nutrient so enjoy!
How To Prepare Nuts For Smoothies?
Nuts can be soaked or roasted to provide a better texture for smoothies and allow the flavors to develop.
Soaking nuts enables easier digestion as the process of soaking neutralizes enzyme inhibitors which prevent some of the nutrients from being absorbed.
Enzyme inhibitors are not harmful but they may cause digestive discomfort such as bloating, gas, indigestion or heartburn.
To prepare nuts for smoothies, soak them in filtered water overnight and rinse thoroughly before use (no need to discard the water).
If you would like an extra flavor dimension, try roasting your nuts with spices prior to blending; this is recommended only if you plan on using them in savory dishes as opposed to sweet recipes.
Which Is Better – Using Nut Butter Or Raw Nuts In Smoothies?
Using nuts in smoothies is better than using nut butters, because raw nuts are usually healthier and more nutritious.
When it comes to smoothies, using whole ingredients is optimal – you get all the fiber and protein that will help with satiety as well as making your drinks feel thicker and creamier.
Using a combination of both whole nuts and nut butters such as almond or cashew butter can be an effective way of meeting your nutritional needs without having to consume an energy dense meal.
Top 10 Nuts For Smoothies: What Are They?
Now lets get down to the nuts and bolts of the subject.
Nuts can be divided into two main categories, raw or roasted.
There are hundreds of different types of nuts out there but for this article we will focus on 6 that are easily accessible to most people.
The list is not exhaustive so feel free to add your favorite nut in the comments section below!
One ounce (28g) of almonds contains 190 calories, 12g of fat, 6g of protein and 3g of carbohydrates; they’re also an excellent source of vitamin E and manganese.
2. Brazil Nuts
Just one nut contains 188 calories, 3g of protein, 2g of carbohydrate and 17g of fat; they’re a good source of selenium and magnesium which are useful in the reduction of cholesterol and treatment for hypertension respectively.
One ounce (28g) cashews contains 165 calories, 12g fat, 5g protein and 6g carbohydrates; they’re also rich in magnesium which is important for metabolic function as well as bone health by promoting calcium absorption.
Just one ounce (28 grams) hazelnuts contain 204 calories, 15g fat, 7 g protein and 4g carbohydrate; they’re also an excellent source of magnesium.
5. Macadamia Nuts
One ounce (28g) contains 204 calories, 2g of carbohydrate, 21g of fat and 7g of protein; they are very high in monounsaturated fat which is beneficial to cardiovascular health.
One ounce (28g) peanuts contain 188 calories, 6 g carbohydrate, 13 g protein, 15 g fat and 3g fiber; they’re rich in niacin which helps metabolism while being low in saturated fats so great for weight loss!
Just one ounce (28 grams) pepitas has 174 calories 12 grams fat 3 grams protein and 10 grams carbohydrates; they provide a good source of iron, magnesium and zinc.
8. Pine Nuts
Just one ounce (28g) contains 164 calories, 13g fat 5g protein and 3g carbohydrate; they’re also an excellent source of fiber!
One ounce (28 grams) of pecans contains 213 calories, 20 g fat, 4 g protein and 3 g carbohydrate; they contain a high quantity of vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant.
One ounce (28 grams) pistachios contains 162 calories, 9 grams of carbohydrate 6 grams of protein and 8 grams fat; they are rich in copper which helps create hemoglobin that carries oxygen to cells throughout the body while being low in saturated fats and cholesterol.
Are There Any Downsides Of Adding Nuts To Smoothies?
There are three main downsides to adding nuts/nut butter in smoothies.
The first is that you will receive all the calories associated with the nut which can be a factor if weight loss or maintenance is your goal.
Another downside is that nuts and nut butters contain high levels of fat so if they’re not used in moderation, an individual could easily consume several hundred calories by using them in their shakes regularly.
Nuts also contain significant amounts of phytic acid which inhibits mineral absorption from other foods consumed at the same time – this effect increases significantly when certain enzyme inhibitors present within nuts are combined with calcium-rich foods such as dairy products!
This means it’s best to use ground almonds or pecans rather than whole nuts when making smoothies if you are using them in high quantities or with dairy products.
Last but not least, many people have a tree nut allergy which means they should never be consumed.
When To Add Nuts/Nut Butter?
Nuts and nut butters can be added at the beginning of a blend to make it creamier and more tasty, if desired.
They can also be added at the end of a blend to add texture and crunch! However, adding them after will mean that their nutrients won’t be absorbed by your body for up to 30 minutes – this is why I recommend either adding them early on before your protein powder or else blending them separately into milk beforehand then adding both milk and nuts/nut butter to your shake at the same time.
Best Nuts For Smoothies – Conclusion
So there you have it – nuts contain an array of vitamins and minerals that support optimal health as well as some antioxidants which help fight chronic disease.
All nuts listed above should be eaten in moderation as they do contain a fair amount of calories due to their fat content; just remember to stay active and eat right!
Now go out there and start making some healthy smoothies with your favorite nut!