No, it wasn’t an allergic reaction.
It was an extended moment of heaven for a drink I tried for the first time in Brazil. Since having that fresh coconut water, and scooping up the cold flesh upon drinking it, I will now and forever equate coconuts with vacation.
Does that ever happen to you? That a smell or taste takes you to a very specific place or feeling from the past?
I remember it had been quite an impulsive vacation for me: after a University semester that literally wore me out, I broke my piggy bank and left. As I sat by the shore on the first day, I took a long sip out of the chilled coconut I had bought, delighted by the simplicity it had been served in its green shell.
One sip and just like that I made a snap neuro-association, so that now when I see or smell coconut in my mind I am automatically teleported to a warm beach. I even help it and choose my sunscreen based on that scent. What a blissful ingredient!
But riddle me this: Is coconut a fruit, nut, or seed? According to the Library of Congress, coconut is a fibrous, one-seeded, dry drupe. It is essentially a tropical trifecta: a fruit, a nut, and a seed.
Today, I want to deep dive into nuts as one of the key ingredients in our meals.
Nut lovers appreciate their versatility and variety – they come in all sizes and shapes, colors and flavors! It’s no coincidence that they feature in just about every nutritionist’s list of healthy snacks.
For adventurers, nuts are a satiating source of fiber and proteins that can help us stay full for longer, without dips and spikes in sugar. They help hikers stay powered up with their many vitamins – B’s, and E – and their minerals such as magnesium, potassium, selenium, copper, and zinc. In addition, nuts are antioxidant powerhouses, as they contain polyphenols that protect cells from damage.
I know nuts conjure up images of the chubby squirrel stuffing its cheeks and stocking up for the winter.
But while it’s true that crunchy macadamia and creamy peanuts are relatively high in fat, they provide the kind of fats that, in moderation, promote weight loss. Their Omega-3-6-9 fatty acids give nuts their powerful slimming effect, making them a perfect addition to a Keto diet.
And for people under stress, cashews and almonds are particularly helpful in combatting cortisol, the stress hormone that makes it difficult to lose fat, especially around the torso.
A handful of nuts a day helps keep the doctor away!