Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

18 Tammuz 5764 - July 7, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Home and Family

Nuts To You!
by Dr. Reuven Bruner, Ph.D.

Walnuts are an especially good choice because they provide vital omega-3 fatty acids in addition to the vitamin E, trace minerals, and fiber that other nuts contain. (By the way, peanuts are legumes, not nuts, and have a less desirable fatty-acid profile.)

In general, we prefer raw, unsalted nuts, and our personal favorites are raw cashews, although we also like roasted, unsalted almonds. (Some people find roasted nuts easier to digest than raw ones.) We also like Brazil nuts, which we eat occasionally for the selenium they contain, and pistachios. One ounce of pistachios contains more fiber than a half-cup of spinach and the same amount as an orange or apple. These nuts also are good sources of vitamin B-6, thiamine, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Unsaturated nut oils oxidize quickly on exposure to heat, light and air, creating rancidity that makes them smell and taste bad (like oil paint). Rancid oils are also carcinogenic. Roasted, chopped, and ground nuts go rancid much more quickly than whole raw ones.

Always smell nuts before you eat them or add them to recipes to be sure they are fresh. Store nuts in the refrigerator until you need them.

You can toast nuts yourself by stirring them about in a dry skillet over medium- high heat or spreading them on a baking sheet placed in a 350-degree oven; toss them occasionally until they are done to your liking, and try to use them up quickly.

Despite their beneficial nutritional profile, it is important to remember that because nuts are relatively high in calories, they're to be enjoyed in moderation.

2004 Dr. Reuven Bruner. All Rights Reserved.

Contact him at: POB 1903, Jerusalem, 91314, Israel; Tel: (02) 652-7684; Mobile: 052-2865-821; Fax: (02) 652-7227; Email:


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