What better way to celebrate the virtues of the humble nut than to devote a day of the calendar year to it?
In the UK, the 22nd October has been designated National Nut Day, but why not also advocate for the UK to adopt the 4th September as Macadamia Nut Day, given this day has been established in Australia and Hawaii?
Nuts are increasingly recognised for their exceptional qualities – they are valuable sources of nutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals. They are excellent sources of vitamins E and B2, they contain magnesium, phosphorus, copper, potassium, selenium and they are an invaluable energy source. They also contain fibre, and most contain ‘good fats’ i.e. unsaturated fats including monounsaturated fats.
Nuts are compatible with so many lifestyles and diets – veganism, vegetarianism, keto, low carb/high fat, and paleo to name a few. And they are good for those of us who don’t subscribe to any particular nutritional plan!
They really are the dream supplement to any diet.
We all know how versatile nuts can be – enjoy them raw, roasted, made into a butter, cream, nut milk, oil, or ground into a flour, covered in chocolate and used in sweet and savoury cooking and baking, or put into smoothies.
And their value extends beyond food – their oils can be used in cosmetics, for example, shampoo, face wash and moisturisers.
Ward off disease
Research points to regular consumption of nuts mitigating against coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even lower serum LDL cholesterol concentrations (particularly almonds and walnuts). There is even research supporting increased longevity where nuts are eaten in place of junk food.
Which nuts are best for…?
Different types of nuts may have specific health benefits. Aim for a diet rich in a variety of nutrients by consuming all types of nuts. For example:
- Almonds are rich in calcium, which keeps bones and teeth strong, and contributes to healthy hair, skin and nails.
- Cashews are packed with zinc and iron - especially beneficial to a vegetarian diet.
- Pecans contain vitamin B3, which can help combat fatigue.
- Brazils are rich in selenium, which can boost the immune system and help wounds to heal faster.
- Walnuts are known as ‘brain food’ as they are rich in omega 3 and vitamin E.
- Macadamia are high in monosaturated fats which are great for boosting the metabolism, staving off hunger, and reducing risk factors for heart disease.
Did you know…?
- Nuts are actually a fruit, and the nut which we eat is actually the seed of the fruit.
- Most nuts grow on trees or bushes and are found in soft shells which harden as they mature - such as macadamia, cashew and brazil nuts. Some, however, grow underground, and are in fact not nuts, but legumes.
- Nuts grow in both the developed and the developing world. They can be grown on huge farms commercially in the U.S. and Australia, but are also suited to smallholder farmers in Africa.
How to celebrate National Nut Day?
Be prepared for 22nd October and..:
- Increase awareness on social media, using the hashtag #nationalnutday
- Organise a ‘Nuts about Baking’ bake Off’ in your school or your office with the aim of incorporating nuts into your bakes – you can find some delicious and easy macadamia nut recipes here.
- Try and source nuts which are either ‘fair trade’ or ethically sourced.
Promoting Macadamia Nut Day?
Advocate for 4th September to be Macadamia Nut Day in the UK
- Search social media for how Australia and Hawaii promote macadamia nut day
- Use the hashtag #macadamianutday
- Check out the many ways that #macadamianuts are now being used:
#macadamianut #macadamiaoil #macadamianaturaloil #macadamiahair
#macadamiacookies #macadamiachocolate #macadamiabutter #macadamianuticecream
#macadamiamilk #macadamiacheese #macadamiacream