The simplest advice to eating healthier is to include a protein, fat, and vegetable in every meal or snack. Fortunately, nuts provide a great solution, being high in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Unfortunately, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that peanut allergy is the most common cause of food-related death, and the incidence among Americans alone doubled from 1997 to 2002. Peanuts are actually a legume, a bean, and not a nut. Legumes frequently contain multiple seeds, but a true nut will usually have only one seed. Additionally, a true nut won't open on its own, while legumes opening along a seam on two sides, like a pea pod. Other than peanut allergies that occur more emergently, why else would you avoid peanuts to seek real nuts? 1. Toxic acidityPeanuts are home to a carcinogenic fungus called aspergillus flavus that is known to release aflatoxin, which can cause cancer. These fungi also play a role in peanuts being categorized as acidic; as opposed to the alkalinity of almonds (see Sparta Point 4/14/10). These more basic blood levels encourage an anabolic environment to build muscle and lose fat 2. Antioxidants Antioxidants help the body recover from training, as well as prevent those pesky diseases like cancer and diabetes (see Sparta Point 12/1/10). Walnuts have twice as many antioxidants as other nuts, as well as increased potency, but peanuts fit near the bottom in almost every vitamin and mineral. 3. More fat Almonds have 50% more monounsaturated fat than peanuts, the same macronutrient behind the recommendations of olive oil for heart health. This better Omega 3 fatty acid profile keeps blood vessels healthy, as well as lower blood pressure. Peanut allergies are on the rise, most likely fueled by its inexpensive nature, because of its increasing use as an additive in everything from pizza sauce to salad dressing. Your allergy to a real nut, such as almonds, might even be occurring due to its packaging alongside peanuts! While there is no agreed upon treatment yet, seems pretty straightforward; try some walnuts and eat almond butter instead.
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