I'm a big fan of eating nuts and seeds as they're such a quick, healthy and nutritious snack. As you can see in the picture above, they're also a really good source of certain minerals which can be difficult to obtain from the diet. I find vitamins are easier to get from food sources but because our RDA for minerals is typically higher, it may be challenging to obtain adequate amounts of minerals, especially considering our soil quality plays a huge part in the nutrient composition of foods.
Vital minerals and their role in stress, mood, thyroid & mental health.
- Magnesium: possibly my favourite mineral (if I'm allowed to have a favourite), magnesium is needed for neurotransmitter production and acts as a cofactor for serotonin, dopamine and GABA conversion. Magnesium is particularly beneficial during times of stress, nervous tension, insomnia, and for anyone suffering from depression or anxiety.
- Selenium: is a vital nutrient for the thyroid as it converts T4 ( including your thyroxine medication ) to T3 which is your active thyroid hormone. Although only needed in small amounts, Australian soils are deficient in selenium and therefore, we have very few food sources. The best way to get your selenium is from Brazil nuts.
- Zinc: is required for thyroid health as it assists in the conversion of T4 to the active thyroid hormone, T3. As well as this, like magnesium, zinc is also a cofactor for neurotransmitter production.
- Calcium: important for nervous system function as it plays a role in nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction. Studies have shown it can help to reduce PMS!
- Good fats: Last but not least, nuts and seeds contain an abundance of healthy fats which are vital for healthy brain function and moods.
Salt and Vinegar Nuts and Seeds
As much as I'm nuts about nuts, I'm also the first to admit they can get a bit bland and boring if you eat them as often as I do!
It was my dad who first showed me how to transform the humble sunflower seed by lightly toasting them in a frypan with some salt - so delicious! But the other day, I took it to a whole other level. Now this isn't necessarily a ground-breaking recipe or technique, but it works so well and I was pretty chuffed with myself for creating it!
- 1 tspn butter
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1 Tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
- A generous grinding of Himalayan salt (I didn't measure but maybe about half a tspn)
1. Melt the butter in a frypan on medium heat
2. Add the nuts and start tossing and lightly toasting
3. Pour over the balsamic vinegar and stir/toss the nuts and seeds in the the buttery/vinegary mixture until all the liquid cooks off.
*Make sure you keep stirring otherwise they'll stick and burn.
4. Once the liquid has cooked off and the nuts and seeds have been toasted lightly, add the salt and let them cool on a plate or paper towel.
As they cool off, the nuts and seeds with stick together in delicious clumps.
5. Store in an airtight container for a few days....... if they last that long!
Note: You can also use any other nut and seed combination you like.
Remember not to do this on the highest heat as you don't ever want too burn or over-heat the beneficial fats in nuts and seeds.