National Nut Day celebrates the healthy and nutritious snack of walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, kola nuts, pine nuts, cashews, and so many more! Learn more about the origins of this nutty holiday and nuts in general with these 3 Nutty and Interesting Fast Facts.
1. A Nutty Company Created the Holiday
National Nut Day was created in 2010 by the Liberation Foods Company, U.K.'s only Fair Trade, farmer-owned nut company, to celebrate and promote the delectable food and energy source, as well as educate people on some misconceptions about the nut.
For example, did you know that the peanut is actually not a nut? According to the Peanut Institute, unlike real nuts the peanut grows underground and is categorized as a bean, which is part of the legume family. What distinguishes nuts as nuts is that they are fruits composed of a hard outer shell with a seed inside.
Since Nut Day's inception, festivals have sprouted all around the world to deepen people's love and knowledge of the great tasting nut.
2. Ancient Food Source and Cola Flavoring
Archaeology has found that humans and their ancestors have been eating nuts for over 780,000 years, which shows nuts have long been part of the human diet. These tree seeds are high in fat and protein, and can be stored for long periods, which made them a major source of winter survival.
And while you might have a favorite kind of nut to snack on, there may be other foods or drinks you enjoy that you didn't know also derived from nuts. The next time you take a sip of Coca-Cola, you'll know that the original flavoring of cola sodas derived from the extract of kola nuts.
3. Health Benefits and Drawbacks of Nuts
Numerous medical studies have shown that nuts in our diet provide a number of health benefits. A regular habit of eating nuts lowers cholesterol levels in those with a history of Coronary Heart Disease, reducing hypertension and other risks associated with heart disease.
Nuts are also full of protein, fiber, and unsaturated (the good kind) fat!
Unfortunately for some, these health benefits are not an option. After performing a study in 2008, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reported that 2 percent of American households have at least one child with allergies to peanuts or tree nuts, or both, which more than doubled from ten years before. They also say that 25 to 40 percent of those allergic to peanuts, which is more common, are also reactive to at least one tree nut.
For these individuals, National Nut Day is like being single on Valentine's Day.
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