Vitamins and minerals in fresh food

October 10th, 2012 → 4:07 am @



Hazelnuts are a northern hemisphere nut, originally grown in Southern Europe and Turkey. It is a member of the birch family. The Filbert is a relative of the hazelnut and is often called “cobnuts” in the UK. Today hazelnuts are grown all over the world and especially in the USA.

The “catkins” from which the flowers grow, produce the nuts in autumn.

As well as an edible nut, so favoured by a lot of people, it produces a beautiful oil, used as a carrier oil in medicine and aromatherapy. These nuts are also good for balancing the cholesterol levels. They are rich in energy, dietary fibre and phyto-chemicals, so they are a health promoting food. Hazelnuts are rich in folates, B9 vitamin, unusual for nuts, which helps prevent megaloblastic anaemia, nucleic acid synthesis and most importantly, neural tube defects in the foetus.

They are gluten free.

VITAMINS: High: E, B1, B6, B9, B5. Good supply of: K, B3, C, B2.

MINERALS: Very high: Manganese, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Zinc and Calcium.

Hazelnuts are used extensively in cooking, especially in desert type foods, such as cakes and other confectionery products.

Eaten raw is just so good, as they are sweet to taste. Enjoy!


Macadamia or Australian nut, is a real beauty. They are crisp and sweet to taste. Even though they were originally growing in Australia only, they are now grown in Hawaii and central America, Brazil and South Africa. They belong to the Proteaceae family. There are a number of species in the wild, but now there are cultivated varieties. They produce catkins, which produce the nuts in autumn. The shell is very hard and needs to be broken to release the nut. It is best to keep them in the shell, till you want to use them for freshness. They are a high energy food, a good anti-oxidant and are high in dietary fibre. There is no cholesterol in “macas”, nor gluten. As other nuts, they are rich in mono- unsaturated fats, helping the cholesterol balance to be healthy.

VITAMINS: Very high: B1, High B2, B5, B3, B2, B9. Some: E and C.

MINERALS: Very high: Manganese, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Zinc, Calcium, and Selenium.

A note here: It is important to remember, that selenium is only available in those macadamia nuts, which have been grown in mineral rich soils, which contain selenium, something Australian nuts cannot claim, as Australia is very deficient in selenium in the soil, unless they have been supplemented.

Macadamias are used in the kitchen for all sorts of reasons, as being sprinkled over ice creams and in many deserts. They are crunchy and sweet and are sometimes roasted and even sweetened with honey etc., but raw they are the best.


The way peanuts grow, is very different. Most nuts grow on trees, above

ground, but peanuts are actually a legume, which grows under the soil, and sometimes referred to as “ground nut”. It is an annual plant and needs to be re-sown every year. They are believed to have originated from Central America, but are grown in many countries today. The flowers are self pollinating and when the pedicel becomes elongated, it turns downwards and buries the fruit several centimeters under the ground, where they develop into peanut pods, holding several nuts.

They are rich in energy and anti-oxidants as well as vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in mono-unsaturated fats, which helps to balance the cholesterols. They contain a high concentration of poly-phenolic anti-oxidants (p-coumaric acid and resveratrol), which are believed to reduce stomach cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease and viral/fungal infection, reducing the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines.

VITAMINS: Very high: B3, B9, E, B1, B5, B6 and B2.

MINERALS: Very high: Copper, Manganese, Iron, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium. Some: Calcium.

Note: Selenium is only available in soils, which contain selenium. In Australia, this mineral is almost non-existent.

Peanuts are widely used in cooking. The one thing I like to point out to you is that salted and sweetened nuts should be avoided, for obvious reasons.

Also, raw peanuts can carry a fungus called Aflatoxin, caused by a fungus called Aspergilles Flavus, which is harmful to us, and can cause mental retardation and lowered intelligence. It is less common these days, due to improved handling and storing. So ensure freshness at all times, with ALL NUTS.


Pecans were first eaten by the American Indians. They grow on very large trees and belong to the hickory family. Today, as with all foods, they are cultivated around the world, as a commercial crop. Botanically they are not a true nut but a *drupe. They grow on catkins and become fruits in Autumn. They are high in energy, nutrients and anti-oxidants, (ellaqic acid and zeaxanthin, helping to remove toxic oxygen free radicals, protecting the body from diseases) vitamins and minerals. They contain high levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, as other nuts do and therefore are valuable in the balancing of cholesterols levels.

VITAMINS: Very high: E, B1, B5, High B6, B2, B3,B9. Some A and C.

MINERALS: Very high: Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Phosphorous, High: Iron, Magnesium, Calcium and Selenium.

They are best eaten raw, rather than sweetened or salted. They are extensively used in cooking and sweets. Pecan butter is a really delicious spread on toast, instead of peanut butter.

  • In Botany, a DRUPE is an indehiscent fruit, in which an outer fleshy part (exocarp or skin and mesocarp or flesh) surounds a shell (the pit or stone) of hardened endocarp with a seed (kernel) inside.

    Eg.: Coffee, Jujube, Mango, Olive, most palms such as Date, Coconut, oil palms, white Sapote, all Prunus family, Almonds, Apricots, Cherry etc.


Pine nuts are indeed the nuts from pine trees, belonging to the family of Pinaceae, genus pinus rosaceae. The best known species are Pinus sibirica and Pinus koralensis. Pine nuts are special. The pine tree has really good qualities for health and the eating of the nuts is almost a must. Pine nuts are sometimes called pinon nuts, pignoli and cedar nuts, of which the latter is possibly the best name.

Pine or cedar trees grow in the cold regions of the Siberian taiga forests and in Canada. Female cones take up to 3 years to mature after pollination. These trees are very tall and straight, up to 30 metres high.

The nuts are high in calories, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and phyto chemicals. The fats are again high in mono-unsaturated acids, aiding the cholesterol balance. One fatty acid, called pinolenic acid, is know to curb your appetite and therefor helps in weight loss programs. They are also gluten free.

VITAMINS: Very high: E, B1, B3, B2. High: B9, B6, B5, Some: A and C.

MINERALS: Very high: Manganese, Copper, Phosphorous, Iron, Magnesium, zinc. Some: Potassium and calcium.

Pine nuts are best eaten raw, but they are very often used in cooking and therefor heated. Sometimes we can get them salted or sweetened. They are used in sweets and cookies, in salads and with vegetables.


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