What are Nuts - Fruits or Vegetables

Consumers today are more informed than consumers of the past. People today are continually seeking to make healthy choices. They are therefore seeking more information about the different foods available to them to ensure that they make healthy choices. Nuts are considered a healthy source of protein. Many people seeking to maintain a healthy diet use nuts as snacks or as part of main meals. Vegetarians and those on diet often use nuts to replace meat as a source of protein.

However not everything that we use the term nut to describe today is actually a nut. The term is often misused. Indeed there are many different types of nuts and many people confuse actual nuts with those that are just nuts by name. Many people also have problem with determining what are nuts, fruits or vegetables?

What are nuts?

Technically speaking, nuts cannot be categorized as vegetables. True nuts are those that have a hard-shell. They are actually categorized as fruits i.e. hard-shelled fruits. True nuts include chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and almonds. All nuts have a hard outer shell and a soft inside. The soft inside is the edible part of the nut. Many people group peanuts as nuts. However, this is wrong. When answering the question what are nuts, fruits or vegetables? It is important to have a clear understanding of what nuts truly are and therefore separate them from others that are placed in the category falsely.  What we call peanuts and group under nuts are actually legumes. They are therefore actually vegetables. Peanuts fall into the same category as beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas. Peanuts are therefore the only legume in that you can actually eat without having to cook it.

Are peanuts nuts?
Peanuts can be prepared in a wide variety of ways. They can be boiled, roasted or baked. These legumes are a healthy source of protein and can be used by vegetarians and dieters as a replacement for meat. They are also a good source for healthy fats. They make a healthy snack if taken in moderation.

How to use nuts?
Nuts can be used in a variety of ways. They are often referred to as culinary nuts. This means that they can be used for the preparation of foods. However, most people use nuts as snacks as they are just as good on their own. Nuts are often used by manufacturers to enrich the foods that they manufacture. You will find nuts included in pastries such as cakes and pies, cookies and candy bars. The nuts enhance the nutritional value of the foods as well as enhance the taste. Many people use nuts as ingredients in dishes they prepare at home. You will find nuts included in soups, chicken dishes, pasta dishes and beef dishes. They can also be added to breakfast cereals or be used to make spreads and sauces.

Nuts are a great source of protein. They are also a source of various other nutrients including potassium, vitamin B2, selenium, magnesium, vitamin E and fiber. The nuts also provide the body with various healthy oils without increasing the calories in your diet by too much. However, this is only possible if consumed in moderation as they are high in calories.

It is important to practice moderation with any food including nuts. You can enjoy even high calorie foods without putting on weight if you practice moderation. Nuts make for a healthy snack and are great for adding flavor and nutrients to a meal. You can therefore use them to enhance your meals. They also keep you full for longer and may aide in reducing the amount of food you eat.