Eating nuts and legumes linked to health benefits

You know you’ve lamented about it: The meat fit for consumption here on campus presents pretty slim pickings, to say the least.

Molly Dutmers/Old Gold & Black

Molly Dutmers/Old Gold & Black

For finicky (or simply discerning) eaters, vegetarians, vegans and the like, it can naturally difficult to obtain an adequate daily intake of protein. The meat at the Pit often consists of mostly fatty cuts or is saturated in canola oil, which is unagreeable to the stomachs of many. In addition, many either don’t care for eggs or simply lack the patience or time to wait in the omelette line.

As a result of these circumstances, don’t fail to eat the protein your body needs to function healthily. You are doing yourself a disservice now and in the future. Today, you will be tired and your muscles will crave nourishment.

A few years from now, they will be weaker than they may have been, and don’t forget that your heart is a muscle as well. Not to mention, your brain craves protein for all those healthy and consistently firing neurons, so don’t deprive them (and, consequently, your mental capacity.)

The Pit now offers tofu, but recent research has revealed that soy is comprised of insoluble protein fibers, which are not efficiently absorbed by your body as protein. The same applies to black beans.

No fear, those of you suffering from protein deficiencies; I have the solution for you, and it’s located in front of your nose in the Sundry and the POD beside the chocolate covered pretzels and M&Ms you so lovingly covet! Alas, nuts and legumes are protein and fiber-rich wingmen for your body and brain. They are celebrated now, as they were from the beginning of our conscious origins. (Ever heard of the Paleo diet?)

Nuts are a great source of fiber and are packed with nutrients and, most importantly here, protein.

If you don’t eat meat or dislike the opportunities for protein here on campus, there are plenty of walnuts, cashews, peanuts, and almonds in the Sundry and the POD.

According to the Harvard Medical Journal, all the above listed nuts (and others) are a great addition to your diet, providing vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and L-Arginine, a substance that helps arteries stretch and maintain healthy blood vessel function. Nuts have also been proven to help cardiovascular health in the short and long term.

With moderate consumption, the health benefits of eating nuts are uncanny and unparalleled. Take a gander if you haven’t already — you pass them every time you venture in looking for a tasty snack, and they’re nutritional powerhouses just waiting for you!