Nuts may just be the most super of the superfoods. They taste delicious, you don’t have to cook them, and there’s tons of choices (there are over 50 different kinds in the world!) Everyone knows that nuts are considered healthy, but we bet you aren't familiar with all the benefits of the tiny morsels of goodness.
Not only are nuts delicious and highly snackable, but according to the FDA, eating nuts can reduce the risk of heart disease. This is because the fat found in nuts is almost completely unsaturated, which makes it “good” fat. “Good”, or healthy, fats are a major energy source and are necessary for muscle movement and cell membrane development. Nuts are also full of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals which prevent cancer, manage diabetes, and promote overall health. Joy Bauer, RDN, says, “ A small handful can pack your diet with filling protein, fiber, unsaturated fats, and important vitamins and minerals.” (everydayhealth.com). The U.S.D.A. now recommends consuming one-and-a-half ounces (about one-third cup) of nuts four to five times a week.
Did you know that nuts have formed a major part of man’s diet for hundreds of thousands of years? In fact, the oldest walnut remains, believed to be from 50,000 B.C.E., were found on an archaeological dig in Iraq. Pistachios and almonds are referenced in the Bible, and the Romans gifted candied almonds as a symbol of fertility. Nuts have even been touted as the “first convenience food”, since they are easy to transport and can be stored for months at a time.
Each unique flavor of Mammoth Bar contains a different nut. Read on to find out the history, benefits, and fun facts of each.
Almonds are actually the seed of the Prunis Dulcis , also known as the almond tree. They are one of the earliest cultivated foods. The crusaders returning from the Holy Lands in the 11th and 13th centuries brought back Arabian marzipan (candy paste made from ground almonds), and it remains hugely popular today. Talk about timeless.
Most people think of Hawaii when they eat macadamia nuts, but they actually derive from rainforests of Queensland, Australia. They were first introduced to Hawaii in 1881, and the island’s first crops began producing nuts in 1921. Today, most of the world’s macadamia nuts are grown in Hawaii.
Cashews are native to Brazil, but have been produced mainly in India and Africa since the 16th century. The cashew tree, which is very tall, grows large apples that have a cashew nut attached to the bottom. You will never see shelled cashews in stores. Why? Because the outer and inner shells contain caustic oil, so they are boiled, then roasted and burned in a process of removal.
Similar to almonds, pistachios are technically seeds, not nuts. Pistachios were mentioned in the Bible (for being Jacob’s sons’ favorite) and legend says that they were among the Queen of Sheba’s favorite foods. They did not arrive in America until the late 1800’s, and were not popularized as a snack food until the 1930’s. The entirety of America’s pistachio production happens in three western states: California, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Li, Zhaoping, and Rubens Song. “Pistachio Nuts Reduce Triglycerides and Body Weight by Comparison to Refined Carbohydrate Snack in Obese Subjects on a 12-Week Weight LOSS Program.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition , U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20833992/.
“15 Fun Facts about Nuts You Probably Don't Know.” Anuts.com , 20 Apr. 2018, https://www.anuts.com/blog/15-fun-facts-about-nuts-you-probably-dont-know/.
Mann, Michele Price. “History of Nuts.” HowStuffWorks , HowStuffWorks, 15 Nov. 2007, https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/history-of-nuts.html.
Bender, Rachel Grumman, et al. “Why You Should Go Nuts for Nuts.” EverydayHealth.com , https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition/0406/why-you-should-go-nuts-for-nuts.aspx.