National Nut Day is observed annually on October 22. This day is NOT about the eccentric neighbor that lives down the street or the crazy co-worker, it is a food holiday that celebrates a healthy and nutritious snack. It was created by the Liberation Foods Company as a way to advocate Fairtrade nuts and promote healthy living.
A nut is a fruit composed of an inedible hard shell and a seed, which is generally edible. In general usage, a wide variety of dried seeds are called nuts, but in a botanical context “nut” implies that the shell does not open to release the seed (indehiscent). The translation of “nut” in certain languages frequently requires paraphrases, as the word is ambiguous. A nut in botany is a simple dry fruit in which the ovary wall becomes increasingly hard as it matures, and where the seed remains unattached or free within the ovary wall.
Most nuts come from the pistils with inferior ovaries (see flower) and all are indehiscent (not opening at maturity). True nuts are produced, for example, by some plant families of the order Fagales. A small nut may also be called a “nutlet”. In botany, this term specifically refers to a pyrena or pyrene, which is a seed covered by a stony layer, such as the kernel of a drupe. Walnuts and hickories (Juglandaceae) have fruits that are difficult to classify. They are considered to be nuts under some definitions, but are also referred to as drupaceous nuts. “Tryma” is a specialized term for hickory fruits. In common use, a “tree nut” is, as the name implies, any nut coming from a tree. This most often comes up regarding allergies, where some people are allergic specifically to peanuts, others to a wider range of nuts that grow in trees.
However A nut in cuisine is a much less restrictive category than a nut in botany, as the term is applied to many seeds that have nuts that are not botanically correct. Any large, oily kernels found within a shell and used in food are commonly called nuts. Nuts are an important source of nutrients for both humans and wildlife. Because nuts generally have a high oil content, they are a highly prized food and energy source. A large number of seeds are edible by humans and used in cooking, eaten raw, sprouted, or roasted as a snack food, or pressed for oil that is used in cookery and cosmetics. Nuts (or seeds generally) are also a significant source of nutrition for wildlife. This is particularly true in temperate climates where animals such as jays and squirrels store acorns and other nuts during the autumn to keep from starving during the late autumn, all of winter, and early spring.Nuts used for food, whether true nut or not, are among the most common food allergens.
Many of them are used in cooking, eaten raw (Nuts are healthiest in their raw form), sprouted or roasted as a snack food and pressed for oil that is used in cookery and cosmetics. The fats found in nuts, for the most part, are unsaturated fats including monounsaturated fats. Many nuts are excellent sources of vitamins E and B2. They are also rich in protein, folate fiber and essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium. Nuts are essential to animals, especially those in temperate climates, as they store acorns and other nuts during the autumn months to keep from starving during late fall, all winter and early spring. Several studies have shown that those who consume nuts on a regular basis are less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease (CHD). It was in 1993 that nuts were first linked to protection against CHD. Since that time, many clinical trials have found that consumption of various nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, can lower serum LDL cholesterol concentrations.One study has shown that people who ate nuts lived two to three years longer than those who did not. Those who were consuming nuts may have been eating less junk food leading to a longer lifespan.