Some meat products like eggs, and dry beans and peas, nuts, and seeds supply many nutrients. These include protein, B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. They are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. Proteins are one of three nutrients that provide calories (the others are fat and carbohydrates).
B vitamins found in this food group serve a variety of functions in the body. They help the body release energy, play a vital role in the function of the nervous system, aid in the formation of red blood cells, and help build tissues.
Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood. Many teenage girls and women in their child-bearing years have iron-deficiency anemia. They should eat foods high in heme-iron (meats) or eat other non-heme iron containing foods along with a food rich in vitamin C, which can improve absorption of non-heme iron.
Magnesium is used in building bones and in releasing energy from muscles. Zinc is necessary for biochemical reactions and helps the immune system function properly.
Almonds, one ounce equals about 25 almonds. In the Protein Foods Group, this amount counts as 2 ounce equivalents protein foods and 2 teaspoons of oil.
Cashews, one ounce is equal to about 13 cashews
In the protein Foods Group, this amount counts as 2 ounce equivalents protein foods and 2 teaspoons oil.
Walnuts, an ounce is equal to about 9 walnuts, in the Protein Foods Group, this counts as 2 ounce equivalents protein foods and 2 teaspoons oil.
Mixed Nuts, one ounce of mixed nut in the Protein Foods Group, counts as 2 ounce equivalents protein foods, plus 2 tsp oil.
Cooked Black Beans = ½ cup In the Protein Foods Group, this counts as 2 ounce equivalents protein foods.
Cooked Kidney Beans = ½ cup In the Protein Foods Group this counts as 2 ounce equivalents of protein foods.
Cooked Pinto Beans= ½ cup In the Protein Foods Group it counts as 2 ounce equivalents of protein foods
Eating peanuts and certain tree nuts (i.e., walnuts, almonds, and pistachios) may reduce the risk of heart disease when consumed as part of a diet that is nutritionally adequate and within calorie needs. Because nuts and seeds are high in calories, eat them in small portions and use them to replace other protein foods, like lentils, tofu and other meat alternate foods. Eat unsalted nuts and seeds to help reduce sodium intakes.
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