It's time for another fun food-related holiday as Friday marks National Nut Day. On this day, we celebrate these nutritious and versatile foods.

National Nut Day was created by the Liberation Foods Company in order to encourage people to make healthier snack choices, National Today noted. Even though the company is actually based in the U.K., the holiday has spread far and wide, including in the U.S., since it appeared on the company's website in 2015.

The simple idea for the holiday is to celebrate all things nuts, from their versatility to their nutritious content. Nuts are good sources of vitamins E and B2, protein and essential minerals.

People can celebrate the day by snacking on their favorite nut or perhaps by having nut-containing foods they haven't tried before. Of course, those allergic to nuts should avoid them.

Let's have a look at some interesting nut-related facts. (Courtesy: National Today, National Day Calendar, Better Health Channel and Nature's Field)

  1. Technically, a nut is a dry fruit that has one or two edible kernels inside a hard shell. They include macadamias, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts.
  2. People tend to think of Hawaii when they think of macadamia nuts, but they actually originated from Queensland, Australia, and were simply brought to Hawaii.
  3. Many cocktails actually have whole or chopped nuts as garnish. Some even use nut extracts or liqueur with nut flavorings.
  4. Nuts and seeds have nutrients and unsaturated fats that can help protect against heart diseases. They also help with fat absorption, suppress hunger and increase the amount of energy burned.
  5. Interestingly, peanuts are technically legumes and not nuts, but they are considered nuts for "culinary, research and nutritional purposes."
  6. Cashews are technically drupe seeds but are also often classified as nuts. Its shells are toxic. In fact, cashews are actually related to other plants like poison ivy and poison sumac.
  7. While most nuts have similar macronutrient profiles, different types of nuts may have different micronutrient or vitamins and mineral profiles. 
  8. In a National Today survey of 1,000 people, 88% of participants said they like or love nuts. Only about 4% said they "hate" nuts.
  9. Walnuts are said to be the oldest known tree food, dating back to 7000 B.C. The Romans even called them Juglans regia or "Jupiter's royal acorn."
  10. Nuts are free of dietary cholesterol, low in saturated fats and high in dietary fiber. They are also rich in phytochemicals that act as antioxidants, while some are even high in arginine, which can help keep blood vessels healthy.
  11. Macadamia nuts are actually toxic to dogs, so it's important to keep them out of their reach.
  12. Nuts are also essential to animals as they are for humans. Some animals in temperate climates stock up nuts during autumn, which helps them sustain in the late fall, winter and early spring.

Nuts Pictured: A variety of nuts, including almonds and walnuts. Photo: ExplorerBob - Pixabay