The Healthiest Nuts to Eat: Nutrition Facts and Benefits
Nuts are a super healthy and nutritious snack and can be eaten alone, tossed into salads, or baked into sweet treats and other dishes. While they are high in fat, they contain good fats known as mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats and have been shown to support chronic conditions and even help to prevent things like heart disease. Nuts also offer you a brilliant source of protein and fibre and contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals. They are thus a well-rounded food and can significantly enhance your overall health and wellbeing. Eaten in conjunction with a well-balanced diet, they make for a perfect and healthy snack. Added to this is the fact that they are delicious and we’re all about healthy foods that taste amazing. So, let’s take a look at some of the healthiest nuts and their numerous health benefits.
One of the all-time classic nut types is the almond. Almonds are tree nuts and are a relatively low-calorie nut choice. Some small studies have concluded that they can support with lowering cholesterol and they have also been shown to regulate blood pressure. They are an anti-inflammatory food, and studies have highlighted how they can reduce inflammation in those with type 2 Diabetes. They also offer consumers a brilliant source of probiotic goodness and beneficial bacteria found in almonds can increase the number of good bacteria in your gut. This can aid digestion and support optimal well-being. Many say that the gut is the seat of good health and ensuring better gut health is a brilliant step in boosting your health. You can opt for raw almonds (which are supper healthy), or roasted almonds. These are sometimes salted, so be sure to watch your salt intake if you opt for these ones.
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Up next on our list of healthiest nuts, is the Walnut. Walnuts offer consumers an amazing source of Omega-3 fatty acids and a special acid known as alpha-linolnic acid. This acid is essential when it comes to protecting your heart from disease and thus walnuts are a super healthy pick. They also contain a number of anti-oxidants which can boost your immunity and your cell health. Much like their almond counterparts, these nuts can also reduce inflammation. The polyphenols in almonds have been shown to fight against inflammation. A decrease in inflammation can reduce the risk of chronic disease and support pre-existing conditions which are usually exacerbated by inflammation in the body. Although they are somewhat high in calories, almonds eaten in moderation can enhance overall health. Some studies have even highlighted that they can support healthy aging. They are rich in essential minerals and vitamins, fibre, and good fats and may in fact be able to preserve the body’s physical functions as you age. These good nutrients (like Vitamin E and polyphenols) can also enhance the health of your brain and maybe that’s why walnuts look like little brains!
Cashew nuts are filled with high levels of important vitamins and minerals including zinc, phosphorous, copper, and manganese and all of these are important for proper functioning and development of the body. They are also filled with super healthy mono-unsaturated fats and these are important for enhancing good cholesterol in the body. Some studies have even linked them to cancer and heart-disease prevention, however more research needs to be done and they need to be eaten in conjunction with a healthy and balanced diet. Cashews have also been shown to create better glucose management in those who consume them and are thus a fantastic pick for those living with Diabetes. Since they are a magnesium rich food source, they are able to fight against high blood pressure and also enhance bone and muscle health. They also happen to have a lower fat content than other nuts and are thus a great pick for anyone wanting to lose weight or snack on lower calorie nuts. Whether you snack on a handful during the day, add them to your smoothie, or include them in salads or stews, cashews offer an antioxidant rich snack that will boost overall health. In fact, these anti-oxidants (known as Zea Xanthin) can even promote eye health.
Macadamia nuts are another great pick for anyone who is ‘nutty’ about their health. Filled with loads of super health fats (you know, those mono-unsaturated ones) they have a number of incredible health benefits and might in fact be useful for those trying to lose some weight. They have been shown to benefit those with Diabetes (like a number of the other nuts on our list) and the mono-unsaturated fats can reduce metabolic risk factors in individuals. Macadamia nuts also have a high dose of vitamin E in them. This E vitamin is known as tocotrienols and they are known to have amazing cancer fighting abilities. They also contain a specialized plant compound known as flavonoids. Flavanoids are also known to fight cancer and are able to fight against harmful free radicals in the body. Much like the brain-shaped walnut, these nuts also have benefits on brain health. Studies have shown that the tocotrienols have amazing benefits when it comes to protecting the brain from the impact of glutamate. Glutamate is said to play a role in the development of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Their high fibre content makes them a perfect snack for anyone wanting to lose some weight and this can stave off hunger, all the while making you feel satisfied. Thus, this superfood can protect the brain and shield it against brain diseases. Macadamia’s are delicious as a snack on their own, and are also a brilliant pick for breakfast smoothies, or in cakes and tarts.
The Brazil nut is a native tree nut from the Amazon rainforest and originally hails from Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru. They are particularly noteworthy for their ability to regulate the thyroid gland and are also a fantastic pick when it comes to reducing bodily inflammation. They are a highly wholesome and nutritionally dense nut and as part of a well-balanced diet, will go a long way in enhancing optimal health and wellbeing. They are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin E, magnesium, copper, zinc, thiamine, and manganese. They are also particularly rich in selenium and contain more of it than any other nut. Selenium is a super important trace element and allows for optimal functioning of your body. Selenium benefits your immune system and cellular growth and eating as little as two brazil nuts a day can enhance your selenium intake significantly. Selenium is also essential for the correct functioning of the thyroid gland. This small gland in your throat is essential for producing hormones and proteins and a lack of selenium can lead to cell damage and even thyroid inactivity. If you’re dealing with thyroid problems, chat to your doctor about selenium and the possibility of adding brazil nuts to your diet. These amazing nuts, much like some other nuts on our list, are also brilliant when it comes to supporting heart health. They are filled with polyunsaturated fats and these coupled with their rich fibre, essential minerals, and antioxidants can reduce the chance of heart disease.
Pistachio nuts are a truly delicious pick and like others in the nut family, they contain a great deal of beneficial vitamins and minerals. They are also fibre and protein rich and thus a healthy and delicious snack to keep around. Pistachio’s are relatively low in calories when compared to other nuts and are thus a great choice if you’re trying to lower your calorie in-take or want to lose some weight. They are also filled with amazing antioxidants which are able to protect your cells and prevent damage that is caused by diseases such as cancer. Much like cashew nuts, these nuts are also brilliant when it comes to supporting eye health thanks to the antioxidants known as lutein and zeaxanthin. These amazing substances are able to support optimal eye health and reduce the risk of certain eye conditions including cataracts and macular degeneration. They are also amazing choice when it comes to improving your gut health. Their rich fibre content makes them a fabulous choice if you want to enhance digestive wellbeing or tackle issues such as constipation. They are also able to increase the amount of healthy bacteria in your gut and thus boost overall health. Since they have a low glycaemic index, they are also able to regulate blood sugar level and thus won’t lead to any spikes in your blood sugar.
Pecan nuts are a super tasty member of the nut family are often used in various sweet treats or pecan pies. We love healthy snacks that are also super delicious, and when it comes to health and tastiness, pecan nuts won’t disappoint. Pecans have been said to lower cholesterol and are super rich in the antioxidant known as polyphenols. These antioxidants are able to prevent the cells from damage and can ward off certain diseases by ensuring that the cells retain optimal health. In many studies, a high antioxidant profile has led to a reduction in the risk of cancer. They are also a wonderful choice if you want to enhance your heart health. They are packed with healthy mono-unsaturated fats including oleic acid and these can strengthen heart health and reduce heart disease.
So, Let’s Recap And See Why Nuts Are So Healthy!
Nuts are thus a super healthy and easy snack. They have a myriad of amazing health benefits and are the perfect snack to keep in your bag during the day. Some of their best health benefits are as follows:
- They are filled with really healthy fats known as mono-unsaturated fats. These can boost heart health and overall well-being. People often feel worried when they see the word ‘fat’, but healthy fats are important for everything from cellular growth to brain health.
- They are a rich source of fibre and can really aid digestive health. Many nuts will increase the levels of good bacteria in your gut, and since the gut is often said to be the seat of bodily health, this is really important! If you’re struggling with digestive issues, try and add a few nuts to your daily routine.
- Nuts are a great pick for those who want to lose weight, especially if you opt for low-calorie options like cashew nuts and pistachios. If you’re on a health plan, opt to snack on a few nuts during the day. They can curb your hunger and are a wonderful choice to snack on in-between meals.
- They are very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are able to enhance your cellular health and can reduce certain diseases that occur when cells are damaged (such as cancer).
- Some nuts can enhance eye health thanks to their amazing antioxidants, and some are able to increase brain health and reduce the risk of certain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Nuts are thus a brilliant addition to any diet. They are super easy, taste delicious, and have a myriad of amazing benefits that will enhance your health and wellbeing.
- These Are the 8 Healthiest Types of Nuts – Real Simple
- These Are the Healthiest Types of Nuts for Better Snacking – Boston Magazine