If you didn’t already know, nuts are healthy for you! In fact, studies have even shown that if you eat nuts while dieting you’re more likely to stick to the diet.
If you’re thinking about losing weight this is fantastic news. After all nuts are delicious!
Nuts are full of monounsaturated fats, vitamins, protein, fiber and even antioxidant phytochemicals. All of these are good for you!
Of course, as a good dieter you probably already know that moderation is the key! Their high fat and fiber content can quickly add calories to your diet. But as long as you limit your intake to approximately 1 ounce (30 grams) per day you’ll be able to reap the benefits.
Of course, you’ll hear lots of different opinions regarding which nuts are the healthiest. The truth is that they all offer health benefits.
It’s difficult to say one is healthier than the other. But hopefully you’ll find this quick guide to the most common nuts and their health benefits useful.
I think these would have to be my favorite nuts!
Cashews are known to help prevent your risk of cancer. They are also high in oleic acid which is great for your heart. You’ll also find magnesium in cashew nuts which helps to lower your blood pressure.
Perhaps most importantly the fats in cashew nuts are considered to contribute towards good cholesterol.
Almonds are also a great source of magnesium. However, they are also high in vitamin E, biotin and manganese.
Vitamin E is a great antioxidant which has been shown to reduce the likelihood of heart disease. You’ll also be impressed to learn that eating almonds daily can actually reduce your LDL cholesterol; that’s the bad form of cholesterol!
Just half a dozen walnuts are enough to give you your recommended daily amount of omega-3 fats. These are the fats which are essential to reduce joint stiffness and pain.
They are also effective at reducing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s or depression. They are extremely effective at reducing inflammation in your body.
You’d probably eat more of these if you knew that they’re great for your heart and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. This is due to the high levels of phosphorous which work in your body to break down proteins.
Pistachios also have a high level of vitamin B6. This is an essential part of how your body carries oxygen. Eating a few a day can actually significantly increase the oxygen and hemoglobin levels in your body.
B6 is also important to your nervous system as it is essential for creating the myelin sheath which protects the nerve.
Just 3 Brazil nuts per day will give you your daily recommended amount of selenium. This is essential for the correct operation of your thyroid.
In fact, no other food has as much selenium as a Brazil nut. Selenium has even been shown to boost your mood!
You may also be interested to know that although the Brazil nut is called a nut, it is actually a seed. It grows on the Brazil nut tree which is common in the Amazon and is often over 200 feet tall!
The nut on the tree can reach an impressive five pounds but this is not the nut you eat. Inside the coconut style shell are the nuts you know and love.
These nuts are exceptionally low in saturated fat which allows you to eat them even when dieting.
You’ll also find that there is a high quantity of vitamin B1. This vitamin helps transform carbohydrates in your body into energy. Your brain uses a huge amount of this energy.
Consuming one cup of macadamia nuts will give you more than the recommended daily amount of this brain boosting vitamin.
A 1 ounce (30ml) serving of these nuts will give you 86% of the manganese your body needs on a daily basis. This mineral has been shown to boost metabolic function and help to form connective tissues.
It is also associated with the absorption of calcium; giving you stronger teeth and bones.
Of course these nuts are also excellent at boosting heart health and reducing inflammation. The vitamin E in these is also linked with improving the health of your skin and hair!
Peanuts are actually not a nut! In fact they are referred to as legume as they grow underground. A true nut grows on a tree and does not open to release seeds. This also explains why the Brazil nut is technically a seed.
But that’s not to say these aren’t good for you!
Eating 1 ounce (30g) of peanuts five times a week has been shown to reduce your risk of diabetes, gallbladder disease and even several forms of cancer.
But, that’s not all! Peanuts also have resveratrol. This is also found in red wine and has been linked in numerous studies as an effective way of reducing the effects of aging.
It can also reduce the number of fat cells in your body and even help to improve sugar absorption from the blood. In the process it will help to prevent insulin sensitivity issues.
In A Nutshell
As you can see, there is no unhealthy nut; just unhealthy portion sizes. I’ll certainly be adding a few of these to my diet without feeling guilty.
After all, how can you resist a handful of nuts that help you lose weight and provide a range of health benefits? I know I can’t!