Nuts are very nutritious and popular all around the world. Nuts provide key nutrients, proteins, healthy fats, antioxidants, help aid in the reduction of cholesterol and can help you live longer. Many people tend to shy away from eating nuts due to their high fat and calorie contents, however they contain a number of vitamins and minerals including vitamin E and magnesium. Here are some of the health benefits you can gain from eating nuts:
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, and brazil nuts can all play a role in reducing your risk of getting heart disease. Nuts may help reduce LDL cholesterol and incorporate a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and fiber, which has been shown to keep blood flowing through the heart and prevent plaque buildup. In addition, nuts are a significant source of arginine, an amino acid that converts to nitric oxide in the body and helps blood vessels to relax and reduce blood pressure.
Incorporating nuts in a healthy balanced diet can help people manage their body weight. This is because nuts help us feel full and satiated that leads to us having more control of our appetite. Since nuts are high in protein and fiber, they help you feel satisfied after one serving. This feeling of fullness, thanks to the nuts’ nutritional value, means you will be less likely to snack as often. Additionally, consuming nuts could also have a positive impact on your blood sugar level because nuts have healthy fats, protein and fiber in them which will help you maintain your weight.
Improve Brain Function
Including nuts in a healthy balanced diet may improve brain function, especially in elderly people. Since nuts have a high amount of Vitamin E in them, they help prevent cognitive decline that occurs with aging. Vitamin E is the only supplement that has been found to help with brain health by reducing oxidative stress. Specifically, walnuts have been proven to help brain function in animals. A study conducted in 2014 found that mice with Alzheimer’s disease showed a significant improvement in memory, learning ability, anxiety, and motor development when given walnuts.
Reduce Cancer Risk
We all know it’s important to eat healthy and exercise to maintain a healthy weight and lower our risk of developing cancer. Nuts are on the list of foods you should be eating everyday to help with just that! There are many studies that show consumption of a variety of nuts help reduce the occurrence of cancer, specifically lung cancer and prostate cancer. Because each nut is unique in the vitamins and minerals they provide, it’s important to eat a variety of different nuts or trail mix to get the health benefits of each individual nut.
Almonds, walnuts and a variety of other nuts may reduce inflammation in the body because they are high in “healthy” fats, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Remember to try and buy nuts raw, as many nuts have added oil in them that might not be as beneficial for your health like peanut butter.
Almonds, Cashews & Walnuts: Individual Benefits
Almonds, cashews and walnuts are all great options to include in your diet or as a healthy snack. Each provides a slightly different benefit and includes different key nutrients and vitamins.
- Almonds: Almonds are packed with protein, fiber, calcium and iron which can help lower cholesterol, maintain blood sugar, and help with weight management. They also include riboflavin, potassium and niacin. They’re also very versatile. You can consume almond milk, almond flour, and almond butter to get your dose of nuts each day.
- Cashews: Cashews also contain a number of important nutrients including protein, fiber, magnesium and vitamin E. Some of the benefits of eating cashews include weight management, reducing risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and lowering bad cholesterol levels. Cashews have also become very popular in a vegan diet and can be substituted for cheese, cream cheese, butter, and dairy milk.
- Walnuts: Walnuts have nutritional characteristics that are beneficial to the human body and are packed with minerals and vitamins including magnesium, iron, potassium, folate and calcium. They are also very rich in antioxidants, which can help improve your immune system. Walnut consumption can positively impact inflammation management, healthy gut promotion, cancer risk mitigation, and heart and brain health.
At the end of the day, the type of nut you decide to eat doesn’t matter that much. It’s no secret that all nuts have many nutritional benefits and can help with our overall health. Some nuts are better for specific conditions, so if you’re looking to improve your heart health consider picking up a bag of walnuts. Due to the fact that nuts are minimally processed and have no added ingredients, they’re a great option for a healthy snack that will help you feel satisfied for longer. Consider buying bulk cashews, almonds, or walnuts to keep your pantry stocked with healthy snacks all year long.