Nuts are healthy snack options. If you’re going to snack – eat nuts for sure.
Though they are usually high in fat, the fat they contain is a healthy type. They are also good sources of fibre and protein.
Many studies have shown that nuts provide various health benefits especially in regards to reducing heart disease.
Most of the fat in nuts is monounsaturated fat, as well as omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. However, they do contain some saturated fat.
Nuts also pack a number of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and vitamin E.
Many studies have investigated the health benefits of increased nut intake.
Yet, despite having little effect on weight, many studies have shown that people who eat nuts live longer than those who do not.
Furthermore, nuts may reduce your risk of other chronic diseases.
Here are the top 9 impressive nuts and their health benefits.
Almonds are tree nuts that contain a number of beneficial nutrients.
One serving 28 grams or a small handful of almonds.
Almonds may improve cholesterol levels.
A number of small studies have found that eating an almond-rich diet can reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and oxidized LDL cholesterol, which is particularly harmful to heart health.
Almonds consumed as part of a low-calorie diet may aid weight loss and lower blood pressure in people who are overweight or obese.
In addition, eating a meal with one ounce (28 grams) of almonds may help lower the rise in blood sugar that happens after a meal by as much as 30% in people with diabetes but not significantly in healthy people.
Finally, almonds may have a beneficial effect on your gut microbiota by supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
Pistachios are a commonly consumed nut that is high in fibre.
A one-ounce (28-gram) serving of pistachios.
Similarly to almonds, pistachios may improve cholesterol levels, eating 2–3 ounces (56–84 grams) of pistachios a day may help increase “good” cholesterol.
Also, pistachios may help improve other heart disease risk factors, including blood pressure, weight and oxidative status.
Oxidative status refers to blood levels of oxidized chemicals, which can contribute to heart disease.
What’s more, pistachios may help reduce the rise in blood sugar after a meal.
Walnuts are a very popular nut and an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
A one-ounce (28-gram) serving of walnuts.
Walnuts appear to improve a number of heart disease risk factors, which may be due to their high content of ALA and other nutrients.
Improve other factors related to heart health, including blood pressure and the normal flow of blood through your circulatory system.
In addition, walnuts may help reduce inflammation, which can contribute to many chronic diseases.
Cashews are part of the tree nut family and have a good nutrient profile.
One ounce (28 grams) of cashews.
Can improve symptoms of metabolic syndrome to improve blood pressure in people with metabolic syndrome.
a diet rich in cashews reduced blood pressure and increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. However, it had no significant effects on body weight or blood sugar levels.
Pecans are often used in desserts, but they’re quite nutritious on their own.
One ounce (28 grams) of pecans.
It can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol in people with normal cholesterol levels. Like other nuts, pecans also contain polyphenols, which are compounds that act as antioxidants.
6. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts contain a wide range of nutrients and are a great source of monounsaturated fat.
One ounce (28 grams) of macadamia nuts.
Many of the health benefits of macadamia nuts are related to heart health. This may be due to their high content of monounsaturated fat. It can lower both total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol in those with high cholesterol levels.
Macadamia nuts may reduce other risk factors for heart disease, including oxidative stress and inflammation.
7. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts originate from a tree in the Amazon and are an incredibly rich source of selenium.
A one-ounce (28-gram) serving of Brazil nuts.
Selenium is a mineral that acts as an antioxidant. Though it’s used for a number of bodily functions, you only need to obtain small amounts of it through your diet.
A one-ounce (28-gram) serving of Brazil nuts will provide you with more than 100% of the RDI for selenium.
Selenium deficiency is rare and usually only occurs in certain disease states.
Brazil nuts can also reduce cholesterol levels. What’s more, they may reduce oxidative stress and improve the function of blood vessels in obese teenagers.
Finally, Brazil nuts may reduce inflammation in both healthy people and those undergoing hemodialysis.
Hazelnuts are very nutritious.
One ounce (28 grams) of hazelnuts.
Like many other nuts, hazelnuts appear to have beneficial effects on heart disease risk factors.
Other studies have shown that hazelnut diets can improve cholesterol levels and increase the amount of vitamin E in the blood.
Unlike the other nuts in this article, peanuts are not tree nuts but belong to the legume (the legume family consists of plants that produce a pod with seeds inside) family.
However, they have similar nutrient profiles and health benefits as tree nuts.
One ounce (28 grams) of dry-roasted peanuts.
Peanuts may also improve heart disease risk factors.
Furthermore, asthma and allergic disease rates may be lower in children of mothers who ate peanuts once or more per week during pregnancy.
However, many brands contain large amounts of added oils, sugar and other ingredients. Therefore, it’s best to choose peanut butter with the highest peanut content.
Similarly, peanuts are usually salted, which may eliminate some of their associated health benefits. Instead, try to choose plain, unsalted, unflavored peanuts.
Nuts are one of the healthiest snacks you can eat, as they contain a wide range of essential nutrients. They have been minimally processed and have no added ingredients.
Many processed nut products, such as peanut butter, often contain high amounts of salt or added sugar. As a result, it’s best to buy nuts with nothing else added.
When incorporated into a healthy diet consisting of other natural, whole foods, nuts may help reduce risk factors for many chronic diseases.