When it comes to a nutritious snack that packs a punch, nuts have long been undervalued. It may well be that people find nuts plain, simple and boring, or perhaps they’re just a little bit afraid of their high calories and fat content. Whatever the reason, nuts just don’t account for enough of our daily antioxidant intake, which is something of a surprise and a shame when you consider their numerous health benefits.
Indeed, finding room in your diet for just a small handful of these Adonises of nature will fill you with enough protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and good fats to enhance your physical well-being, making nuts nature’s perfect food. Let’s take a look at a few ways in which nuts can boost your health.
Nuts Can Fight Inflammation
Inflammation in the body can cause a huge amount of health problems. From stomach aches to joint ache and other issues like arthritis, reducing inflammation is important if you want to feel healthy and strong. You can include nuts in your diet by adding them to salads, stir fries or even just snacking on them during the day.
Walnuts are one of the most nutritious nuts out there for the simple fact that they contain almost every single antioxidant of all nuts put together. You basically get more bang for your buck with this one. Not only this, but walnuts have the highest omega-3 fatty acid content out of all the nuts, which is essential for fighting inflammation. This is something of a bonus because many of us get our dietary omega-3’s from fish, such as salmon. However, because nuts are so much more convenient to eat on the move, they represent a much easier way of consuming these vital fatty acids.
Nuts Can Boost Your Brain
Our brains are our smartest organ; incredibly powerful, they help us solve problems, make decisions, and they even dictate our mood. If you take loving care of your brain, your life is just better, and you will live longer. Cashews are well known for their brain-boosting properties. Rich in zinc and iron, an ounce of cashew nuts also contains 25% of your daily recommended amount of magnesium.
What’s so great about magnesium? According to Science Daily, magnesium can enhance our learning process, as well as tighten and preserve our memory in the longer-term. Research shows that consuming more magnesium leads to enhanced cognitive abilities and can reduce the risk of dementia.
Nuts Can Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
There are few people who haven’t been affected by cancer in some way or another. Rather than see cancer as one of those unfortunate things that just happen in a dismal twist of fate, we should instead take preventative steps to guard against it.
For the men in our lives, packing more brazil nuts into their diet is an effective way to reduce their risk of prostate cancer. This is because these nuts contain a mineral called selenium, which, according to cancer.org, has been found to lower prostate cancer risk in tentative studies.
Almonds, meanwhile, are low in calories but super high in calcium, fiber and vitamin E, minerals and nutrients, which have been found to fight nasty health conditions such as lung cancer.
Nuts Aid Weight Loss
When you look at the calories in nuts, you might be surprised, shocked and even put off the idea. All nuts were created pretty much equal in terms of calorie count, and they’re incredibly satisfying. Not only are they a healthy snack for when you’re feeling hungry between meals, but they keep you feeling full for longer, which prevents you from overeating later on.
Although nuts are relatively high in calories, they are also rich in good fats that do not clog your arteries. And, as compared with other high calorie foods like donuts or cookies, nuts are nutrient dense and pack a wallop of goodness calorie for calorie.
Nuts Can Reduce Early Death Risk
According to the NHS, eating just a handful of nuts each day can be enough to prevent causes of early death, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, or stroke.
In a ten-year study carried out by Maastricht University, middle-aged adults who ate nuts regularly were found to have a reduced risk of disease from specific causes, such as those mentioned above. Consuming just 5-10 grams of nuts a day is enough to reduce your risk significantly.
Best Nuts for Your Health
Although nuts are nature’s perfect snack, there are still good nuts and not-so-good nuts, just like there are good fats and bad fats. The best nuts for your health include walnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, pecans and pistachios. Finding your new favorite snack is often just a case of experimenting.
If you have a nut allergy please consult your doctor before experimenting with other nuts.