A healthy source of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fat, nuts are super healthy. Nuts are essentially fruits made up of a hard shell with edible seeds inside. Delicious snacks that are inexpensive and easy to store, nuts, despite high in caloric content, have little to no effect on your weight.
There is a reason why everyone loves nuts. First off, they are super easy to pack, making them perfect when you are on the go. Secondly, their caloric content is mostly made up of unsaturated fats and proteins that give you energy and keeps the appetite satisfied for longer.
Research proves that nuts benefit the human body in more than one way. From improving heart health to preventing chronic disease, nuts are tiny powerhouses packed with nutrition. Studies also say that eating nuts can reduce the risk of heart disease by 35% in those who eat nuts as compared to those who do not.
10 Best Nuts
In the wide selection of nuts you can eat, here is a list of the top 10 healthiest nuts for you.
Peanuts are technically a legume, but that does not make them any less beneficial for you. They have the highest percentage of proteins and minerals amongst all nuts. These include copper, magnesium, niacin, potassium, and vitamin E. Magnesium lowers blood pressure and stimulates bone growth. Copper helps in the production of red blood cells and keeps the nervous system healthy and thriving. Their rich amino acid content helps promote heart health and provide you with a much-needed energy boost. Research suggests that incorporating peanuts into your diet regularly reduces your chances of getting a stroke. Peanuts help reduce vessel damage susceptibility by increasing the production of nitric oxide, a vasodilating hormone.
An ounce (28 grams) of dry roasted peanuts contains approximately 176 calories. It constitutes of 17 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber.
Research proves that eating peanuts helps reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, eating peanuts helps reduce the risk factors associated with heart disease, such as triglycerides levels, cholesterol, etc. There is also a reduced risk of allergies in children whose mothers eat peanuts regularly during their pregnancies.
Almonds are rich in protein, fiber, calcium, and riboflavin; all of which aid blood production. They are also high in healthy fatty acids that are an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the human body from oxidative stress and free radical-induced damage. Their high vitamin E content helps protect cell membranes from damage. 150 milligrams of almonds contain approximately half of the magnesium RDI.
Research proves that adding a small serving of almonds to your daily dietary intake can help lower blood cholesterol levels as well as reduce belly fat. It also aids the reduction of cholesterol in pre-diabetic patients while simultaneously improving their insulin sensitivity. Eating one ounce of almonds can help lessen the rise in blood sugar post-meal by as much as 30% in diabetics. Studies also show that almonds can increase HDL cholesterol levels in the blood, enhance memory, and protect against breast cancer.
Almonds may also help weight loss and reduce blood pressure in obese individuals. They harbor beneficial effects on the microbiota present in the gut by supporting the growth of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
28 grams of almonds accounts for approximately 160 calories. This includes 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbohydrates and protein each, and 4 grams of fiber.
Cashews are delicious. They are high in antioxidants, vitamins B6, E, and K, and minerals, including zinc, copper, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and selenium. Selenium works in collaboration with vitamin E to prevent oxidative stress induces damage to cell membranes. This further helps reduce the risk of chronic illnesses. Their magnesium content accounts for 23% of the RDI. Magnesium helps improve cognition, relieve migraines, and prevents the occurrence of cardiovascular ailments such as heart attacks. Cashews contain a significant amount of fats that are excellent for heart health. These include healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. However, their fat content is much lower than other nuts.
Research suggests that cashews help improve blood pressure in people with metabolic syndrome. They also help increase good HDL cholesterol in the blood without affecting body weight or the levels of blood sugar.
An ounce of cashews, roughly 28 grams, has approximately 155 calories. In this, 12 grams are of fat 5 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of fiber.
4. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are one of the healthiest nuts you can have. This gem comes from the low moist lands of Brazil, Columbia, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. It is gluten-free as well as a potent source of protein, thiamine, copper, and selenium. Selenium is particularly important as it prevents cell damage resulting from free-radical induced damage.
Research proves that brazil nuts can help lower the bad LDL cholesterol in the blood and raise the good HDL cholesterol levels. Owing to their high selenium content, they also harbor the potential for potentially preventing cancer. Patients undergoing hemodialysis are generally deficient in selenium. According to the results of a study, eating brazil nuts can overcome deficiencies in selenium while also imparting antioxidant effects in the blood. They also help lower cholesterol and inflammation in patients on hemodialysis.
An ounce of brazil nuts measures to around 180 calories. This constitutes 18 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of fiber.
Pistachios make far delectable snacks. Eating pistachios regularly help regulate blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, decrease bad LDL cholesterol in the blood, increases the absorption of iron, and helps hydrate the skin. Pistachios are very low in fat compared to other tree nuts. Their phosphorus content, however, is more than other nuts like almonds and cashews. Their high protein content makes them one of the healthiest nuts you can have.
Pistachios also help keep weight, blood pressure, and oxidative status in check. Oxidative status refers to the levels of oxidized chemicals in the blood. These chemicals play a role in the development of the cardiovascular disease. Research suggests that consuming two to three ounces of pistachios daily can help improve the ratio of LDL good cholesterol to bad HDL cholesterol by lowering blood lipid levels. This mechanism subsequently reduces the risk of heart disease.
Eating pistachios also helps regulate blood glucose levels following carbohydrate-rich meals. According to the results of another study, pistachios improve motor function while reducing oxidative stress, inflammation, as well as enhancing blood vessel functioning.
One ounce of pistachios approximates to 155 calories. The fat content weighs up to around 12.5 grams in fat, 6 grams in protein, 8 grams in carbs, and 3 grams of fiber.
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Walnuts are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, they are rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. All of these minerals are excellent for those living with anemia. Eating walnuts regularly helps heart health, has anti-inflammatory benefits, and is loaded with antioxidants. They also decrease the risk of excessive clotting and protect the body against metabolic syndrome.
Walnuts are an excellent source of copper, magnesium, and manganese. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of chronic disease and kick inflammation to the curb. Walnuts have long been associated with enhanced brain function as well as improved learning and memory. They also help cardiovascular health by regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels with the help of their high ALA content.
An ounce of walnuts contains 182 calories. 18 grams of it are fat, 4 grams are of protein and carbs each, and 2 grams are those of fiber.
7. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are rich in fat and nutrients like thiamine and manganese. They are also an excellent source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. While they harbor multiple benefits, their most prominent advantage is that towards the heart. Their high concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids offers protection from coronary artery disease and strokes.
Research studies show that eating macadamia nuts can help reduce inflammation and reduce the markers of oxidative stress. Another study suggested that macadamia nuts reduce bad LDL cholesterol in patients with high cholesterol levels in the blood. Additionally, macadamia nuts also help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
One ounce of macadamia nuts contains almost 200 calories. The total amount of fat adds up to 21 grams. As for protein, carbs, and fats, they each account for 2 grams, 4 grams, and 2.5 grams respectively.
Also read: 13 Foods To Boost Your Memory & Focus
8. Pecan Nuts
Pecan nuts are famous for their benefits to the heart. They are a rich source of unsaturated fats, minerals, as well as vitamins A, B, and E. Consuming pecans regularly can help lower cholesterol levels in the blood. They also are a great source of energy. Pecan nuts are a good source of niacin, folate, and beta carotene as well.
According to the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, pecans help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in those with normal cholesterol. They also work effectively to neutralize free radicals, thereby helping fight off chronic disease. Regular pecan consumption also helps improve blood antioxidant levels as they contain polyphenols.
An ounce of pecans contains 193 calories. The fat content in them is almost 20 grams, protein is 3 grams, carbohydrates are 4 grams, and fiber is 2.5 grams respectively.
Who doesn’t love Nutella? The chocolate hazelnut spread is loved universally. While it may be finger licking good, it is not the healthiest food out there. Hazelnuts, on their own, however, are quite amazing. An excellent source of copper, manganese, and other nutrients, hazelnuts are known to benefit the body in multiple ways, especially the heart.
According to the results of a study, a diet rich in hazelnuts as compared to a control group revealed an 8% reduced total cholesterol level. Additionally, it also showed a 7% reduction in triglycerides, whereas an increase in HDL cholesterol by 6%. They help boost the vitamin E concentration in the blood as well. They help improve blood vessel function as well.
One ounce of hazelnuts contains 176 calories. The fat content in that amount accounts for 9 grams, the protein and carbohydrate content up to 6 grams, and the fiber content to approximately 3.5 grams.
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Chestnuts are very nutritious. They contain flavonoids such as quercetin, which helps protect the body against cancer. Additionally, quercetin also helps reduce any complications associated with diabetes. However, the quantity of chestnut consumption varies. For patients with chronic diarrhea, eating chestnuts may help cure the ailment by facilitating the absorption of nutrients. However, once the diarrhea is cured, chestnut consumption should be reduced for it might result in constipation.
Chestnuts also have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties along with antioxidant benefits. Research suggests that they may help brain health, contribute to stronger bones, and protect the body from oxidative damage. They are also gluten-free, making them an excellent option for those battling celiac disease.
One ounce of chestnuts contains approximately 7 calories. The fat content in one ounce of chestnuts is less than 1 gram as is the protein content. They are rich in carbohydrates; however, for one ounce of chestnuts contains 15 grams of carbs, making them a potent source of energy.
Nuts are a potent source of many essential nutrients. Known to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and many other ailments, nuts are delicious and nutritious. Be sure to refrain from consuming heavily processed nuts, as they can be high in sodium and sugar. Minimally processed nuts are your best bet if you wish to reap their maximum benefits. Enjoy them on their own or over your favorite salad, smoothie, or grains. Regardless of how you choose to eat them, make sure to consume them in moderation. They might be delicious, but they are high in calories, so be sure not to get carried away.
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