9 Nuts You’d Be Nutty Not To Eat For Outstanding Health
Written by: Angelique Johnson
Want to be slimmer, healthier and stronger? Then reach for some nuts!
Studies have shown that eating nuts can help prevent cancer, reduce your risks of developing heart disease and diabetes and can even help you lose weight.
Choosing raw nuts is best, especially considering that processed nuts can have reduced quality and weakened nutritional properties that are meant to improve your health.
Interested in adding nuts to your diet? Here are the top 9 nuts you should start reaching for.
#1. Pine Nuts
These tiny nuts pack a powerhouse of health-boosting potential. Pine nuts are extracted from the pine cones of pine trees. Through research, they have been found to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise your good cholesterol (HDL).
Pine nuts are also rich in potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, an important mineral that you may be deficient in. They also contain, zinc, iron and manganese.
Try using pine nuts in your next meat, fish, or vegetable dish. They are also delicious when baked into bread. Pine nuts are commonly used in delicious Middle Eastern foods such as kibbeh, sambusak and baklava.
Pecans are not just for pies. Studies have found that snacking on pecans can help you to increase the levels of antioxidants in your body. Antioxidants are important, because they help to destroy the free radicals in your body that can potentially cause cancer.
Pecans are also excellent for lowering cholesterol levels in your blood. Researchers also insist that pecans are especially good for men as they contain a phytosterol known as beta-sitosterol. This compound can help improve benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition that causes an enlarged prostate.
Try eating about 6 pecans per day as a good snack to reap these amazing benefits.
Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts you can eat as they pack the most protein out of all the nuts while also being low in calories. This makes them an excellent snack if you are wanting to lose a few pounds – they can leave you feeling fuller for longer.
Almonds have also been found in clinical trials to help lower cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of heart disease. They also work to improve blood glucose levels in the body, an important factor if you’re wanting to prevent diabetes and lose weight.
Almonds are also high in calcium, an important mineral for keeping your bones and teeth strong. Snack on one ounce (24 to 26 nuts) of almonds per day and watch the weight melt away!
Cashews are rich in iron, a vital mineral for producing the red blood cells in your body. These red blood cells help to carry the oxygen to your cells, your organs and your tissues. Cashews are also rich in zinc, which helps to improve eyesight and boost your immunity.
Studies have also shown that eating nuts, including cashews, can help prevent cancer. The phytochemicals in cashews help to reduce damage to your genes from oxidative stress.
Add some cashews to your favorite stir-fry, or put them in a food processor with some nutritional yeast for a very “cheesy” spread. Snacking on them is also recommended.
Want to get better sleep? Eat some walnuts! Walnuts are rich in melatonin, a substance in your body that helps to regulate your sleep rhythms. Melatonin can also work to increase the antioxidant levels in your blood, protecting you from illness.
What’s even more amazing about walnuts is that they’ve been found to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in your body. This makes them a for-sure heart healthy snack.
Throw some walnuts in your favorite salad with some fresh cut strawberries. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.
Peanuts are loaded with resveratrol, a type of natural phenol that is also found in grape and berries. Resveratrol is known for being a stupendous component as it helps to reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Peanuts also contain beta-sitosterol, making it great for men at preventing prostate inflammation and even prostate cancer, just like pecans.
Peanuts are also rich in plant protein and fiber and contain powerful micronutrients, including potassium, calcium, magnesium and tocopherols. They also contain other phytochemicals such as phenolic compounds and arginine.
Spread some organic peanut butter on some whole wheat crackers or sliced green apples for a tasty and superbly healthy snack.
#7. Brazil Nuts
Selenium is an important mineral for your thyroid gland and in every cell that uses the thyroid hormone. It can also help to reduce mercury toxicity. Brazil nuts are very rich in this particular mineral. In fact, by just eating one a day, you can get all the selenium you need!
Brazil nuts are also rich in tocopherol, phytosterols and squalene. These compounds can help reduce your risk of atherosclerosis and cancer due to their antioxidant and antiproliferative effects.
Make sure to only eat one Brazil nut a day, as too many can actually give you selenium toxicity.
#8. Macadamia Nuts
Although macadamia nuts are high in calories, if eaten in moderation, they can help improve your health. Macadamia nuts are particularly rich in monounsaturated fats. These good fats can help lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease.
Macadamia nuts are also high in phenolic compounds, giving them a high antioxidant activity.
Snacking on half an ounce of macadamia nuts will only cost you about 102 calories, but still make sure to do so in moderation.
These are the lean, mean, fat-fighting machines of the nuts. Pistachios are rich in protein and fiber, two components that help to curb cravings and keep you on track.
What’s more is that pistachios are low in calories, so you can actually eat more of them than any other nut. Where an ounce of almonds or cashews consists of 24 to 26 nuts, you can eat an entire 36 pistachios as a heart-healthy snack!
Take pistachios to work with you in a baggie to snack on if you get hungry. Make sure to get them with the shells on as research has shown that these little green nuts can help you lose weight. Since it takes longer to remove them from their shells, the message from your stomach to your brain telling it you are full will travel there by the time you are done eating them.
How many of these nuts do you go nuts over? Do you eat nuts every day? Let me know in the comments below!
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Angelique Johnson is a nutritionist from Miami, FL. Through her own journey in weight loss, she discovered her love for health and nutrition and realized she wanted to help others achieve a healthier lifestyle. Angelique has been featured as a nutrition consult on CBS4 Miami News and is a published author on many online health sites. She is passionate about debunking diet rumors and showing her clients how to have a healthy, balanced relationship with food.
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