The Benefit Of Nuts And How To Incorporate Them In Your Daily Diet
Almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, pecans, walnuts and pistachios and the whole nuts bunch. Nuts can be combined with meals, salads or even and a snack. They have a long shelf time and most importantly are healthy. So how do we incorporate them in our day to day and how do they benefit our overall health?
Let’s start with the most important part, why are they healthy and how they benefit us?
Nuts help prevent chronic diseases and heart disease. Nuts do not contain cholesterol, and some even contribute to lowering cholesterol. They contain essential nutrients such as protein, fiber and petrochemicals. Their peels are an excellent source of vitamins such as: folic acid, niacin vitamin E, and minerals such as: magnesium, selenium, phosphorus and potassium. A big jackpot, nuts help lose weight because they provide a sense of satiety. If that wasn’t good enough, nuts also prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
The difference between each nut?
Beyond the differences in taste, there is a difference in the content of the types of fat in each nut, making them more or less suitable for our different needs. It is important to understand what distinguishes between one type of nut and another and prefer the type of nuts that will serve your goals.
The health benefits of Flax seeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds (white seeds) lie in the rich omega-3 fatty acids and therefore prevent atherosclerosis, lower blood pressure.They may protect against breast cancer, help fight stress, reduce heart disease and lower cholesterol. They also prevent heart and circulatory disorders. Almonds and cashew nuts are the richest nuts in monounsaturated fat (72% almonds, the same amount as olive oil and 68% cashew nuts). They contribute to lowering blood cholesterol, inhibiting coronary calcification and lowering high blood pressure. Peanuts and pistachios contain a large amount of proteins and B vitamins. They are recommended for low blood pressure and for those who need to gain weight. Sunflower seeds are rich in essential amino acids for the development of cells and tissues, they are recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women and contribute to the production of milk. They contain high amounts of vitamin E, and are therefore recommended in case of muscle degeneration and inflammation in the liver. Pecan nuts have an advantage over other nuts is protein quality (not oil), as they contain large quantities of essential amino acids and are therefore recommended for complementing the source of protein diets for vegetarians.
Cashews are about 21% protein, 46% fat, and 25% carbohydrates.
Quality YES, quantity... be mindful
Quantities: Although nuts generally provide us with the best fat, we need to consume only the recommended amounts.
Brazilian Nuts- Although Brazilian nuts contain 70% fat, this is a type of fat that lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. It also provides a high level of selenium, which protects the body from cancer and serious diseases. 1 a day is the recommended amount.
Speaking of amounts, the FDA has determined that eating 50 grams of nuts per day (containing no more than 4 grams of saturated fat) is the recommended amount to maintain a balanced diet that contributes to all the benefits attributed to it above. How much is 50 grams, you ask? Prepare for some disappointment. These amounts are examples that make up 50 grams of nuts : 35 medium almonds, 25 cashew nuts, 40 peanuts, 10 walnuts, 15 pecans, 50 pistachios, and a handful of sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
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Eat them right and enjoy
It is easier to convince those who avoid nuts to include them on the menu for health reasons.But, what really matters is awareness, and if you remember the following three rules and try to adopt them too, you will do wonders for your health. Buy unsalted nuts- and salt them yourself whilst controlling the amount you put in to them. Almonds and walnuts are super healthy BUT do not buy them roasted or processed. Keep them in the freezer. Try to get used to the taste of the natural walnut, add them to the salad or cereal and only if you must - and be conscious of the amounts. In fact, try buying all nuts natural and unsalted. Lastly, there are no discounts on quantities- many things are healthy but it’s about balance and this is the best kinds of fat to put in your body but you must not overdo it.