Crunchy, nutritious, and incredibly filling, nuts are excellent foods to have on hand. You can always incorporate them into a sauce, salad, dessert, entree, or trail mix. A handful between meals is an excellent way to remain satiated, so that you avoid other unhealthy snacks. What’s more, research shows that eating more nuts may help you maintain body weight, improve heart health, and reduce the risk of certain health conditions.
More and more research continues to show the nutritional benefits of incorporating nuts into your diet. They may promote longevity and aid with weight management, providing the body with an array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, and protein. The only thing to keep in mind about nuts is that they are rich in calories, which is why dietitians suggest not eating an entire bag in one sitting. Another thing to remember is that the roasting or seasoning of nuts can cancel out their health benefits. For example, salted or seasoned varieties contain excess sodium, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
When you do consume nuts, it’s better to eat them raw and unsalted. Some roasted varieties are fine to eat, but make sure that they are not salted. Remember, you can always season them yourself!
Best for skin health, almonds are rich in some key micronutrients, including magnesium and calcium. Registered dietitians encourage people with skin ailments, traumas, or uneven pigmentation to start snacking on almonds. Almonds are naturally rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects skin cells from the damaging effects of free radicals caused by pollution, UV rays, and other factors. A 16-week study in 2019 found that wrinkle severity reduced when participants consumed 20% of their daily calories from almonds.
Pistachios have been eaten since 6,000 B.C.E., and rightly so! These nuts contain lots of nutrients and are lower in calories and fats than most other nuts. Pistachios are rich in carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein, anthocyanins, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and other plant compounds that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. A four-month study followed 100 overweight people. One group ate 1.5 ounces of pistachios per day and followed a group-based behavioral weight loss program, while the other group only participated in the weight loss program. The groups lost similar amounts of weight, but the pistachio group experienced reductions in blood pressure and an increase in blood antioxidant levels. Some researchers believe that the vitamin B6, which aids nutrient metabolism, in pistachios was a contributing factor.
It’s very difficult to dislike cashews. You can enjoy them as a simple snack or incorporate them into a variety of sweet and savory dishes. They are rich in several key nutrients that are essential for bone health, including vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, and protein. Several studies examined whether or not diets rich in cashews improved symptoms of metabolic syndrome. The results indicated that diets higher in cashews improved blood pressure, blood fat levels, blood sugar, and belly fat in people with metabolic syndrome. Additionally, a review of studies found that eating cashews led to a reduction in triglyceride levels and blood pressure.
Walnuts offer a diverse nutritional profile, but they are exceptional sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for brain and heart health. Other nuts contain small amounts of omega-3s, but they don’t come close to the levels in walnuts. Many studies confirmed that omega-3s help reduce inflammation. Based on the available research, walnuts have the greatest amount of polyphenols, which are plant compounds that may play a role in preventing certain health outcomes. Walnuts also contain prebiotics, which feed the healthy bacteria in the gut, promoting an optimal microbiome.
Brazil nuts grow on trees in the Amazonian rain forest and they are nutritional powerhouses. They may not be as popular as walnuts, almonds, or cashews, but they are delicate in both taste and texture. Although Brazil nuts are excellent sources of antioxidants, their primary nutrient is selenium, offering 68-91 milligrams per nut. That exceeds the recommended daily allowance for adults, so you really should only consume one to two Brazil nuts per day. It’s very important that you don’t overeat Brazil nuts!
With a buttery texture and slight crunch, macadamia nuts are truly wonderful to enjoy as a snack or in meals. According to several studies, including more macadamia nuts in your diet may help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels. They are rich in fiber, manganese, healthy fats, and vitamin B1 (thiamine), which boosts energy production and helps prevent complications of the nervous system, brain, muscles, heart, and stomach.