Nuts are healthy snack options.
Although they are usually high in fat, but the fat they contain is a healthy type. They are also good sources of fiber and protein.
Many studies have shown that nuts provide various health benefits — especially in regards to reducing heart disease risk factors.
Here are 5 impressive nuts and their health benefits.
Health Benefits of Eating Nuts
In general, nuts are good sources of fat, fiber and protein.
Most of the fat in nuts is monounsaturated fat, as well as omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. However, they do contain some saturated fat.
Nuts also pack a number of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and vitamin E.
Many studies have investigated the health benefits of increased nut intake.
One meta-analysis of 33 studies found that diets high in nuts do not significantly affect weight gain or weight loss.
Yet, despite having little effect on weight, many studies have shown that people who eat nuts live longer than those who don’t. This may be due to their ability to help prevent a number of chronic diseases.
Almonds are tree nuts that contain a number of beneficial nutrients.
Almonds may improve cholesterol levels. Almonds consumed as part of a low-calorie diet may aid weight loss and lower blood pressure in people who are overweight or obese.
In addition, eating a meal with one ounce (28 grams) of almonds may help lower the rise in blood sugar that happens after a meal by as much as 30% in people with diabetes but not significantly in healthy people.
Walnuts are a very popular nut and an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Walnuts appear to improve a number of heart disease risk factors, which may be due to their high content of ALA and other nutrients.
They may also improve other factors related to heart health, including blood pressure and the normal flow of blood through your circulatory system.
In addition, walnuts may help reduce inflammation, which can contribute to many chronic diseases.
Interestingly, a study in college students found that eating walnuts increased a measure of cognition called “inferential reasoning,” suggesting that walnuts may have beneficial effects on the brain.
Cashews are part of the tree nut family and have a good nutrient profile.
Studies have examined whether diets high in cashews can improve symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
Further studies have shown that diets high in cashews may increase blood sugar in people with metabolic syndrome.
Cashews contain a number of important nutrients and studies indicate that they may improve blood lipid levels and reduce blood pressure.
Hazelnuts are very nutritious. Like many other nuts, hazelnuts appear to have beneficial effects on heart disease risk factors.
Hazelnuts are very nutritious.
Hazelnuts are a good source of many nutrients, such as vitamin E. They may also reduce heart disease risk factors.
Unlike the other nuts in this article, peanuts are not tree nuts, but belong to the legume family.
However, they have similar nutrient profiles and health benefits as tree nuts.
Many brands contain large amounts of added oils, sugar and other ingredients. Therefore, it’s best to choose peanut butter with the highest peanut content.
Similarly, peanuts are usually salted, which may eliminate some of their associated health benefits. Instead, try to choose plain, unsalted, unflavored peanuts.
The bottom line is that Nuts are one of the healthiest snacks you can eat, as they contain a wide range of essential nutrients.
However, their beneficial effects are attributed to nuts that have been minimally processed and have no added ingredients.
Many processed nut products, such as peanut butter, often contain high amounts of salt or added sugar. As a result, it’s best to buy nuts with nothing else added.
When incorporated into a healthy diet consisting of other natural, whole foods, nuts may help reduce risk factors for many chronic diseases.