Here’s a look at the benefits of eating nuts regularly, and the best nuts to eat. If you’re going for a more balanced diet, trying to lower your cholesterol, and even want to lose weight, be sure to include nuts in your daily fare.
Just a single handful can have a powerful, positive impact on your diet. Nuts are high in fiber, protein, and – most important – good fats. The fiber and protein will leave you feeling full and can help curb cravings.
People who eat nuts daily tend to feel satiated and, as a result, eat fewer calories throughout the day. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats will help regulate cholesterol, reduce your risk of cancer, and deter type 2 diabetes. They even help keep skin hydrated and plump – meaning you will look younger.
Types of Nuts and Their Benefits
Almonds are packed with vitamin E, healthy fats, and fiber. They are known for their ability to support heart health, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote healthy brain function. The combination of magnesium and riboflavin in almonds contributes to increased energy production and reduced fatigue. Check out these delicious recipes featuring almonds and almond butter!
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health and function. Their polyphenol content provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Regular consumption of walnuts has been linked to improved cognitive function, reduced risk of heart disease, and enhanced sperm quality in men.
Cashews are a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and minerals like copper and magnesium. They support healthy bones and nerve function, aid in weight management due to their satiating effect, and contribute to a healthy heart by reducing bad cholesterol levels.
Pistachios are low in calories and high in protein, making them an excellent snack choice for weight management. Rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, pistachios support eye health and may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Brazil nuts are known for their high selenium content, which plays a crucial role in antioxidant defense and thyroid function. Selenium also supports immune health, reproductive health, and DNA synthesis. Incorporating a few brazil nuts into your diet can provide your daily recommended intake of this essential mineral. Try tossing Brazil nuts in this sweet and spicy glaze.
Hazelnuts are a great source of vitamin E, healthy fats, and antioxidants. They contribute to heart health, aid in weight management, and provide neuroprotective benefits. The antioxidants in hazelnuts help combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Use them to make your own vegan nutella!
Nutritional Benefits of Nuts
Nuts are rich in a variety of essential nutrients that support overall well-being. They provide an excellent source of plant-based proteins, healthy fats, vitamins (such as vitamin E and B vitamins), minerals (such as magnesium, potassium, and selenium), and dietary fiber. Incorporating a variety of nuts into your daily diet can significantly contribute to meeting your nutritional requirements.
Regular consumption of nuts has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. The abundance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, including omega-3 fatty acids, helps to increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) while reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. This cholesterol-balancing effect of nuts aids in maintaining cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
Contrary to popular belief, including nuts in your diet can actually aid in weight management. Despite their calorie density, nuts have been associated with increased satiety and reduced appetite, leading to reduced calorie intake overall. The combination of healthy fats, protein, and fiber in nuts helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods, reducing the likelihood of unhealthy snacking or overeating.
Nuts, especially walnuts, are known for their brain-boosting properties. Rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E, nuts play a vital role in maintaining cognitive function and preventing age-related decline. These nutrients contribute to improved memory, enhanced focus, and overall brain health. Incorporating a handful of nuts into your daily routine can support optimal brain function.
Nuts have shown great potential in managing diabetes. With their low glycemic index, they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. The healthy fats, protein, and fiber content in nuts help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. Additionally, the magnesium content in nuts has been associated with improved insulin sensitivity. Including nuts as part of a balanced diet can assist in better diabetes management.
Many nuts, such as almonds and pistachios, possess anti-inflammatory properties due to their rich content of antioxidants and polyphenols. Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. By incorporating anti-inflammatory foods like nuts, you can help combat inflammation, support a healthy immune system, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
More Vegan Eating Resources
If you found this guide to nuts helpful, check out these other plant based tips and recipes: