Why you should eat more of this crunchy food on a daily basis.
They taste great, are perfect for snacking on the road or for a quick snack, and come in such a variety of flavors that it’s impossible to get bored with them. But did you know that nuts also offer an amazing array of health benefits as well?
If you’ve been looking for a way to boost and protect your good health for the long run, you just hit the jackpot.
One of the most touted benefits of nuts is the amazing amount of protein found in each and every nut. When your body has sufficient protein, it builds new body tissue and helps damaged tissue heal easier, regulates your body’s functions, helps you fend off an array of diseases, and gives you an added boost of energy to get through the day with a pep in your step.
As an educated, health-conscious individual, you know that all fats are not created equal. Take the fat found in nuts for example. Nearly 80 percent of some nuts are nothing but fat, but fear not, for the fat isn’t the frightening saturated type. It’s unsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids. In other words, it’s the exact kind of fat you need to stay strong and healthy.
In case you haven’t heard, nuts are a great treat to improve your heart health. One of the main reasons is the power that unsaturated fat has to lower your overall cholesterol levels. At the same time it’s lowering your bad cholesterol, that handful of nuts is also reducing your risk for a dangerous or deadly blood clot.
Most often thought of in whole grains, fiber is also abundant in practically any nut you can find on the shelf. And fiber does more than just keep your bowels regular. Researchers also suspect that adequate fiber helps you avoid the potentially debilitating disease of diabetes. It is unknown how the connection works, but there seems to be a strong relationship between fiber and decreased diabetes.
Found in a variety of foods, antioxidants help prevent runaway molecules from damaging cells, a process that can lead to various cancers and other diseases. Nuts that contain the highest levels of antioxidants include chestnuts, walnuts, and pecans. However, most types of nuts have some antioxidants, so feel free to eat whatever nuts you can get your hands on!
Nuts are also filled with all sorts of helpful vitamins and minerals. What can you pick up by picking up a handful of nuts today? How about folate, niacin, and riboflavin? Vitamins B and E? Selenium, iron, magnesium, and more? Not bad, eh? So instead of running away from nuts because they have a little fat, remember that the fat in a handful of nuts is healthy for you and comes with tons of other great health benefits!
Cream of the Crop
Any nut is a good nut. But some nuts are better than others. If you’re in the market for the healthiest nuts out there, go for walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, or even peanuts, which are not actually nuts but are legumes. A handful a day should do the trick. Two handfuls will get you even better results.
And remember that even though it ends in the word “nut,” coconut is not actually a nut and is jam-packed with that saturated fat that is suspected to be the cause of many a heart attack.