Nuts are nutrient-dense foods that come with unsaturated fats and bioactive compounds. It was believed in the past that nuts pose a threat to your health, but all these notions have been proved false in recent years. Nuts consist of key proteins and nutrients, reduce cholesterol levels in the body, and help you in living a longer and healthier life.
A 2017 review study revealed that a healthy diet rich in nuts helps in preventing heart disease, inflammation, and other chronic ailments. Nuts contain plenty of healthful fats and plant-based proteins that are beneficial for your health. All of them have unique nutritional credentials and offer various health benefits.
Some of the most nutritional nuts are almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and brazil nuts. We have discussed the most significant health benefits of eating nuts and how they make your lifestyle better. You will find the above-mentioned nuts to have at least two to three of the health benefits explained below.
Primary Source of Essential Nutrients
There is no denying that nuts are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Just an ounce of mixed nuts consists of proteins, fats, fiber, carbs, vitamin E, phosphorous, copper, magnesium, selenium, and manganese. Beyond community effort to make a difference for those in need, one should advise them to consume more nuts so that they also strive towards being healthy.
If you are on a low-carb diet, there is nothing better than eating nuts. You will get the maximum amount of nutrition while feeling full and without gaining any extra pounds. Most of the carb content is easily digestible, making the nuts an ideal choice for people who prefer to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Rich in Antioxidants
It will not be an exaggeration to call nuts antioxidant powerhouses. The antioxidants in nuts neutralize the free radicals and the unstable molecules that lead to cell damage and increased risk of various diseases. Interestingly, a study found that walnuts can fight radicals even better than fish.
Research has proved that the antioxidants present in almonds and walnuts have the ability to protect delicate fats in your cells from the damages of oxidation. Older adults who consume nuts have lower chances of developing cancer or cognitive disorders. Walnuts and almonds, loaded with polyunsaturated fats, are the best source of antioxidants.
Help in Weight Loss
Though considered high-calorie food, nuts help in you losing weight. The reviews of recent studies suggest that nuts play a significant role in weight reduction and weight maintenance. Research on overweight women revealed that those eating almonds lost three times as much weight as those who didn’t incorporate them into their diet.
Nuts have the ability to regulate your hunger. It has been proved that consuming nuts can reduce your hunger and desire to eat while giving you a full feeling. The proteins, fiber, and high-fats in the nuts work together to give you long-term satisfaction. Your body also tends to absorb fewer calories from nuts.
Lower the Levels of Cholesterol
Nuts have remarkable effects on the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body. It is assessed that the cholesterol-lowering power of the nuts lies in their high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. In fact, studies have suggested that a moderate-fat diet consisting of macadamia nuts reduces cholesterol as much as a low-fat diet.
People who are obese or have diabetes exhibit lower triglycerides levels after the consumption of pistachios. Almonds and hazelnuts appear to increase the good HDL cholesterol while lowering the harmful LDL cholesterol. Through increased consumption of nuts, the health of your vital organs will be in check.
Inflammation is your body’s way of defending itself from harmful pathogens, but long-term or chronic inflammation can cause serious damage to the organs. Nuts possess strong anti-inflammatory properties, and there are a lot of studies suggesting that they reduce inflammation and promote healthy aging.
Walnuts are a rich source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acid that gives them the ability to reduce several markers of inflammation in the body. Reduced inflammation means that you have a reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Older adults should particularly add nuts to their diet as they are more susceptible to inflammation.
Good for Heart Health
Nuts have such antioxidants and unsaturated fats that are very good for the health of your heart. There is enough evidence suggesting that regularly consuming nuts can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. This is primarily because they lower the levels of cholesterol in the body.
In a study, people with normal or high levels of cholesterol were randomly assigned to consume either nuts or olive oil with a high-fat diet. People belonging to the nut group had a better artery function and lower triglycerides as compared to the other group, irrespective of their initial cholesterol levels.
Minimize the Risk of Diabetes
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a review paper that found eating four servings of nuts in a week was closely related to a lower risk of having diabetes. Nuts have visibly shown potential benefits in the management and prevention of diabetes in the masses. They can eliminate common side effects and complications, especially in women.
Since type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome are strongly linked, nuts can also reduce the risk of the latter. They are not only low on carbs but also do not raise the blood sugar levels, becoming the ideal substitute for high-carb foods. Studies have suggested that eating nuts will lead to controlled blood pressure, oxidative stress, and other health markers.
High Quantities of Beneficial Fiber
There are numerous health benefits of fiber that ensure the well-being of your body and save you from plenty of problems. Your body cannot digest fiber. It is digested by the bacteria living in your colon. Many fiber types function as prebiotics or food for the healthy gut bacteria, which ferment the fiber and turn it into useful short-chain fatty acids.
Fiber also helps you in feeling full and reduces the number of calories that are absorbed from the meals. Almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, and pecans have the highest fiber content in them. The increased consumption of fiber not only improves gut health but also facilitates the process of digestion.
The Bottom Line
Given the numerous health benefits of nuts, there must be at least one reason convincing enough for you to include them in your diet. Even if you are not suffering from a disease, you would like to maintain the right weight and continue with a healthy lifestyle. When combined with other healthy foods, they can do wonders for your body.
Nuts can conveniently be called as one of the healthiest snacks owing to the wide range of essential nutrients they contain. However, these beneficial effects are attributed to the nuts that have been minimally processed and are free from added ingredients. For example, peanut butter contains high amounts of salt and sugar and might not be as healthy as the nuts are.
Nuts can be kept at room temperature, making them an ideal snack. They are widely available and can easily be purchased through various sources, for instance, you can buy cashews online. Nuts can also be enjoyed in various forms, including salted, seasoned, plain, raw, or toasted, according to your personal taste.