9 Incredible Health Benefits of Nuts that You need to Know
The benefits of nuts are well known, but what exactly are they? Anyone who is interested in quirky facts can tell you that peanuts are actually legumes, like beans and peas, but it is a little-known fact that nuts are technically considered a fruit! Unlike most fruits nuts are not sweet and have a high content of fat.
Despite their high fat content nuts are incredibly low in carbs and an excellent way to include selenium, magnesium and vitamin E in your diet.
Here is the list of nine impressive benefits of nuts for your health.
1. Nuts Can Help You Lose Weight
Whilst normally on a calorie controlled diet such high calorific food would be avoided, studies have shown that nuts, especially almonds and pistachios, can aid weight loss.
In tests based on the effects of the Mediterranean diet on overweight subjects it was found that subjects who consumed nuts lost significantly more weight than those who used olive oil in their diet.
The calorie content in nuts can often be misleading as a portion of the fats that contribute to the calorie content are contained in the fibrous walls of the nut and therefore not absorbed by the body.
2. Nuts Are High In Fiber
It is a well-known fact that we all need fiber in our diet in order to feed the healthy bacteria contained in our gut. By maintaining healthy levels of fiber in your gut your body will then ferment the fiber and turn it into short-chain fatty acids.
These are incredibly important in the control of diabetes and obesity and overall improvement of your health. Fiber also helps you feel full, so by snacking on a handful of nuts you can avoid less healthy snack choices.
3. Nuts Can Help With The Reduction Of Inflammation
Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting you from injury but long-term inflammation is harmful to organs and can lead to disease.
The benefits of eating particular nuts have been accredited with a reduction in inflammation and a promotion in anti-aging. These nuts include Brazil, walnuts and pistachios.
4. Nuts Are Beneficial In The Treatment Of Type 2 Diabetes
The reduction of blood sugar levels is important for sufferers of type 2 diabetes and due to the low level of carbs in nuts by substituting higher carb snacks with a portion of nuts you can aid this reduction.
Studies have also suggested that eating nuts can also lead to a lowering of blood pressure and oxidative stress, both of which are beneficial to sufferers of diabetes.
5. Choose Walnuts For The Best Comprehensive Health Benefits
In order to boost your immune system and introduce vitamin B6 into your diet it is recommended that you increase the amounts of ellagic acid in your diet and walnuts are a great source of ellagic acid.
They also contain almost as much omega 3 fatty acid as salmon which has been shown to increase brain function. In medical studies the introduction of walnuts to diet was shown to slow the development of breast cancer in mice.
6. Nuts Are Brimming With Antioxidants
Free radicals are unstable molecules that are formed naturally by our metabolism and are beneficial to aid immunity, however having high levels can lead to oxidative stress which can in turn lead to increased risk of disease.
In order to control levels of free radicals anti-oxidants need to be added to your diet and the antioxidants found in plant food and the polyphenols that are prevalent particularly in nuts can go a long way to aid the fight against oxidative stress.
7. Nuts Can Help To Maintain A Healthy Heart
Choose nuts that are high in monounsaturated fatty acids and you can help combat low- density lipoprotein or LDL that plays a major role in the buildup of plaque on the blood vessels and can lead to heart problems.
Blood clots are a major factor in many heart attacks and by eating nuts you reduce your risk of developing blood clots and also improve the lining of the arteries.
Plant sterols are also an aid to healthy hearts by lowering cholesterol and whilst these sterols can be taken as a supplement such as Phytosterol and can also be found in products such as margarine, they occur naturally in nuts.
8. Nuts Are Packed With Nutrients
Vastly underrated as a nutritious snack, nuts can actually provide an impressive array of nutrients with just one portion daily.
By adding one ounce (28 grams) of mixed nuts to your diet you are introducing phosphorus, copper, magnesium, selenium and manganese into your daily regime. Also, 12% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E.
All nuts are different in their nutrition levels and provide different health benefits and by consuming a selection of nuts you can benefit from the various nutrients provided.
9. Help With Age Related Memory Loss
It has been found that age related memory loss is a treatable condition and the high amount of protein contained in nuts can boost the area of the brain, specifically in older people, that is related to memory loss and can improve cognitive abilities in later life.
Amino arginine is plentiful in nuts and is known to stimulate the pituitary gland that will release growth hormone and lead to an absolute anti-aging boost for your brain. It is believed that the development of growth hormone slows considerably after the age of 35 so any increase will lead to a marked improvement in all your brain activity.
Many people find the introduction of nuts into their daily lives a bit boring but there are many ways to increase your consumption of these healthy foods.
Nut butter is a tasty way of replacing your dairy option and is incredibly easy to make, experiment with a mix of nuts and a portion of coconut oil in your blender and you will soon be spreading delicious homemade nut butter.
If you are on a gluten-free diet try out ground chestnut flour for all your baking needs, chestnuts are rich in starchy carbs and fibers and are by far the nut with the lowest fat and calorie content.