Keep Calm and Go Nuts
My family and friends often call me a health nut and I’m so happy with that. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I simply love eating nuts. You see – nuts are known to make you happy. And did you know that it only takes as little as 30 grammes of raw nuts to make you happy?
Research has shown that by eating just a small handful of nuts such as Almonds, Walnuts, Brazi Nuts Hazelnuts, Pecan Nuts, Cashew Nuts and Pistachio Nuts every day, will not only keep your belly full but at the same time, all these nuts will also help you fight belly fat. Now, what could possibly be better than that? Maybe a few more nuts then.
Nuts can also boost the production of serotonin – a hormone that boosts happiness, kerbs appetite and improves the health of your heart. Eating nuts as part of your daily diet will help reduce the risk of a heart attack and or heart disease by up to 30 percent. And snacking on nuts regularly will also ensure that your mind stays sharp well into old age.
Vitamin E found in nuts helps ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Elderly people with the highest levels of anti-ageing vitamin E in their blood is half as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as those who have very little. So now you know – go nuts for nuts and stay happy and healthy.
The Fat Factor of Health Nuts
While nuts are high in nutrients, they are also high in fats. Typically, a one-third cup of nuts contains anywhere from 20 to 25 grammes of fat and 240 to 300 hundred calories. It’s unfortunate that most of us shun nuts just because they’re high in calories. The trick to eating nuts is to not overdo it, but fitting them wisely into a healthy eating plan is.
One great thing about nuts is that they contain a number of compounds that help keep your arteries open and your blood flowing smoothly. Eating nuts just one to four times a week will reduce your chance of being one step closer to the departure lounge from artery clogged heart disease by up to 25 percent. And eating nuts five or more times per week will slash that risk in half.
It just goes to show that though nuts are oozing in oil, they have the ability to de-fat your arteries. With a few exceptions, most nuts are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. When these types of fats replace saturated fats in your diet, they can help lower your total cholesterol as well as the unhealthy low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. And at the same time, these nuts don’t affect levels of the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the one that’s heart-healthy.
Health Nuts – Walnuts
Walnuts have got to be one of the best health nuts you could ever wish to eat. For one, they are extremely high in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which are great in helping to prevent type II diabetes. It is known that there is a unique link between eating walnuts and avoiding diabetes. Walnuts are so rich in the good fats that they will help lower cholesterol levels and they can also help prevent blood clotting.
Walnuts also have a combination of more healthy antioxidants as well as a higher quality of antioxidants than any other nuts. So much so that just a hand full of them contains twice as many antioxidants as the same amount of most other nuts. Walnuts are also packed with health giving fibre, vitamin A, C and E. The next time you pop down to your local supermarket or health store, add some walnuts to your shopping cart.
You can simply snack on them as they are or you can sprinkle them on your breakfast cereal, lunchtime salad or perhaps in a low-fat yoghurt.
Health Nuts – Almonds
I’m placing almonds in a photo finish with walnuts as one of the healthiest nuts you should be consuming on a regular basis. And that’s because there are so many health benefits to eating almonds. Just be aware that raw almonds are a much better option for you than the roasted or salted varieties. Here are just some of the truly amazing power of raw almonds.
Apart from resolving complications related to diabetes, anaemia, heart conditions, respiratory disorders, constipation and the common cold, almonds are also good for maintaining healthy skin and hair.
And that’s not all
Almonds are also good for your brain because they contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, two nutrients known to increase brain activity. Almonds are good for cholesterol too, as they help reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL) the bad cholesterol, while at the same time they help increase the level of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) the good cholesterol. Now that cannot be so bad for you – only good for you.
Almonds, as well as almond oil, contain some of the best ingredients for helping you maintain a healthy nervous system. Almonds are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and the chemical element phosphorus, being that it’s noted for its strength and durability for bones and teeth as well as helping in the prevention of osteoporosis.
Almonds are also good for your heart, as an anti-inflammatory agent, for the prevention of cancer and for a healthy immune system. So you have everything to gain and nothing to lose – except perhaps for the fact that almonds are a healthy substitute for weight loss.
Health Nuts – Pistachios
Pistachio Nuts are an excellent addition to a healthy eating plan. They are rich in potassium, which helps regulate your body’s fluid balance. And they are rich in phosphorus, which helps build bones and teeth. They also help enhance energy levels. Just remember that nuts do contain some level of fat, so don’t go too nuts on nuts. Only eat a small portion of nuts like pistachios on a daily basis.
Health Nuts – Brazil Nuts
Brazil Nuts make a delightful and tasty snack and they are rich in the mineral selenium and increasing the amount of selenium in your diet can drastically reduce your risk of bladder cancer. Your body uses selenium to make selenoproteins, the antioxidants that help prevent cancer.
Health Nuts – Cashew Nuts
There are several reasons why you should add Cashew Nuts to your shopping cart. You can count on cashews as these tree nuts are high in protein, are packed with nutrients and have zero cholesterol. Just half a cup of cashews contains 10 grammes of protein. Women need 46 grammes of protein a day and men need 56 grammes. Because cashews contain healthy unsaturated fats, eating them will help your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin A, D, E, and K, all of which are all essential for healthy bones, teeth and skin.
With this in mind, there’s no need to go overboard with cashew nuts unless you need to gain an extra few pounds because a 100-gram serving contains around 2,400 kilojoules. Three servings a week is more than enough to get all the health benefits of this delicious nut. Opt for raw cashews than the roasted and salted variety.
Health Nuts – Pecan Nuts
Pecan Nuts are rich in tocopherols, a class of organic chemical compounds, more commonly called vitamin E. As an antioxidant, vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in maintaining healthy cells and thus a healthy body. Pecan nuts have been linked to various health benefits, including a decreased risk of prostate and breast cancer.
Now I know this may sound a bit crazy, but I’m sure you’ve all noticed that when you cut an apple or an avocado in half and left uncovered, it soon turns brown. So what’s this got to do with pecan nuts?
Well, this process of additional oxygen to a substance – is called oxidation. And when this happens to fats in the bloodstream, it contributes to the risk of heart disease. Pecan nuts are excellent protectors against this process, and that’s why you should eat them.
Studies have shown that four weeks of eating a handful of pecan nuts daily, will reduce lipid (fat) oxidation by more than seven percent. Pecan nuts are a real hidden gem few of us are aware of. I suggest you add some to your shopping list today.