Nuts can do more than just quiet a hungry stomach.
Overcoming their fatty-food reputation, mixed nuts are regularly consumed by many health-conscious eaters. Not only are they calorie dense, but their high fiber, low carbohydrates, and health benefits make nuts a go-to choice for snacking and inclusion in recipes.
Most people know the more common diet benefits of nuts – as a filling, high-protein food. But the lesser-known nutrient contributions have unique advantages.
Mixed Nuts General Health Benefits
Nuts are included in many diets because of their nutritional benefits.
For starters, while their fat content is high, it is the good kind of monosaturated fats that have been proven to lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease.
Most nuts are high in protein, specifically the arginine-rich protein that has several advantages, including higher production of beneficial nitric oxide and the lowering of blood pressure.
Studies have pointed to the inclusion of nuts in a high-protein, low-carb diet to lose weight. Because of their high calorie and fat content, they help people feel full faster. Their inclusion in a Mediterranean style diet has been shown to provide loss of both weight and inches.
Nuts are packed with antioxidants as well. Found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, antioxidants are molecules that protect cells against the oxidative damage that causes cancer and other chronic diseases. Many antioxidants are made in the body, but others like vitamin C, E, resveratrol, and carotenoid must be found through dietary intake.
Unique Nut Health Advantages
General health benefits are commonly shared across the variety of nuts, but some feature unique advantages worth highlighting.
Almonds have loads of good qualities, but their most pronounced is their level of calcium, which is higher than any other kind of nut. Calcium is essential for healthy teeth, bones, and other bodily functions. Almonds also pack massive amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber. Studies have also linked almonds to lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Technically a legume, peanuts possess the highest amount of folates, which aids brain development. This nut’s other nutritional benefits can help to boost memory, fight depression, and reduce health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure.
Known for their creamy consistency, cashews are rich in iron and their unsaturated fat is mostly oleic acid, the same as olive oil. Another benefit is the cashew’s level of copper, which is vital for healthy skin and hair.
All nuts have healthy fats, but walnuts lead the charge when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids. A small handful of walnuts can have as much healthy fats as three ounces of salmon. They also have a higher level of antioxidants than most other nut varieties.
Pecans have a higher number of calories and fat than other nuts, but their level of beta-sitosterol is beneficial for men with enlarged prostates. They are also high in zinc and vitamin E, which help prevent certain cancers.
As you can tell, no matter the kind of nuts you prefer, there are plenty of health perks for you to enjoy. Not only are they nutritious, but nuts can also add variety to a diet.