Nuts may be small, but they are packed full of nutrition. Most nuts are filled with heart-friendly fats, vitamins, proteins and minerals. Good things do come in small packages. Almonds
Almonds are a favourite among most nut eaters. They are rich in calcium and are one of the lowest-calorie nuts. An ounce (30g) of almonds has about 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of fat. Apart from that, they are also rich in vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and fiber. Antioxidants that are present in almonds help fight inflammation, lung cancer and cognitive decline associated with aging. Almonds remove ‘bad’ cholesterol from the body and help clean up the colon. The natural oils and rich fiber content in these nuts nourish the lining of our digestive tract.
Each pistachio nut has only 3 calories. These nuts have lutein and zeaxanthin, which are relatives of beta-carotene. These components may help in reducing the risk with macular degeneration associated with aging.
Pecans are rich in beta-sitosterol. This plant steroid is found to relieve symptoms associated with BPH (enlarged prostate). They contain high levels of anti-oxidants that help reduce unhealthy oxidation of LDL cholesterol in blood, helping us fight heart disease. An ounce (30g) of pecan has about 200 calories of energy and contains 3 grams of protein and 21 grams of fat. Recent studies have shown that pecans have the capacity to lower one’s bad cholesterol and promote heart health. They are rich in vitamin E, calcium, folic acid, magnesium, zinc and fiber.
Walnuts are sort of a super food. The anti-inflammatory benefits of consuming walnuts are particularly helpful for people suffering from arthritis and asthma. Walnuts are a source of ‘good’ cholesterol rich in ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid that protects the heart and reduces bone breakdown. The ellagic acid present in these nuts is known for its cancer fighting character.
Hazelnuts contain a type of vitamin B that helps prevent heart disease, certain cancers, birth defects and Alzheimer’s disease. These nuts contain an amino acid known as arginine and magnesium which relaxes the blood vessels and eases out blood pressure. Hazelnuts are particularly good for dieters as they taste like a treat and keep them filled for longer.
Cashews have less fat than most nuts. They are rich in anti-oxidants that are heart friendly, containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in doses almost equal to what is found in some fish. Cashews are rich in copper, iron, zinc and magnesium. They keep your energy level at a high no matter what activity you are doing.
Nuts make for great snacks, but because they are rich in calories, it is important to know how much you are eating and control your portions. Nuts contain vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and anti-oxidants all of which are important in a healthy lifestyle. The fat and fiber content in nuts make them very filling and satisfying. Replace your chips, cookies, donuts and other high calorie snacks with nuts, the better alternative snack food. Eating nuts help contribute to good health.
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