Nuts are a powerhouse food containing a multitude of healthy nutrients that can be enjoyed in between meals as a healthy snack.
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats which are associated with reducing the risk of heart disease. They are full of antioxidants which protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to ageing and diseases like cancer. They contain high amounts of vitamin E which is a fat soluble vitamin that protects body tissue from damage. They are a good source of fibre which regulates bowel movements. The protein found in almonds aids the growth and repair of body cells. The magnesium in almonds can help prevent hypertension. They are excellent for dieting and weight loss because they are so low in calories.
Brazil nuts and pecans contain a mineral called selenium that may protect against prostate cancer and other diseases. Just one nut contains enough for an entire day, however eating too many may lead to diabetes. They contain water soluble vitamins niacin B3, folic acid, thiamin B1, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine B6. Excess amounts can lead to weight gain so avoid these nuts if you are dieting.
Hazelnuts, like almonds, are free from gluten, therefore can be enjoyed by people suffering from celiac disease. They are exceptionally rich in folate which aids rapid cell division in the body. Expecting mothers should include this nut because it can help prevent megaloblastic anaemia and neural tube defects in newborn babies.
Pistachios contain fewer calories and more potassium and vitamin K per serving than other nuts. Vitamin K is a fat soluble Vitamin that helps your blood clot. Pistachios also contain l-arginine, which can make the lining of your arteries more flexible.
Like other nuts unsalted peanuts are packed full of monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and B group vitamins. However they also contain polyphenolic antioxidant which has a protective function against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease and Alzheimer’s disease.Peanuts are also contain minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Nuts that have been salted, sugared, roasted or even blanched are ones to stay away from. Blanching reduces the nutritional content of nuts while the other processes add excess calories that have no health benefits for your body.