It has been scientifically shown that eating nuts lowers the risk of developing heart disease, helps you lose weight, and even prevents cancer.
However, you should opt for raw nuts as processed ones have weakened nutritional profile and reduced quality. Read on to learn which nuts are the best to reach for:
Pine nuts are obtained from the pine cones of pine trees and are known for their robust nutritional profile. They are an excellent source of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese, and iron.
Research shows that they are capable of raising good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). They are highly versatile and can be used in meals like vegetable, meat, or fish dish as well as Middle Eastern foods like baklava, sambusak, and kibbeh.
It has been scientifically shown that eating pecans helps boost antioxidant levels in the body, compounds which destroy free radicals associated with cancer.
Pecans are also known to lower cholesterol levels in the blood and improve benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition causing an enlarged prostate. What makes pecans beneficial for men health is their beta-sitosterol content. To reap their benefits, try snacking on about six pecans daily.
Almonds are low in calories but high in protein content. As a matter of fact, they have the highest protein content when compared to other nuts, making them ideal for weight loss. What`s more, they are an excellent source of calcium which is need for healthy bones and teeth. Clinical trials have shown that they improve blood glucose levels and lower cholesterol levels, preventing diabetes and improving your overall health. It is recommended to snack on 24-26 nuts of almonds daily.
Pistachios are high in both fiber and protein, compounds which reduce cravings and keep you on track. They are also low in calories, meaning that you can eat more of them without worrying about the calorie intake. You can eat up to 36 pistachios as a heart-healthy and weight-promoting snack.
Even though macadamia nuts are pretty much high in calories, they can help improve your health as long as eaten in moderation. They are abundant in monounsaturated fats, which prevent cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol levels. These nuts are rich in phenolic compounds, which gives them a strong antioxidant activity.
Brazil nuts are high in selenium, a mineral which reduces mercury toxicity and promotes thyroid gland health. They also contain squalene, phytosterols, and tocopherol, all of which act as potent antioxidant agents, ably lowering the risk of atherosclerosis. It is important to mention that if eat in excess, they can give selenium toxicity. To stay on the safe side and reap its benefits, eat one Brazil nut daily.
Walnuts are an excellent source of melatonin, a compound which promotes healthy sleep patterns while increasing the antioxidant levels in the blood. In addition to this, walnuts have been found to lower both cholesterol and blood pressure in the body, which makes them a heart-healthy snack.
Being rich in iron, cashews have critical role in the production of red blood cells which help carry oxygen to all cells, tissues, and organs in the body. They are solid source of zinc, a mineral which boosts immunity and improves eyesight.
Last but not least, studies show that eating cashews may even help prevent cancer due to the phytochemical content which reduces damage caused by oxidative stress.
Peanuts are packed with resveratrol, a natural phenol which is also present in berries and grape. Many studies have shown that resveratrol is capable of reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease. Beta-sitosterol, yet another compound found in peanuts, is beneficial for men as it prevents prostate inflammation and prostate cancer.
Peanuts are high in fiber and potent micronutrients such as tocopherols, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phytochemicals like arginine and phenolic compounds.