No matter what sort of diet you follow, chances are that it includes healthy nuts. From peanut butter and banana on toast as a yummy breakfast that will give you plenty of energy, to using dairy-free nut milk and butter like almond milk and cocoa butter as part of a vegan diet, the popularity of nuts is on the rise.
The Harvard School of Public Health has even announced that eating nuts five times a week can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease. With fiber, good fats, vitamin E, and antioxidants, along with prebiotics that help your gut, nuts will help you get and stay healthy. But which healthy nuts should you choose?
5 Healthy Nuts You Should Add to Your Diet Today
Here are the pros and cons of five different types of nut.
Pistachios, known to benefit brain health, will improve your cognitive functioning, including learning, memory, and perception. They also help you sleep soundly.
Pistachios contain a lot of vitamin B6, which helps regulate blood sugar, produce hemoglobin, and maintain your nervous system. These health nuts have more potassium in them than bananas, and although low in calories, also contain ALA, a type of fat that works to improve your skin and prevent cholesterol and high blood pressure. They also provide a substantial amount of antioxidants, most notably lutein and zeaxanthin, which are great for eye health and preventing the development of macular degeneration as people age.
An excellent source of vitamin E, Almonds will help to provide you with glowing skin, great vision, and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Just one ounce of almonds will provide 37% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E. While they are full of antioxidants that help to guard against stress and the aging process, many of them are in the nut’s brown layer of skin, so blanched almonds are not the healthiest choice.
Almonds provide HDLs, the “good” cholesterol while improving the way the body removes “bad” cholesterol, and they contain a considerable amount of magnesium which will help with the body’s ability to control blood sugar.
Walnuts contain a significant amount of the fatty acid Omega-3, which helps to improve brain function by reducing stress levels and increasing the creation of neurons, which contribute to memory function and neuroprotection.
Omega-3 will also help to protect the nervous system and boost mood. Walnuts have high level of potassium which regulates blood pressure and reduces inflammation. These healthy nuts are also known to promote gut health by providing good bacteria that boost health and immunity. Finally, they have massive amounts of antioxidants, and happily, they don’t cause weight gain.
Hazelnuts contain a considerable amount of vitamins, minerals, and protein, and their sweetness has made it a favorite addition to desserts. They contain heart-healthy fats that can help to improve the health of the heart, including oleic acid which lowers levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and raises levels of ‘good’ cholesterol.
Like almonds, Hazelnuts contain a lot of Vitamin E, which is good to maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair, along with minerals that can help improve blood pressure and the metabolism. Finally, the American Society of Clinical Oncology found in 2017 that people who regularly ate Hazelnuts had a lower chance of cancer recurrence.
Although they aren’t the most high-fiber nut out there, Cashews are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. These include copper, which helps to improve the production of energy in the body; zinc, which enhances the immune system; and magnesium, which helps to fight depression by improving brain function.
They also contain iron, which allows the body to form red blood cells, which keeps blood vessels and the immune system functioning and healthy. Cashews can help to boost energy, so they’re a great snack for anyone who’s trying to lose weight through exercise. They are healthy nuts and are known to be excellent at protecting the lining of the stomach.
Nuts are an extremely healthy source of energy. Anyone who’s trying to get fit and healthy should ditch the chocolate and crisps and go for a handful of healthy nuts instead!