Nuts are great sources of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fibers, and healthy fats. You can add them to all types of diets, including vegan.
Some individuals consider nuts their favorite and are widely used as ingredients in most dishes. Others prefer chewing them as a snack. Do you use them to top your vegetables, make nutty desserts, sauces, add to your steamed vegetables, or coat your protein? Whatever cooking style you like, you’ll still obtain the healthful benefits nuts offers to the body. So, what are the benefits of adding nuts to your diet?
Types of nuts
A nut is a dry fruit with one or two edible seeds inside a hard shell. The most common types of nuts include;
- Brazil nuts
- Cashew nuts
- Pine nuts
What’s the difference between nuts and seeds?
Both seeds and nuts are nutritious. While they may have some similarities, they’re not the same thing. Common types of seeds include pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower, and seeds. Botanically, a nut is a simpler form of seed protected by a hard shell that does not naturally open to produce a seed after maturing. A nut is any edible kernel contained in a shell in the culinary definition. On the other hand, a seed, is a tiny embryonic plant surrounded by a seed coat and stores food. A nut can be a seed, but a seed cannot be regarded as a nut.
Benefits of nuts
Helps to maintain proper weight
Nuts contain lots of fats, and an obvious guess from many people is that it leads to weight gain. On the contrary, these fats are mostly unsaturated and will leave you fully satisfied after eating. Thus, reduces feelings of hunger, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Using nuts in your meals or eating them as a snack is a great remedy to reduce the risks of adding weight.
Helps to control diabetes and metabolic disorders
Type 2 diabetes affects lots of people globally. Metabolic disorder includes all risk factors that increase the risks of chronic diseases like stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diseases. Interestingly, nuts are ranked as one of the safest foods for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome individuals. Due to their low content in carb, they help maintain the right blood sugar level. Also, nuts help to reduce oxidative stress and blood pressure, making them a perfect food for individuals struggling with blood sugar levels and those needing metabolic control.
Helps to maintain a healthy heart
Including nuts in your daily diet minimizes risks of heart disease. Although they have high-fat content, they’re great sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and very low in unhealthy saturated fats. This combination of safe fats makes nuts heart-friendly and helps reduce bad cholesterol in the body. Also, their high content in antioxidants helps reduce inflammation, and high levels of L-arginine assist in maintaining healthy blood pressure and blood vessels. Furthermore, their omega fatty acids play a big role in preventing unhealthy heart rhythms, which may cause heart attacks. Fiber, Vitamin E, and plant sterols lower cholesterol and help stop the formation of plaques in the arteries.
Supports gut health
Nuts are rich sources of fiber, and pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans have the most content. The high amount of fiber helps to regulate and improve digestive functions. Polyphenols in nuts keep the gut healthy by supporting the development of good bacteria-they do this by powering the bacteria, improving their growth, and increasing their number. In turn, short-chain fatty acids are formed, and they offer various benefits to both the gut and overall health.
Offers nutritional importance
Nuts are very nutritious. Consuming nuts will help your body get the following nutrients;
- Vitamin E
What’s the right serving of nuts
80% of nuts is fat. These calories are still too much even though most are healthy fats. That’s why it’s important to consume nuts in moderation. To be safe, you should eat one or two teaspoons of nuts or a handful. American Heart Association recommends consuming about four servings of unsalted nuts in a week. Dry roasted and raw nuts are much healthier than those cooked in oil. Consider this as a heart-healthy diet, and you’ll love the results. Keep in mind that no matter how much nuts you consume, you won’t do your heart any good if you’re not cutting back your consumption of saturated fats found in dairy products and meat.
Are nuts healthy for everyone?
Although nuts are beneficial to everyone, not all nuts are healthy. Tree nuts are among the highly common allergens with harmful allergic reactions. Peanut allergies are likely to persist into adulthood, unlike other allergies which children often outgrow. There is no cure for nut allergies. The only way to deal with it and avoid life-threatening outcomes like anaphylaxis is to avoid any product that contains nuts. Also, whole nuts are choking hazards if not chewed properly. Therefore, children should use nut spreads or pastes like peanut butter instead of whole nuts.
Does it matter the type of nuts you eat?
People have different preferences, and the kind of nut you choose to consume probably doesn’t matter so much. Most nuts are healthy, though some contain more heart-friendly nutrients than others. Here is nutrition information on different types of nuts. All of them are 28 grams serving of nuts.
Different kinds of nuts have different nutrient content, but they are beneficial to the body. Eating a variety of them will maximize your levels of various vitamins and minerals content. We’ll conclude by providing tips on how to add nuts to your diet. Snack on roasted nuts. Substitute it for fish, eggs, and meat. Consume them with vitamin C foods and include them in drinks like citrus juices to increase your iron absorption. Use nut oils in cooking or homemade salad dressing. Whatever way you include nuts in your diet, use them in moderation due to their high fat and calories content.