Amazing Health Benefits of Nuts
First I have to say that I have never liked nuts much. But the more I read about the amazing health benefits of nuts the more determined I am to eat them. I didn't grow up exposed to nuts so I didn't dream of eating them until after I was married. Being a stubborn one it took me awhile to come around. But I am so glad I did. Nuts are so good for you and make a wonderfully healthy snack - one I gladly let my kids eat whenever they want.
Nuts have gotten a bad reputation in the past for being too fattening. Yes they do contain fat, but it is a good kind of fat that really helps your body. As I have said many times before, everything in moderation, including nuts. In order to convince you to eat nuts every day I thought I would put together a hub about the various nuts and each one's nutritional benefits. This will make it easy for me to convince other holdouts on why everyone should eat nuts.
Almonds - Almonds have the most nutritional benefits of all the nuts. They contain many vitamins and minerals including Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, calcium (more than any other nut), selenium, copper, niacin, phosphorus, and even fiber. Almonds are good for the heart (lowers cholesterol) and brain and can also prevent cancer. Like most nuts, almonds are full of monounsaturated fats that help balance your cholesterol. Almonds also can give you an energy boost. If you don't get dairy in your diet like my daughter, almonds are one of the best nuts you can eat because they have so much protein and calcium.
Cashews - Cashews are actually seeds, but are typically considered a nut, so I will include them here. They are high in protein as well as several essential minerals such as magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, copper and zinc. Cashews are one of the lowest in fat of all the nuts, but yet they are still loaded with a good kind of fat that lowers the risk of heart disease.
Hazelnuts - Hazelnuts are another nut that is high in Vitamin E, in fact they have the highest levels of Vitamin E of all the nuts. But what is so great about Vitamin E? Well, it helps the heart, which is why nuts are so heart healthy. Vitamin E also helps the reproductive system as well as all the muscles in our body. Hazelnut oil is high in linoleic acid. There are several B vitamins that are found in hazelnuts that are essential in blood formation and mental health.
Macadamia Nut - Macadamia nuts have many health benefits as well, including providing our bodies with much needed antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals, fiber, protein, vitamins, and monounsaturated fats.
Peanuts - Here is another nut that isn't really a nut. Peanuts are legumes and come from the same family as beans and peas. But we enjoy them as nuts and they are the most common nut eaten in the United States so I am including them. Peanuts are high in protein and potassium as well as Vitamin E, iron and calcium. Roasting peanuts increases the antioxidant levels and suddenly they have more beneficial antioxidants than apples, carrots, beets and some berries.
Pecans - Pecans are the only nut that originated in North America and are full of health benefits too. Pecans have a high level of Vitamin E which reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. Combine that with its ability to lower cholesterol and this is a very heart friendly nut. Pecans are a nutrient dense food, meaning that you get a lot of nutritional benefit from a small amount of food. There are at least 19 vitamins and minerals contained in pecans.
Pine Nuts - Pine nuts are another seed that come from pine trees. These healthy "nuts" are very high in protein, have numerous antioxidants and have been shown to act as an appetite suppressant. There are some unique benefits to pine nuts such as being the only natural source of pinoleic acid (stimulates hormones and suppresses appetites), being high in oleic acid and loaded with iron.
Pistachios - Pistachios are a very nutrient dense food. They have 30 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. They also contain fiber and protein. Pistachios help purify the blood and lubricate the intestines (helps with constipation).
Walnuts - If you don't like fish, but want to get your daily dose of omega 3s then add walnuts to your diet. These nuts have the highest levels of omega 3s of any of the nuts. Of course they are also high in protein (actually one of the best plant sources of protein around), fiber, antioxidants and Vitamin E.
While nuts are fantastic for everyone's health, they are particularly good for people who have heart problems or high cholesterol. Eating a varied diet that includes nuts is a great way to take care of your body and especially your heart. I hope I have convinced you to start eating more nuts, because I have certainly convinced myself.