Best Nuts for Women's, Men's, and Children's Health
Overall, nuts are highly nutritious food. Global studies show them to be loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol-lowering plant sterols. True, nuts are also high in fats, but it is mainly the better monosaturated kind.
Best Nuts for Women's Health
Women’s Health Magazine article “For Healthy Fat In Your Diet, Remember to Include Nuts,” lists the top nuts for women as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, and hazelnuts. Based on further research, I substituted peanuts with Brazil nuts.
Almonds: Originated in North Africa and Western Asia. They are reservoirs of vitamin E and other antioxidants which protect against stroke and cancers such as colon. They also have no cholesterol, and large quantities of fiber, protein, the minerals magnesium, manganese, iron, selenium, and calcium, all of which protect bone density and help women age well.
Walnuts: Dating back to about 8,000 years, they are considered by some to be the most nutritious of all nuts. Black walnut is native to North America. English walnut originated in Western and Central Asia. Studies indicate they have at least 16 polyphenols including the antioxidant ellagic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids. All of this great stuff reduces or fights off inflammation, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the brain working efficiently, protects the heart, and promotes healthy skin, bones, and joints (preventing eczema, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis).
Pistachios: Originated in the Middle East and Asia. Research shows them to have the highest amounts of the LDL cholesterol-lowering plant sterols. They are also packed with carotenoids, the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, vitamins A, B-complex, and fiber. So, blood pressure is kept under control, the immune system functions properly, liver and kidneys are strengthened, and vision is protected.
Brazil nuts: Are from South America. They are rich in protein, vitamins E and B-complex, the minerals copper, magnesium, and selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. Research from the University of Illinois indicates that they are effective weapons against those cell-damaging free radicals and they prevent breast cancer.
Hazelnuts: Native to Northern Turkey or Syria, they are “the highest source of antioxidants for nuts” says, www.nuthealth.org. They also contain folate, which decreases birth defects, B-complex vitamins and vitamin E, which fight heart disease and cancer.
Best Nuts for Men's Health
The top five best nuts for men’s health as listed in the article “The Healthy Nuts” in the April, 2009 issue of Men’s Journal are almonds, macadamias, pistachios, peanuts, and walnuts. Almonds, pistachios and walnuts provide men the same benefits as they do women.
Macadamias: Originated in Australia. They have the highest fat quantity, but 80% of it is monosaturated as stated in the above article. So, they provide men plenty of energy for their fast metabolisms. Macadamias also have large supplies of the minerals selenium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous as well as the vitamin thiamine, which support the immune system and lower cholesterol. The nuts also contain the protein arginine, which studies indicate lowers the chances of erectile dysfunction.
Peanuts: Actually legumes are native to South America. They provide the most protein along with fiber, physterols, vitamins A, E, and folate, minerals zinc, magnesium, and iron. They are great cholesterol busters as well as anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer agents.
Best Nuts for Children's Health
Best Nuts for Children’s Health
All nuts can provide children great nutrition and aid in their health and development. Studies indicate that substituting nuts along with fruits for sugar and fatty snacks such as chips, candy, and cookies can help prevent childhood obesity. Recommendations for giving nuts or nut products to children have been revised by The American Academy of Pediatrics. It is now okay to include smooth nut butters and pastes to children younger than 12 months. However, parents should still be on the alert for allergic reactions: hives, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, etc. It is still recommended that whole nuts not be given to children under the age of five to prevent the possibility of choking.
The only reason then for us humans to leave nuts out of our diets would be allergies. Otherwise, we should eat up. Eat them on cereal, in salads, as snacks. For optimum nutrition and health, nuts are best eaten raw and organic instead of coated with salt, sugar or any other non-essential, unhealthy ingredient.