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The Health Benefits of 6 of My Favorite Nuts

Updated on December 17, 2016

Health benefits of the nuts I like to eat

Unless there's medical reason for not eating nuts, such as being allergic to them, they are a great way to improve your health while adding a variety of vitamins to your diet.

One nice thing about nuts is they can be readily available for when the urge to eat hits, and can be quickly consumed to assuage hunger. Most of them should be stored in the refrigerator because they can go bad quickly; although I find when I put them in an enclosed container, they can last for quite a long time.

If you consume a lot of nuts, storage isn't that important. They can also be stored in a cool area after being opened if you prefer, as long as you keep them sealed.

Another benefit of nuts is they can be obtained when going on a prolonged trip, and used when the urge for a quick snack comes upon you.

Here I list the favorite nuts I like to eat and some of the health benefits associated with them. Keep in mind that these are my personal favorites, and not necessarily the best for you.

Variety of nuts

Sunflower Seeds

Without a doubt I consume more sunflower seeds than any other nut. These healthy little nuts contains among the highest levels of phytosterols among most the nuts consumed by regular people, and includes selenium, vitamin E, B vitamins, manganese, copper and phosphorus.

Phytosterols are definitely good for your immune system and heart, and is thought by some that it may help lower the risk of cancer.

To me they taste great and don't fill me up. My problem is keeping myself from eating too many at one time.

A good idea to get family or friends interested in nuts

If you want to get someone you care about to improve their health by eating nuts, buying them a package of a variety of nuts like the one below is a good start. They can try out different nuts to see which one's they like, and can develop their own diet of nuts in response to that trial.

Pecans

One of the more health nuts in my opinion are pecans, which are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Some research suggests consuming them could possibly lower LDL cholesterol while improving the health of arteries.

Some of the benefits included with pecans are manganese, which can boost the immune system; oleic acid, which helps the heart; and magnesium, which is an anti-inflammatory. There are a number of other things included in pecans that can provide better health.

Macadamia Nuts

Having the reputation of the highest fat content but lowest carb and protein among all nuts, macadamia nuts are among the favorites of many people. Unfortunately for me, I don't get them as much as other types of nuts listed in the article.

Among the strongest benefits of macadamia nuts are its significant amounts of manganese, B1 and magnesium. Only a single serving of these nuts provides almost 60 percent of all the manganese most people need in a day, and just under 25 percent of all thiamin.

Also important is the amount of monounsaturated fat oleic acid, which stands at close to 60 percent of all the fatty acid in this particular nut. That's close to what you would get in olives.

Almonds

Almonds are great tasting, and everyone should eat their skins, as it includes phenolic acids, phenols and flavonoids in it. These are among the benefits we get from consuming fruits and vegetables.

Some studies have shown that almonds can help reduce the level of lipids like cholesterol, which could provide for better heart health. The way to get the most benefit out of them is to consume them whole.

One caveat with almonds is they should be eaten in moderation because they are high in protein - a little under one gram per each almond.

Walnuts

Walnuts are also one of my favorite nuts, and I include it next to almonds because its outer layer should be consumed with the rest of the nut, as it's believed to contain the bulk of the healthiest parts of the nut. I know the outer layer can at times taste a little bitter, but resist the temptation to remove it. It's possible that as much as 90 percent of the antioxidants in walnuts is located in that outer layer.

Among the benefits of walnuts are biotin, copper, molybdenum and manganese. It also includes over 100 percent of the recommended daily dosage of omega-3 fats, which are anti-inflammatory.

The amino acid l-arginine, a part of the walnut, aids people with heart disease by providing a variety of vascular benefits.

According to some research, a couple of handfuls of walnuts each day could help prevent breast and prostrate cancer.

There are so many benefits to walnuts, it's best to do your own research to find out about all of them.

Pistachios

Probably the nut I eat the second-most is pistachios. When measured against other nuts, they probably have more vitamin E (gamma-tocopherol), lutein and beta-carotene than the others.

Eating a single or double serving of pistachios has been shown to boost blood levels of antioxidants, which will help to lower oxidized LDL cholesterol in those with high levels.

Those including pistachios have in their diet have experienced a reduction in systolic blood pressure and stress-related vascular responses in adults with high cholesterol

While all nuts listed here help reduce weight, pistachios are among one of the leading nuts to do so, while also cutting down on cholesterol levels, inflammation and blood sugar.

If you can afford and have access to organic pistachios, it would be beneficial because the non-organic nuts are bleached. I would still eat them if they weren't available, but organic would definitely be better you can get them.

Also being high in protein, they should be consumed in moderation.

Conclusion

There are many other nuts that are delicious and healthy to eat, but these are those that I have consumed, and can testify to feeling better from eating them, and also enjoy the taste.

I haven't done this yet, but what I'm quickly moving to do is get all of them and grab a handful or two a day of each of them. They are so full of healthy vitamins and other things that it's worth having them available at any time we're hungry or want a quick snack.

A person should feel a lot better and healthier if they consistently consume these and other types of nuts, as they'll add a lot of healthy food to your diet, and if you eat them consistently, could make you less hungry for things that aren't as good for you.

I would encourage you to give nuts a try. If there are some that don't appeal to your taste buds, try variations, as there should be a nice group of them any person could assemble together to improve their health while enjoying an occasional snack.

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    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 11 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful and informative hub about nuts!

      Besides Pecans all other are almost regular in my household. I googled to see what pecans is. It seems it's not readily available here.

      Thanks for sharing the health benefits of the nutritious nuts!