Often touted as the healthy snack option, nuts are rich in nutrients and healthy fats. Go nuts for the health benefits of nuts.
Nuts are remarkable and we should all be including them in our diet. But what’s so great about these little kernels and how do we get the best out of them? Each type of nut will hold different health benefits, but as a group nuts are known to be rich in omega essential fatty acids, vitamin E, folic acid magnesium, protein and fibre. Nuts are however high in fat, good fat but fat none the less, and should always be eaten in controlled portions. Here are some super nuts to get started with.
Almonds – Almonds are particularly high in Vitamin E, which affects muscles, skin and helps prevent brain cognitive decline. They are also rich in B vitamins, which are great for skin, hair, eyes and liver health. Calcium, magnesium and potassium, which promote bone health. Try eating a handful of almonds after a work out.
Walnut – The walnut may be considered the healthiest nut. The University of Scranton found that eating as little as 7 walnuts a day could help lower cholesterol. They are also high in polyphenol, which can ward off damage to tissue. Try sprinkling some over a bowl of porridge with honey.
Pistachio – Along with increasing heart-healthy LDL in the body, pistachios are also a really good source of Vitamin B6, which helps the formation of amino acids that in turn act as neurotransmitters. Vitamin B6 synthesize myelin which insulates nerve fibres and B6 is also integral to the production of serotonin, melatonin and GABA. Add crushed pistachios to herby cous cous for added crunch.
Brazil nut – These large nuts are a strong source of selenium – a mineral essential for immune and thyroid function. There is some evidence that selenium may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Recommended daily intake is around 60 micrograms. However recent studies have shown that too much selenium may increase cholesterol so stick to a couple of brazil nuts chopped over yoghurt.
Always talk to your doctor before enacting any changes to your diet.