A handful of nuts every day can lower your heart-disease risk by a third, chop your Alzheimer’s risk by two-thirds, and help you slim down. The high protein content in nuts helps you feel full and will keep you from overeating. Yes, they do have high fat contents, but it is mostly good fat. Also, your body simply can’t absorb all the fat in nuts so any excess is flushed away.
What’s Your Favorite Nut?
Almonds-A true superfood, almonds are good for your brain, brawn, and belly. A handful of almonds will supply you with half of your daily value of Vitamin E, an anti-oxidant that can increase memory and cognitive performance. Almonds are a great post-workout snack as the Vitamin E will help with muscle recovery. Eating almonds also seems to stimulate production of hunger-supressing hormones.
Cashews– This nut has less monounsaturated fat and protein that almonds, but they do contain more iron. Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body and plays a critical role in energy production.
Walnuts– The walnut is oh-so-good in so many ways. It is rich in heart-healthy omega 3’s, has more anti- inflammatory polyphonols than red wine, and has half as much protein as chicken. Walnuts might even help clean up after your bad habits. People who ate walnuts after a large pastrami sandwich reduced arterial inflammation caused by lunchmeat.
Pecans– Pecans have more anti-oxidants than any other nut. They are also rich in vitamin E. Research shows that pecans can help prevent arterial damage and adding them to your diet can cut your risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
Brazil Nuts– Toxins from air pollution and car exhaust have the potential to damage sperm. Men who want hardier, more viable swimmers might want to add Brazil nuts to their diet because this nut has more selinium than any other food. Selinium is crucial for healthy sperm and studies also show it can prevent colon cancer in men.
Macadamia Nuts– Eating 12-16 macadamia nuts a day may help raise your HDL (good) cholesterol by as much as 8%.
Pistachio– Snacking on pistachios can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 12%. Researchers also show that weight loss and blood fat reduction is greater when dieters ate pistachios instead of unsalted pretzels.
What about Peanuts? Well, technically, they aren’t a nut (they are a legume) but they do make a great snack because the high protein count will tame your hunger. Just be sure to eat the unsalted variety. Try peanut butter on a stick of celery for a crunchy, satisfying snack.
Before you go nuts on nuts- a few words of advice. Nuts do contain a fair amount of calories so pay attention to the serving size. Don’t eat mindlessly out of the can, count or weigh the serving size and put the rest away. Nuts are not in addition to your mid-morning or afternoon snack, they are in place of it!
Nuts in candy bars, cookies, pie, and sprinkled on donuts do not count!!
Have a healthy, nutty day.