Yep you read it right! It’s time to love your nuts. I’m talking of course about the almonds and pecans and brazil types 🙂 Too often nuts get a bad wrap because they are high in fat. But nuts are packed full of protein and are a good source of healthy fats. Unfortunately people trying to follow low fat diets, dodge them and are missing out on their goodness. So I thought it was high time matters were clear on the nut front so I’ve listed some nuts and their health benefits as detailed by experts.
Walnuts – helps boost the ability to recall thanks to the omega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts contain more fatty acid than tuna and salmon – and no need to worry about mercury. Eating 1/4 cup daily provides the recommended daily amount needed to prevent depression and Alzheimer’s.
Almonds helps get rid of a headache (so no more excuses ladies! 🙂 – because, like aspirin, almonds contain salicylates, the same natural chemical that will reduce inflammation and block pain signals. Just a handful will provide the same benefit as two aspirins without the possibility of stomach upsets.
Chestnuts Help ease stress and are the only nut that contains vitamin C, a nutrient that helps ease stress. Chestnuts are also the nuts lowest in calories and fat. They can be eaten roasted, boiled or raw.
Macadamia Nuts Are great for the heart due to the natural oils high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Macadamia nuts have the highest amount of monounsaturated fatty acids in a natural food.
Brazil Nuts Reduce anxiety due to their selenium. Just three Brazil nuts will give you a day’s worth of this important mineral. Selenium has mood-boosting, and anti-anxiety properties.
Pecans Will lower cholesterol because of their high amount of plant sterols, vitamin E, and beta-sitosterol – which is a cholesterol lowering compound. Pecans can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by 16 percent. Pecans also have a higher antioxidant content that other nuts.
Cashews Reduce the risk of heart disease due to the monounsaturated fats which, in turn, help to lower bad cholesterol. Cashews are also rich in iron, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and zinc, as well as phytochemicals and antioxidants beneficial in protecting us from cancer. The magnesium is good for bone growth.
Pine Nuts Are appetite suppressors because they are a good source of a polyunsaturated fat known as pinolenic acid, which stimulates secretion from a hormone produced in the intestines – and signals your brain that you are full. Pine nuts also slow down the rate of how quickly your stomach empties, helping you feel full longer. Can I sense these will become your favourite?!
Peanuts – Peanuts are often grouped in the nut category, but are not on the list because they are neither nuts or seeds, and are actually legumes (beans are legumes). However, they are worth listing with nuts due to their amazing anti-aging benefits. This is because peanuts have resveratrol – the flavonoid found in red wine and purple grape juice. Resveratrol helps to stave off age-related cell damage and boosts blood flow in the brain by as much as 30 percent which, in turn, reduces the risk of dementia and stroke. Peanuts also have over 30 vital nutrients and has a higher antioxidant content than apples, carrots and beets. Roasting the peanuts boosts their antioxidant content by as much as 22 percent.
So go on, treat yourself to some nuts. But remember your portion sizes – a small handful goes a long way.