Sometimes, good things come in small packages, which go to show how nuts are nature’s way of introducing nutritional powerhouses in tiny bite size pieces. Loaded with heart friendly vitamins, proteins, minerals and fats, nuts are an essential part of one’s daily diet. However, it is important to know which kind of nuts are good for health that can help in deciding the best and worst kind of commercial products that can be easily picked up from supermarket shelves. Unfortunately, since nuts are high in calories and fats, having even a small handful is sometimes more than enough to keep you until dinner, while more than a couple of handfuls can completely disrupt your appetite. Even though nuts are extremely healthy, if they are paired with salty or sugary concoctions, they immediately become a hazard to any diet plan or weight loss goals.
The best nuts that you could include in your diet are pistachios, cashews and almonds. If eaten in moderation, the healthy mix of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and proteins from these nuts cannot only be helpful in suppressing one’s appetite but also helps in keeping you full for a long period of time, according to research from the Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics. Stay away from packaged and salted nuts that are roasted in oil, rather consume nuts that are either dry roasted without any additions or raw.
If you are on a path to lose weight, the nuts that you need to stay away from include macadamia nuts and pecans. These nuts contain the highest amount of fats with the least amount of protein content in them. Nonetheless, these nuts are still good for health but one must exercise caution while consuming macadamia nuts and pecans as having more than one handful can increase the fat levels substantially.
One of the best nuts for cardiovascular activity is walnuts. Although all nuts contain healthy omega-3 fats that are essential for a healthy heart, walnuts have the highest amount of alpha linoleic acid that is extremely helpful in treating heart arrhythmias. According to a Spanish study conducted in 2008, it was seen that walnuts were as efficient in reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries as extra virgin olive oil. In order to achieve excellent heart benefits, it is recommended by the California Walnut Commission to eat approximately 8 walnuts each day.
Although peanuts are technically known as legumes, they are generally known as nuts. Peanuts contain high quantities of folate which is an important mineral for the development of brain activity and could be helpful in protecting an individual against cognitive decline. In addition, peanuts are also bursting with heart healthy fats, vitamins E and protein.
The best way to have nuts is to pair them along with healthy carbohydrate meals, as it helps in slowing down digestion and breaking down sugar in the body. Nuts can be sprinkled on salads or added to low-fat yoghurt or can be consumed while having a fruit or juice.
According to a recent review in the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, there is no one nut which is considered to be the healthiest of all. Ideally, raw and unsalted mixed nuts supply the most beneficial collection of antioxidants and nutrients to the body.