More people are starting to realize the potent health benefits that come from eating nuts. With so many nuts out there it can be somewhat confusing as to what’s what in the nut world. The best part, however, is that no matter what nut you eat, you’re bound to get a special treat for your body. If you want to get down to the specifics, it’s about time you learn the ups and downs of certain nuts and which ones will satisfy your health needs.
Probably one of the reasons why most people approach nuts cautiously is due to their high fat content. Little do they know, many nuts have healthy monosaturated fats that help lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. The nut with the highest content of monosaturated fats (and thus calories) is the macadamia nut, which also contains polmitoleic acid that prevents the storage of excess fats just in case you overindulge. Chestnuts on the other hand have close to no fat, but are still high in calories.
Another nutrient commonly found in nuts is Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from free radicals and leads to healthy, glowing skin. The nuts with the highest amount of Vitamin E include almonds and hazelnuts, but they are also highly present in pistachios and pecans.
While all nuts offer a healthy amount of protein and fiber, almonds take the cake and they are a well known brain food! Peanuts are an inexpensive nut filled with protein which makes it a popular post-workout snack. Eating a 30g serving of hazelnuts will fill up 10% of your daily-recommended fiber intake.
Certain nuts containing selenium such as Brazil nuts (largest nut/seed) and pecans are thought to help prevent prostate cancer in men as well as increase sperm production. Cashews also contain selenium and are one of the most delicious nuts to eat.
If you or your family has a history of heart disease, you may want to eat a handful of walnuts each day. Walnuts contain a high amount of omega-3 that prevents heart disease by reducing oxidation in the arteries especially after a fatty meal and by calming inflammation.
Nuts are healthy but don't eat too many
When eating any kind of nut, it is to extremely important portion control. Even though nuts seem small and non-filling, they can really rack up in calories if you have more than one serving. A single chestnut, for example, can contain around 85 calories. Also avoid nuts that have been processed with oils or too much seasoning, sugar, or salt that might counteract the healthy effects of eating nuts.