If you love nuts and are concerned for your health, you are in luck! Nuts are some of the healthiest snacks you will find, and research has even shown that they offer a number of terrific health benefits. Now, you may be wondering just what makes nuts so good for you. Read on to find out.
Nutrients Found in Nuts
The reason nuts are beneficial to your health is because of the nutrients they provide. For one thing, nuts are extremely high in the healthy type of fat known as monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat has been proven to help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Furthermore, nuts are also high in arginine-rich protein.
Arginine is a chemical that encourages the production of nitric oxide, which can relax your blood vessels and help to lower your blood pressure. Other valuable nutrients you can find in nuts include fiber, Vitamin E, B Vitamins, zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium and various antioxidant minerals and compounds.
Nut Varieties and Their Benefits
There are many different types of nuts; however, some of the most popular varieties include almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews and pistachios. Each variety of these nuts offers valuable health benefits when eaten in moderation, and you will find a brief description of these benefits listed below.
- Almonds – Almonds are rich in calcium, which is essential for strong teeth and bones. Furthermore, since 70 percent of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated, almonds can significantly help reduce cholesterol.
- Walnuts – Not only are walnuts rich in monounsaturated fat, but they also contain a good supply of omega-3 fatty acids. A small handful of walnuts contains just as many omega-3 fatty acids as three ounces of salmon. This can help prevent heart disease, arthritis and depression.
- Pecans – About one cup of pecans can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels in your blood. Furthermore, the zinc in pecans helps protect you from infections, and the Vitamin E in these nuts can help prevent various types of cancer.
- Cashews – The copper found in cashews can help to rid your body of various types of infections, and the magnesium in them can increase your energy level. Cashews also contain iron, which is essential for healthy blood, skin, hair and nails.
- Pistachios – About 45 pistachios contain more than 10 percent of your recommended daily requirements of fiber, B Vitamins, copper, magnesium and phosphorus. Pistachios can help strengthen your immune system and prevent heart attacks.
As you can see, there are many great reasons to incorporate nuts into your daily diet, and these are just some of the benefits derived from eating them. Nuts offer many more terrific health benefits as well. They may also be able to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes, help manage weight and strengthen your muscles.