Many clinical studies have proven that nuts are rich sources of numerous nutrients that provide a lot of health benefits for the body.  According to the results of a past study conducted by researchers from Harvard University published at the Longevity journal, women were found to be 35% less likely to develop a heart attack if they consumed 142g of nuts a week, compared to those women who only consumed less than 28g a month.

Nuts contain a lot of fiber, protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It all comes down to making the right choice as to what nuts will you be eating. Fortunately, there are a plethora of nuts that you can choose from. I am listing down my top choices of 8 nutritious nuts in order to help you attain better health.

Some of these healthy nuts are as follows:

  • Almonds

Almonds are rich in Vitamin E, healthy monounsaturated fat, and antioxidants. Some people may think that almonds are too fatty for the body; however, studies have shown that it can actually help lower blood cholesterol levels. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition last June 2010 stated that almonds can significantly help in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Almonds can also aid in weight loss, help prevent osteoporosis and also regulates high blood pressure levels.

  • Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are seeds of enormous trees called Bertholletia excelsa that grows in many parts of the world. These nuts are quite similar to macadamia nuts, but with more concentration of monounsaturated fats. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium that acts as a powerful antioxidant which may help in reducing the risk of cancer and heart diseases. It is also considered as a protein-packed snack and it contains all the necessary amino acids needed by the body. Magnesium and zinc that are found in Brazil nuts can help promote proper nerve and muscle function and strengthens the immune system. A recent study conducted at the University of Illinois reported that Brazil nuts may have the possibility of contributing to the prevention of breast cancer.

  • Cashews

One of the most important benefits of cashew nuts is that it contains a lesser amount of fat. The fatty acids are made up of oleic acid, which is known to promote cardiovascular health and helps those people with cases of diabetes. Moreover, cashew nuts are rich in copper which produces an important hair and skin pigment called melanin. It also enhances the malleability of blood vessels. According to a new study, cashew nuts were found to reduce the risk of developing gallbladder stones. It also contains nutrients that aid in fighting carcinogens and heart diseases.

  • Cedar Nuts

In native Siberia, cedar nuts are considered to be treasures. They contain 70% of the amino acids that the body needs. The antioxidant it contains can also aid in slowing down the aging process. Rich amounts of Vitamin A, B, D and tocopherols (E group vitamins) can be found in cedar nuts. It also contains a particular kind of Vitamin P that helps in keeping the arterial walls free from inflammation and plaque that may cause diseases such as atherosclerosis. More importantly, it reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body.

  • Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are seeds from the Australian trees called Macadamia ternifolia. Taking an average macadamia nut can add 18 calories to your diet. It would surprise you to know that macadamia nuts contain no cholesterol at all despite the fact that it contains high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, almost amounting to 86%, which aids in reducing blood cholesterol levels according to many studies. A study conducted at the Hawaii University reported that subjects who added macadamia nuts to their diet for one month were seen to have lower cholesterol levels. Therefore, researchers have recommended including macadamia nuts in one’s diet.

  • Pistachios Nuts

Pistachio nuts are also called green almonds. . According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), it is packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrients, and also contains more anti-oxidants than green tea. Pistachios are also rich sources of protein and fat, but mostly “good” unsaturated fats. Eating two handfuls of pistachios can even reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering LDL cholesterols.  This data is according to the research paper, The Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Pistachios written by researcher Sarah Gebauer from Pennsylvania State University last June 2007.

  • Pecans

According to the USDA, pecans are good alternatives for protein in people who are on a plant based diet. These nuts are great sources of proteins and carbohydrates, which are energy producing nutrients, and it also contains no cholesterol. Pecans also contain concentrated amounts of sterol, known to lower levels of cholesterol. They are also good sources of heart healthy unsaturated fats according to the American Heart Association (AHA) and the US Dietary Guidelines. Pecans also give antioxidant protection to many diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Researchers from the New Mexico University State and Loma Linda University in California have proven that, when pecans are added to the daily diet, it can reduce risk of heart disease. It can also help in preventing breast cancer and in promoting weight control.

  • Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts provide many benefits if included in a well-balanced diet. These nuts have many health benefits that aid in protection against diseases. Hazelnuts are known for their Vitamin E components that are essential in developing the muscles, especially that of the heart – one of the most important organs in the body. Other benefits include reducing risk factors that may lead to the development of cancer, and these nuts can also serve as a form of protection from anemia, a disorder of the blood. Another major benefit of hazelnuts is that they increase the production of red blood cells that aid in transporting oxygen to all parts of the body. This is because hazelnuts are rich in folic acids that are needed by both babies and adults. Like other nuts, they also contain good amounts of protein necessary for the production of muscle tissues.

Each individual nut present immeasurable amount of nutrients that are good for the body. However, it is recommended to take precautions when eating nuts. It is a given that people with allergy to nuts should not take them. It is also recommended to stick to the raw, unsalted type since all nutrients are still present.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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