Did you know that one little nut contains enough healthy goodness to promote weight loss, fight PMS, boost brainpower, and even prevent certain types of cancer? Crazy, right? But it’s true! Nuts do wonders for your overall health. They are great for your heart and can even help lower “bad” cholesterol when eaten as part of a healthy diet. And all you need is a handful a day. Most nuts are high in protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats (That’s the “good” fat that lowers cholesterol.), Omega-3, vitamins, and minerals. And almonds are even a good source of calcium, too! In fact, almonds and walnuts are at the top of the list for the most beneficial because they can promote weight loss, boost your heart health, pwer down PMS, lower your risk of certain cancers and fight inflammation and heart disease. Following almonds and walnuts in tow are brazil nuts, cashews (high in iron), chestnuts, hazelnuts (manages type 2 diabetes and reduces the risk of dementia), macadamias (heart healthy), pecans (rich in antioxidants), and peanuts. Bust out the peanut butter!
Nuts can be a great substitute for unhealthy snacks. They are high in zinc which supports immune health and they’re a great source of magnesium. And if that doesn’t have you convinced, nuts can also be a substitute for saturated fats found in meat, eggs, and dairy products, which is great news for vegetarians and vegans. Nut’s like Pistachios even contain important vitamins such as Vitamin E (which fights cancer), Potassium (for nervous system and muscle health), and Vitamin B6 that supports your immune system and can even boost your mood! Eating just 2 ounces of pistachios a day may reduce lung cancer. And the best part? Pistachios are considered the most “slimming” nut because they only contain about 4 calories a piece.
Now, with all of these wonderful benefits of nuts still comes precautions, just like anything else. The best way to enjoy these little miracle workers are raw or dry roasted and always unsalted. The salted nuts available contain so much sodium that they actually have more detrimental effects than benefits. Nuts contain a lot of fat, even though most of this is very healthy, necessary fat, it still packs quite a bit of calories. All you need is a good sized handful a day to reap the benefits. If chosen carefully, peanut butter can have loads of health benefits, but proceed with caution. When buying peanut butter, stay away from partially hydrogenated oils or trans fat. This means the nuts have been roasted in oil and can be detrimental to your health. Organic or raw peanut butter is always the best way to go!