There’s lots of opposing viewpoints out there about eating nuts. There are people who think they are essential to a healthy diet and those that think they encourage weight gain. Our view is nuts have endless health benefits and are the ultimate protein rich snack to beat cravings between meals.
Eating small quantities of raw nuts (not salted, fried or baked) gives you the most nutritional value. They are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, dietetic fibre, vitamins A, B and E, minerals, vegetable sterols, arginine and lots of other good stuff that we can’t pronounce. The recommended portion size is a small handful or, if you already have small hands, 1.5 ounces.
The type of nut you choose doesn’t actually matter, as a group they can bring the following benefits:
- Improved heart health
- They protect your brain health
- Improve your digestive health
- Premature aging prevention
- Build muscle mass
- Fight obesity
Walnuts: It’s been said that walnuts are the oldest known tree food, dating back 10,000 years. Walnuts appear to have a wide variety of health benefits, plus they’re rich in certain phytochemicals—especially phenols, phytates, and phytosterols—making them the top nut of all the healthiest nuts.
Almonds: Most of the world’s almonds come from California, and interestingly, they hail from the peach family. They’ve been around since Biblical times and have been touted as one of the healthiest nuts (and foods in general) for nearly as long.
Pitachios:Americans consume an estimated 45,000 tons of pistachios each year, the majority of which come from Iran. The health benefits of pistachios are varied, but they’re clearly great for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes and also for those looking to lose weight.
Macadamia Nuts:Native to Australia, Macadamia nuts are given the rather endearing nickname, the ‘Queen of Nuts’. Cardiovascular benefits with decreased LDL cholesterol have been reported as amongst their benefits.
Cashews:Though cashews are, surprisingly, in the same family as poison ivy. Unlike their distant cousins though, cashews are a popular snack, and they’re just as healthy as they are delicious. Cashews contain phytates with anti-inflammatory properties, as well as the essential minerals phosphorous, magnesium, copper, and manganese.