Nuts – one of the most underrated foods when it comes to improving one’s health. Especially for those trying to improve heart health and diabetes. Achieving a healthy body weight is also a struggle for many on their journey to better health. Research has found that nuts can also be helpful in maintaining a healthy weight.
One study found that consuming 1 ounce of nus in exchange of other less nutritious foods reduced participants’ risk of weight gain and obesity. The foods replaced by the nuts in this study included French fries, potato chips, or desserts. Even better, not only were those results positive in the short-term, but after a 4 year follow up period, as well!
Nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, packing a seriously positive punch to your health. Research has shown that by eating a diet rich in good fats, you can actually lower your risk not only for obesity, but for heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
According to several studies, it is not the amount of fat you eat that affects health, it is the type of fat. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are two “good fats.” These fats aid in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels, thereby, reducing risk of heart disease. Let’s review a few of the most popular nut varieties and highlight their health benefits.
Packed full of healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants, almonds are hard to beat from a nutritional standpoint. Almonds are also an excellent source of vitamin E. Research connects vitamin E to a reduced risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, even some cancers.
A bonus for diabetics – research has shown that almonds may contribute to better blood sugar control. Scientists believe these results are due to the high concentration of magnesium found in almonds. Some type II diabetics also have low magnesium levels. In one study, participants with type 2 diabetes who had low magnesium levels took a magnesium supplement. A connection was found between higher magnesium levels and improved insulin resistance.
Healthy fats are all the rage these days, as studies continue to validate the importance of making them a bigger part of our diets. Just one quarter cup of walnuts provides more than the daily recommended amount of omega-3 fats! Walnuts also contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers multiple vascular benefits. Individuals who are at increased risk of heart disease, or those who have already been diagnosed with heart disease benefit most.
These Low-Carb Buffalo Almonds will be a hit at your next football or holiday party!
Walnuts are a superfood in their own right! They contain several powerful antioxidants, most of which are not found together in other commonly consumed foods. Research has shown that walnuts may help reduce risk of some cancers. Walnuts in particular help both men and women maintain a healthier weight.
This crisp and crunchy Arugula, Radicchio, and Fennel Salad is a fantastic way to work walnuts into your next meal!
Don’t forget the pistachio! These addictive little jewels are better for you than the average snack. One study found that eating between two and three ounces of pistachios per day lowered levels of bad cholesterol and improved blood lipid levels. Research has also shown that pistachios help stabilize blood sugar after eating a high-carb meal. Pistachios are also credited with improvements in blood vessel and body motor function.
While snacking on pistachios right out of the bag is completely acceptable, this recipe for Pistachio Crusted Scallops is a great way to showcase their salty flavor!
Whether almonds, walnuts, or pistachios, nuts are an excellent addition to your diet. Not only are they delicious and versatile in many types of recipes, they are just plain good for you. Reduced risk of obesity and weight gain, better heart health, lower blood sugar, the list of benefits goes on and on. We hope this information inspires you to get out there and go nuts!