All nuts, like beans, are actually seeds. This makes them little bundles of concentrated nutrition. More and more diet studies are showing that eating just a few nuts each day has many health benefits. Everyone should seriously consider making nuts a regular part of their healthy whole food diet.
All nuts share some broad nutritional properties:
*They are relatively high in healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
*They are good sources of protein
*They are fairly low in saturated fats
*Nuts are concentrated sources of folate, iron, magnesium and potassium
*All nuts are high in dietary fiber
*They offer a very broad range of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients
Different types of nuts offer more or less of specific nutrients. A few nuts offer unique benefits such as zeaxanthan and lutein found only in pistachio nuts and known to support eye health. This is why, as with every other aspect of a sustainable, healthy diet, it is good to eat as wide a variety of nuts as possible. And because nuts are high in fats(even if healthy fats) they are also high in calories, so moderation is also important. Eating only 1-1 1/2 ounces of nuts each day will supply all of the health benefits of this great whole food.
Some of the recognized and proven health benefits of eating nuts regularly include:
*Eating tree nuts results in a lowered likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome.
*People that eat nuts tend to eat fewer sugars, saturated fats and sodium than people that do not eat nuts.
*Those that eat nuts have lower weights and body-mass indexes and smaller waists.
*Tree nut consumers have lower blood pressure and higher HDL(good) cholesterol levels.
*Having nuts in the diet improves overall cardiovascular health.
*Nuts can decrease the risk of developing diabetes.
How many nuts should the average person eat every day? The general recommendation is 1 to 1 1/2 ounces per day or one small handful. The number of nuts will vary according to type.
Go nuts! Sprinkle nuts on your salads and oatmeal. Add nuts to a grass-fed meatloaf or burger. Have a dollop of cashew cream on that fresh fruit instead of whipped cream. Mix assorted nuts into pancake batter, bread dough, muffins and desserts. Nuts are very versatile and make it easy to incorporate into the daily diet even if you just like to eat a handful as a snack.