Heart healthy, energising and highly satisfying, nuts are considered to be a real superfood by dietitians… let us see why:
- ‘Nuts’ but healthy: Nuts are known to be packed with minerals, fibre and healthy fats. Several studies have demonstrated the positive effect of a “nutty” diet for our body, which includes a lower risk of heart disease (strange but true, the monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fats contained in nuts help to clean your arteries), lower risk of developing diabetes and lower risk of cancer thanks to the high level of antioxidants. Our digestive system will also benefit from the rich amount of fibre and good oils which help cleanse our body and maintain a regular bowel habit.
- ‘Nuts’ for Beauty: you may argue that, yes, it is all good and interesting, but in the end they are full of fat and high in calories so ultimately they will make you fat. Well yes and no. It is undeniable that every nut tends to be high in calories and fat, but let us remember that our body NEEDS calories and fat. Calories are the gasoline that gets us going on a daily basis and fat molecules are fundamental bricks used by our body to build our cells. Furthermore it is a proven fact that, when ingested, fats trigger the sense of fullness and satisfaction that our body craves every time we are hungry. Back to our nuts, they are the most eligible snack for people on a diet: snacking on nuts gives you a healthy alternative to other, less indicated forms of snacking (like sweets/crisps)…and ultimately, it has been demonstrated, it will help you to lose weight. Oh, and by the way, have you ever wondered why so many beauty products are nut based? The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids present in nuts will help you having healthy and shiny hair, strong nails and elastic, moist skin. Fight wrinkles with almonds!
- ‘Kinda nuts’: here are the most popular types of nuts:
- Almonds: rich in calcium, they are a good alternative to dairy products when it is down to bone building. They are also full of Vitamin E, which helps improving the looks of your skin. Finally almond’s skin is also useful to reduce acid reflux.
- Walnuts: cancer fighters, full of antioxidant elements. Also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, good for skin and hair.
- Pistachios: help balancing the hormones and protecting the eyes. They are also rich in fibre, therefore good for bowel habit regulation.
- Brazil Nuts: one of them will give you all the selenium you need for the day. A wonderful dietary complement to those who suffer from underactive thyroid and low immunity system. Careful not to exceed. Too much selenium is not good!
- Cashew Nuts: rich in iron, zinc, magnesium and folic acid. They help prevent dementia, keep your bones strong and help preventing blood clotting.
- Chestnuts: lower in fat and carbs when compared to the other nuts, they are a good source of vitamin C and vitamins of the group B. An absolute brain boost!
- Pecans help lowering the cholesterol level and reducing the risk of coronary disease. Rich in vitamin B3, they are the perfect choice to help fighting fatigue. Oh, and they also help maintaining a healthy prostate so men, pecan up!
- Pine nuts: contain manganese, a mineral that will help you metabolise proteins and sugars. They help preventing diabetes.
- Macadamia: they are the fattest of all so must be taken in small amount, however they have the highest percentage of heart friendly fats, which in fact help reducing the so called “bad cholesterol”. They also contain thiamine, which helps the nervous system.
- Peanuts: peanuts are high in folic acid, a mineral essential for brain development. They help maintaining a healthy nervous system and prevent cognitive decline.
- Coconut: they are loaded with naturally sterile electrolytes, which help regulate your muscle function. They are also good to boost your immunity system.
Dietitians recommend 1 or 2 servings per day (for an individual with a healthy, low fat diet). Needless to say, better raw (helps keeping all the nutrients active) and unsalted.
That’s all for now….you will be hearing from me again!