Having nuts in your meal options is something you should hop on this month! The benefits are so amazing, and these nuts can even serve as a healthy snack option over the regular commercially produced snacks you binge on from time to time. These foods are power-packed with numerous nutrients needed by the body for proper functioning and there are lots of mind-blowing benefits you can get by just consuming a handful of nuts.
- Reduced risk of heart disease: Many recent studies have shown that taking a handful of nuts twice or more per week can substantially decrease your risk of having coronary heart disease by 30-50percent!. Nuts have been proven to be one of the best cardio-protective foods one can incorporate into their diet. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic properties help to prevent developing Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).
- Helps to lower your bad cholesterol: Eating nuts like cashew, peanuts, almond, pecan, hazelnut has been shown to help improve total cholesterol levels, and also reduce the level of LDL (the bad cholesterol) in the body. Nuts contain mostly unsaturated fats and plant sterols which help to increase the healthy high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and reduce the low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) in the body thereby improving the overall lipid profile.
- Reduced risk of gallstone disease: Since cholesterol plays a role in the formation of gall stones, a diet incorporating nuts can help lower the risk of gall stones, as well as unsaturated fats, fiber, and mineral has a positive protective effect on developing gallstone. A particular large study found that men consuming 5 or more portions of nuts per week had a significantly lower risk of gallstone disease compared to men who rarely eat nuts.
- Nuts may help keep you protected from cancer: Nuts are rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. They contain loads of B vitamins, vitamin E, folate, vitamin E, and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid), and magnesium. All these nutrients have been shown to be protective against cancer.
- Nuts can help with weight loss: Nuts are naturally calorie-dense, so you might be wondering how they can help you lose weight! Nuts are rich in healthy fats, dietary fiber, and protein, when added to your meals, especially breakfast, can help you feel full for a longer period and reduce your overall calorie intake. Have in mind that one handful of nuts contains about 140-200kcal, so exceeding this portion size might increase your weight gain over time or make it hard for you to achieve your weight loss goal.
How can you incorporate nuts into your diet?
- Add it to your breakfast cereal or smoothie
- Take as an in-between snack
- Make into butter for spreads
- Sprinkle into salads
- Add to Yogurt parfait
- Add to baking recipes
Do you want to enjoy your meals while achieving your health goals, click the link below to have a free consultation with your dietitian today!
- Mattes R.D., Kris-Etherton P.M., Foster G.D. Impact of peanuts and tree nuts on body weight and healthy weight loss in adults. Nutr. 2008;138:1741S–1745S
- Kelly J.H. Jr, Sabaté J. Nuts and coronary heart disease, an epidemiological perspective. J. Nutr. 2006;96:S61–S67. doi: 10.1017/BJN20061865
- Blomhoff R., Carlsen M.H., Frost Andersen L., Jacobs D.R. Jr. Health benefits of nuts, potential role of antioxidants. J. Nutr. 2006;96:S52–S60