Health Benefits of Nuts

Nuts and Health Benefits

Introduction

Nuts come with many advantages. Nuts that contain healthy fats are most nutritious. There are many kinds of nuts and one can have a spread of the different nuts for a snack. Nuts also are not expensive and can be stored with ease. Nuts are also suitable to carry when travelling long distances as they are light-weight and appetite-satiating. Nuts are small in size but are bursting with nutrients and can have significant benefits. The crunchy flavor of nuts makes them almost impossible to resist. The varieties of nuts in the healthy category are cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, Brazil-nuts and filberts. Peanuts are considered nuts but they belong to the legume category and it is unclear whether they can be included in the nuts section.

Most of the varieties of nuts come in shells where the edible kernel or seed is protected. Shelled and unshelled nuts are available in stores. Check for the quality of the nuts and proper packaging before their purchase. Nuts can be stored in air-tight jars in cool corners or under refrigerated conditions to preserve their flavor. Nuts can be stored for durations ranging from 6-12 months.

The intake of nuts can be in various methods. Nuts can be thinly chopped and desserts, sweet dishes, ice-creams can be garnished with the nuts. Under baked goodies; breads, cakes, cookies and muffins include nuts as an ingredient. Butter can also be dished out with some nuts. Both the salted and sweetened flavored nuts can be enjoyed. However nuts can be relished without any flavors also as they contain their own taste.

Health Benefits

The combination of fiber, healthy fats and protein in nuts makes nuts an ideal choice of snacks with health benefits. Different nuts contain other nutrients or nutrients in varying amounts but nuts in general can be considered nutritious. The benefits linked to health with respect to nuts is studied here.

  • Nutritional Value

Vitamins of the Vitamin B category which include niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and folates are found in nuts. Under vitamins in nuts, Vitamin E also can be mentioned. Minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, fluoride and zinc are nut constituents. Almost all nuts contain protein and one of the reasons behind the nutritional worth of nuts.

Vitamin E can prevent cell injury by providing protection against the free radicals that can affect the body functioning in a negative manner. Potassium can regulate the body fluids such as heart rate and blood pressure. Copper and iron promote growth and development of red blood cells. Fluoride can enhance health of bones and teeth.

  • Cardio-Vascular Health

Nuts can improve cardio-vascular health immensely. The bad cholesterol in the body can be depleted by munching on nuts on a daily basis. The good cholesterol levels can also be increased. The healthy fat content in nuts can prove to be useful in this context. Also clotting of the blood is restrained with nuts. Vitamin E in nuts also has the ability to resist the build-up of plaque in the arteries which otherwise can lead to constriction of the vessels and have adverse effects such as strokes and heart-attacks. Hence the health of the blood vessels can be maintained with nut consumption. Invariably, health of the heart improves as a result as blood can reach the heart at the required rate keeping ailments at bay.

  • Other Benefits

Fiber in nuts has the potential to satisfy the appetite to a considerable degree therefore limiting the intake of food resulting in enhanced choice of foods. Nuts can aid in weight management here.

Blood sugar levels can also be stabilized with consumption of nuts and the protein content in nuts has a role in this regard. Blood circulation and brain health also improves with nut intake.