Are Nuts Good For You?

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Nuts Have 8 Health Benefits

Nuts Have 8 Health Benefits

Nuts are a popular snack. They're delicious, convenient, and can be eaten on any diet, from keto to vegan. Despite their high fat content, they have a number of health and weight-loss benefits. The top eight health benefits of eating nuts are listed below.

What Exactly Are Nuts?

Nuts are seed kernels that are commonly used in cooking or eaten on their own as a snack. They're fattening and calorie-dense. They have a tough, inedible outer shell that must be cracked open in order to release the kernel inside. Fortunately, most nuts can be purchased shelled and ready to eat at the store. The following are some of the most popular nuts:

  • Almonds
  • Nuts from Brazil
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia nuts are a type of nut that is native to Australia.
  • Pecans
  • pistachios
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts

Peanuts, like peas and beans, are technically legumes, but they're often referred to as nuts because of their similar nutritional profile and characteristics.

1. An Excellent Source of a Variety of Nutrients

Nuts are a nutrient-dense food. in one ounce (28 grams) of mixed nuts:

  • 173 calories
  • 5 grams of protein
  • 16 grams of fat, with 9 grams of monounsaturated fat.
  • Carbohydrates: 6 g
  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 12 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDI) for vitamin E
  • Magnesium accounts for 16% of the RDI.
  • 13 percent of the RDI for phosphorus
  • Copper accounts for 23% of the RDI.
  • Manganese is present in 26 percent of the RDI.
  • Selenium: 56% of the recommended daily intake

Certain nutrients are more abundant in some nuts than in others. For example, one Brazil nut contains more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for selenium. Nuts have a wide range of carbohydrate content. Cashews have almost 8 grams of digestible carbs per serving, whereas hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts have less than 2 grams.

Nuts, on the other hand, are great low-carb food to eat.

2. Antioxidant Powerhouse

Nuts are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as the polyphenols found in nuts, can help to reduce oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and increase disease risk. Walnuts have a higher capacity to fight free radicals than fish, according to one study.

The antioxidants in walnuts and almonds have been shown in studies to protect the delicate fats in your cells from oxidation damage.

When compared to a control meal, eating walnuts or almonds increased polyphenol levels and significantly reduced oxidative damage in a 13-person study. Another study found that participants' levels of oxidized "bad" LDL cholesterol — a major risk factor for heart disease — dropped by 26–33 percent 2–8 hours after eating whole pecans.Walnuts and cashews, on the other hand, had little effect on antioxidant capacity in older people and people with metabolic syndrome, though some other markers improved.

3. It's possible that it'll help you lose weight.

Despite their reputation as a high-calorie food, nuts have been shown to aid weight loss in studies. People who were assigned to eat nuts lost an average of 2 inches (5 cm) from their waists, significantly more than those who were given olive oil, according to a large study examining the effects of the Mediterranean diet.

In controlled studies, almonds have consistently been shown to promote weight loss rather than weight gain. Pistachios may also help with weight loss, according to some studies. In one study of overweight women, those who ate almonds lost nearly three times as much weight and had a significantly smaller waist circumference than those who did not.

Furthermore, despite the fact that nuts contain a lot of calories, research shows that your body doesn't absorb all of them because some fat remains trapped within the nut's fibrous wall during digestion. For example, while a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds may have 160–170 calories, your body only absorbs about 129 of these calories.

Similarly, recent studies have discovered that your body absorbs about 21% and 5% fewer calories from walnuts and pistachios, respectively, than previously thought.

4. Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels May Be Reduced

Nuts have significant cholesterol and triglyceride-lowering properties. Obese and diabetic people have been shown to have lower triglyceride levels when eating pistachios.

Pistachio eaters had nearly 33 percent lower triglyceride levels than the control group in a 12-week study of obese people. The high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in nuts may explain their cholesterol-lowering properties.

Almonds and hazelnuts have been shown to increase "good" HDL cholesterol while lowering total and "bad" LDL cholesterol. Ground, sliced, and whole hazelnuts all had similar cholesterol-lowering effects, according to one study.

5. Helpful in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

Diabetes type 2 is a common disease that affects hundreds of millions of people around the world. A group of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome are thus inextricably linked.

Nuts, surprisingly, may be one of the best foods for people suffering from metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. To begin with, they're low in carbs and don't significantly raise blood sugar levels. As a result, swapping nuts for higher-carb foods should lower blood sugar levels. Nuts may also reduce oxidative stress, blood pressure, and other health markers in people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome, according to research.

In a 12-week controlled study, people with metabolic syndrome who ate just under 1 ounce (25 grams) of pistachios twice daily saw their fasting blood sugar drop by 9% on average. Furthermore, compared to the control group, the pistachio group had lower blood pressure and C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker linked to heart disease. However, the evidence is contradictory, and not all studies show that eating nuts helps people with metabolic syndrome.

6. It Has the Potential to Reduce Inflammation

Nuts are high in anti-inflammatory compounds. Inflammation is your body's way of defending itself against injury, bacteria, and other pathogens that could be harmful. Chronic, long-term inflammation, on the other hand, can cause organ damage and raise the risk of disease. Nuts have been shown to reduce inflammation and promote healthy aging in studies.

People who supplemented their diets with nuts saw a 35 percent and a 90 percent decrease in the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), respectively, in a study on the Mediterranean diet. Pistachios, Brazil nuts, walnuts, and almonds, for example, have been shown to reduce inflammation in both healthy people and those with serious conditions like diabetes and kidney disease.

However, in one study of healthy adults who ate almonds, there was little difference between the almond and control groups — though a few inflammatory markers were lower in those who ate almonds.

7. It's high in fiber that's good for you.

Fiber has numerous health benefits. While your body is unable to digest fiber, bacteria in your colon can. Many types of fiber act as prebiotics, or food for your gut's beneficial bacteria.

The fiber is then fermented by your gut bacteria, which turns it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These SCFAs have a long list of advantages, including improved gut health and a lower risk of diabetes and obesity.

Fiber also aids in the feeling of fullness and reduces the number of calories absorbed from meals. One study found that increasing fiber intake from 18 to 36 grams per day can reduce calorie absorption by up to 130 calories. The following nuts have the most fiber per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving:

  • 3.5 grams almonds
  • 2.9 grams pistachios
  • 2.9 grams hazelnuts
  • 2.9 grams pecans
  • 2.6 grams of peanuts
  • 2.4 grams macadamia nuts
  • 2.1 grams of Brazil nuts

8. May Lower Your Chances of Having a Heart Attack or Stroke

Nuts are extremely beneficial to your cardiovascular system. Nuts have been shown in several studies to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by improving cholesterol levels, "bad" LDL particle size, artery function, and inflammation.

According to studies, small, dense LDL particles may increase the risk of heart disease more than larger LDL particles. People who ate nuts had a significant decrease in small LDL particles and an increase in large LDL particles, as well as "good" HDL cholesterol levels, according to one study on the Mediterranean diet.

People with normal or high cholesterol were randomly assigned to eat olive oil or nuts with a high-fat meal in another study. Regardless of their initial cholesterol levels, people in the nut group had better artery function and lower fasting triglycerides than those in the olive oil group.

Delicious, adaptable, and widely accessible

Nuts can be eaten whole, in the form of nut butters, or chopped and sprinkled on food. They're widely available in grocery stores and online, and come in a variety of salted, unsalted, seasoned, plain, raw, or roasted varieties.

In general, eating nuts raw or toasting them in the oven at a temperature below 350°F (175°C) is the healthiest option. The next best option is dry-roasted nuts, but avoid nuts that have been roasted in vegetable or seed oils. Nuts can be stored at room temperature, making them convenient for on-the-go snacking and travel. If you plan on storing them for an extended period of time, a refrigerator or freezer will keep them fresher.

Last Word

Nuts can help your health in a variety of ways, including lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well as cholesterol and triglyceride levels, if you eat them regularly. Despite its high calorie content, this nutrient-dense, high-fiber snack may aid weight loss. Nuts are a tasty addition to a healthy, balanced diet as long as they are consumed in moderation. 

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