BENEFIT OF NUTS
Nuts are a tasty, convenient treat that can be enjoyed on all kinds of diets — from keto to vegan. Despite being high in fat, they have many impressive health and weight benefits. Here are the top 4 health benefits of eating nuts.
Nuts are seed kernels that are widely used in cooking or eaten on their own as a snack. They’re high in fat and calories. They contain a hard, inedible outer shell that usually needs to be cracked open to release the kernel inside. Fortunately, you can buy most nuts from the store already shelled and ready to eat.
Great Source of Many Nutrients
Nuts are highly nutritious. One ounce (28 grams) of mixed nuts contains calories, proteins, fat (just the right amount you need, and the good type of fat too), carbs, fibres and many more vitamins and minerals your body needs. Some nuts are higher in certain nutrients than others. For instance, just one Brazil nut provides more than 100% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for selenium. The carb content of nuts is highly variable. Hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts have fewer than 2 grams of digestible carbs per serving, while cashews have almost 8 digestible carbs per serving. That being said, nuts are generally an excellent food to eat on a low-carb diet.
Loaded With Antioxidants
Nuts are antioxidant powerhouses. Antioxidants, including the polyphenols in nuts, can combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals — unstable molecules that may cause cell damage and increase disease risk. One study found that walnuts have a greater capacity to fight free radicals than fish. Research shows that the antioxidants in walnuts and almonds can protect the delicate fats in your cells from being damaged by oxidation. In one study in 13 people, eating walnuts or almonds increased polyphenol levels and significantly reduced oxidative damage, compared to a control meal.
May Aid Weight Loss
Though they’re considered a high-calorie food, research suggests that nuts may help you lose weight. One large study assessing the effects of the Mediterranean diet found that people assigned to eat nuts lost an average of 2 inches (5 cm) from their waists — significantly more than those given olive oil. Almonds have consistently been shown to promote weight loss rather than weight gain in controlled studies. Some research suggests that pistachios aid weight loss as well. In one study in overweight women, those eating almonds lost nearly three times as much weight and experienced a significantly greater decrease in waist size compared to the control group.
May Reduce Inflammation
Nuts have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is your body’s way of defending itself from injury, bacteria, and other potentially harmful pathogens. However, chronic, long-term inflammation can cause damage to organs and increase disease risk. Research suggests that eating nuts may reduce inflammation and promote healthy aging. In a study on the Mediterranean diet, people whose diets were supplemented with nuts experienced a 35% and 90% decrease in the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), respectively.