Nuts are nature’s best gift from god. These small packages contain immense nutritional benefits as well as established health benefits.
Why should you count on nuts in your diet?
As per the best dietitian in Delhi, Dt.Nmami, nuts are packed with protein, fiber, and essential fats and are thus the seasons’ best buy. Just 30 grams of unsalted nuts make for an immunity-boosting snack and contribute vitamins and minerals in the diet.
28-30 grams of nuts contain:
- Calories: 173
- Protein: 5 grams
- Fat: 16 grams
- Carbohydrates: 6 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin E: 12% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 16% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 13% of the RDI
- Copper: 23% of the RDI
- Manganese: 26% of the RDI
- Selenium: 56% of the RDI
There are some nutrients which are present in high amounts in some nuts, for example, consuming just one Brazil nut provides more than 100% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for selenium.
The carbohydrate content of nuts is highly variable like certain nuts like hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts contain less than 2 grams of digestible carbohydrates per serving, while cashews have almost 8 digestible carbohydrates per serving.
Therefore, all nuts have different nutrition credentials and offer varied health benefits.
For those who avoid dairy, almonds are a good option to fulfill calcium requirements for stronger bones. Almonds are also high in vitamin-E which acts as an anti-oxidant and improves skin conditions. The skin of almonds contains heart-healthy flavonoids so try to consume them with their skin intact to get some extra heart benefits. Evidence from studies shows that almonds have been shown to reduce inflammation in type II diabetic population. Almonds, if consumed as a part of low-calorie diets helps in weight loss. They have also shown to reduce blood pressure in overweight and obese people.
Pistachio nuts are not only fun to eat but are also super healthy. They are one of the most vitamin B6-rich foods. This vitamin is important for various body functions like blood glucose regulation and hemoglobin formation. Pistachio nuts are also rich in potassium. They contain more potassium than half of one large banana.
Among other nuts, pistachios contain the highest amount of lutein and zeaxanthin. Both of these antioxidants are important for eye health and prevent your eyes from age-related macular degeneration. The antioxidants present in pistachios are easily accessible in the stomach. Therefore, they are most likely to be absorbed during digestion.
The term nutritious food is more of an understatement for walnuts. Walnuts contain the highest amount of antioxidant capacity than any other nut. The activity comes from vitamin E, melatonin and polyphenols. Studies have shown that eating a walnut rich meal prevents the oxidation of LDL, therefore, preventing atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in coronary arteries).
Walnuts are the only nuts containing omega-3 fatty acids. Just 28 grams of this wonder nut provides the body with 2.5 grams of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Observational studies have consumption of each gram of ALA lowers your risk of dying from heart disease by 10%.
Although cashews contain a low amount of fiber and are high in carbohydrate content, they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The antioxidants include vitamins K, E, and B6 along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium. Studies have shown that the consumption of cashews lowers your risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. Due to the presence of copper and iron in them, cashews are important for blood health. They help to keep the blood vessels and nerves healthy.
Brazil nuts are a good source of healthy fats, protein, fiber, and selenium. They are the richest source of selenium. Selenium plays an important role in reproduction, metabolism, and immunity. A single brazil nut provides 68 to 91 mcg of selenium therefore, it fulfills the daily recommendation of selenium. A deficiency of selenium can cause hormonal imbalances affecting sleep, mood, concentration, and metabolism. Obtaining enough selenium from the diet helps to regulate the thyroid gland.
Macadamia nuts contain high amounts of healthy fats and may help those trying to lose weight. It also contains good amounts of dietary fiber, protein, manganese, thiamin, and copper. More than 75% of fats present in these nuts are in the form of monounsaturated fatty acids. The type of MUFAs present in these nuts is specific and is not readily available in other food items.
Evidence from studies shows that tree nuts such as macadamia nuts help to improve glycemic control in type II diabetic patients. Macadamia nuts contain fats and protein so they keep hunger at bay states top nutritionist in delhi. They also prevent weight gain and the possible reason for this effect might be the presence of palmitoleic acid, monounsaturated fat also called omega-7.
People who are not allergic to nuts should definitely enjoy them in whichever form they like. However, remember that they are not a magic food item for treating health conditions unless complimentary lifestyle changes are made.