Superfood on spotlight: Nuts

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Nuts! My most favorite treat… almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts…. I love them all!

I always bring a big pack of raw peanuts in shell to our surf trips and share them with my friends. It’s so hard for me to don’t eat them all by myself.

So let’s have a look how nuts may benefit our health.

You can enjoy them as a delicious and highly nutritious snack packed with healthy fats (omega 3 fatty acids), protein and fiber. They have a wide range of antioxidants and are full of vitamins A, C and E. Nuts are also rich in calcium, copper, magnesium and potassium.

Health benefits of nuts:

  • protect against stress, heart disease, prostate and lung cancer
  • improve brain health, men’s reproductive health
  • lower cholesterol

A lot of women is afraid of them because their high energy level. But did you know that up to 20% of calories in nuts are not absorbed in your digestive system because of the fiber in nuts, so don’t let the high amount of calories and fat deter you from eating nuts. As always moderation is a key. Handful of nuts daily is great for your overall health and also can help you manage your weight.

Raw unsalted or dry roasted nuts are the healthiest option. Avoid salted nuts because of their high level of sodium. Honey roasted nuts have added fat and sugar, so aren’t as healthy. Oil roasted nuts have more fat and 10% more calories. Nuts roasted in saturated fats will carry those fats into your system so try to avoid them. You can also roast nuts at home by dry roasting in the oven.

Almonds

are the healthiest and most nutritious option of the bunch. Almonds contain more calcium than any other nut. Plus they have a high level of vitamin E, fibre and potassium. Handful of raw almonds helps lower your cholesterol and maintain the level of blood sugar. They are great food for your overall health!

Hazelnuts

are rich in antioxidants, vitamins C, E and A, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and beta carotene. They contain the high amount of monosaturated fat and some of the lowest amount of saturated fat. The are high in fiber but low in protein.

Pecans

have a high level of antioxidants, vitamin A, beta carotene and healthy fats.

Peanuts

are one of the most favorites kind of nuts and they are also surprisingly nutritious. Roasted peanuts have up to 22% more antioxidants. Peanuts contain high amount of protein, they are high in B vitamins (especially folate), selenium, magnesium and vitamin E. They are higher in saturated and polysaturated fat as well than most nuts. Peanuts are a great choice for vegetarians, who can come up short on folate. I just love peanuts in shell. I take them with me everywhere. It is great nutritious snack and they kinda remind me the atmosphere of Xmas.

Peanut butter is actually higher in vitamin E, potassium, protein, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats than peanuts. But choose your peanut butter wisely, always prefer products with no trans fats and low sugar and salt content or make your own at home.

Pistachios

contain the highest level of lutein and zeaxanthin – antioxidants which are great for your eye health and selenium which improve your immune system. They are also rich in vitamin C, fiber, protein, copper, calcium and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They are the lowest calorie nuts so they may help you manage your weight.

Walnuts

have the highest amount of good polyunsaturated fat and are the only nut that has a high level of omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts also contain an essential amino acid that can help fight high blood pressure. Walnuts are rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin A, B vitamins, selenium, protein, magnesium, and copper. They help you to lower LDL cholesterol, repair damage to the heart after heart attack and lower risk of blood clots.

So don’t be scared of nuts and enjoy them daily in moderation. Yum!

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