Many of us might think of nuts as being unhealthy because of the many tasty but heavily salted and processed nut snacks that exist in the marketplace.
In fact, nuts remain a healthy option for all of us, just so long as we get them from the right places. If you buy nuts from one of Australia’s largest nuts wholesalers, for instance, you’re more likely to get “the good stuff” where health is concerned.
Just what are these health benefits that nuts bring, anyway? Whether you eat almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, macadamias, hazelnuts, or something else, there’s a lot to love about these things.
1. They’re Very Nutritious
Let’s start with some real concrete evidence in the form of nutritional value.
Nuts are very rich in protein, fiber, vitamin E, and various minerals that you need daily, namely magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and selenium.
They have anywhere from 16 to 56 percent of the daily recommended intake of these minerals.
As for those who fear carbs, not all nuts are heavy in carbs, as it happens. For instance, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts have fewer than 2 grams of carbs per serving, unlike many others which do have 6 grams or more.
Cashews have up to 8 grams per serving, which is among the highest.
2. They Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Some nuts, such as pistachios, can lower cholesterol and triglycerides in people who are obese and/or have diabetes. This is thought to be due to the fact that nuts are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Other nuts that are known to have a positive impact on cholesterol include walnuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts.
It should be noted of course that this is when consuming nuts in their natural form as opposed to any that have undergone processing with added sugars and salt like the “honey-roasted” variety.
3. They’re Packed with Antioxidants
Many people are encouraged to get more antioxidants into their diets because of their positive impacts on stress and related problems.
Nuts contain polyphenols, which are effective in helping to combat the stress of various kinds, as well as possibly fighting cell damage that otherwise would increase our risk of disease.
Walnuts, almonds, and whole pecans, in particular, have been found to be especially effective and beneficial in this regard.
Research has shown, for example, that antioxidants found in both walnuts and almonds can work to protect the vulnerable fats in your cells from oxidation damage.
4. They Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation is a normal part of your body’s immune response, but it can become a problem when inflammation is chronic because it can damage your organs and raise the risk against you for various diseases.
When nuts are a regular part of the diet, it has been shown that people can experience a huge reduction in inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein and interleukin.
The former can be reduced by up to 35 percent, and the latter by up to 90 percent.
5. They May Lower Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes
Walnuts and almonds have both in particular been linked to better overall heart health.
By helping to reduce cholesterol, as well as a reduction in body fat, these and other nuts are offering a very valuable contribution to averting life-threatening heart attacks and strokes.
Let’s be clear, nuts are not a miracle cure, nor should anyone switch to an all-nut diet, but as part of a balanced and healthy diet, they have a lot to bring to the party.