Nuts are proof that the best things in life come in small packages. Nuts are a critical part of a healthy diet. These bite-sized snacks are packed with heart-friendly oils, protein, and essential nutrients. They add a delicious crunch to your everyday salads and texture to bread and pastries. Although nuts are generally healthy, some are better than others. And to know which nuts are worthy to be added to everyday meals, continue reading below:
The Best Nuts for Your Health
Almonds have the lowest calories among all nuts. This type of nut contains the highest amount of calcium that any other nut. Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects from internal inflammation, cognitive decline, skin aging, and oxidative stress. Vitamin E also neutralizes the damages caused by free radicals that could trigger cancer!
Almonds are high in fiber that speeds up weight loss and promotes a healthy heart. We recommend buying organic almonds to maintain optimum health!
Brazil nuts are incredibly high in selenium. Studies show that selenium protects from prostate cancer. A single Brazil nut will satisfy a day’s worth of selenium. Because it is high in selenium, do not eat more than a few! Studies show that excess selenium may cause diabetes. An ounce serving of Brazil nuts contains about 190 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 19 grams of fat.
Brazil nuts are also high in fiber! Fiber helps keep the cardiovascular system healthy. This nutrient also eliminates toxic buildup in the guts that cause gastrointestinal diseases.
Walnuts contain the highest level of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids of all nut varieties! This nutrient-dense nut packs concentrated amounts of alpha linoleic acid or ALA. Studies show that ALA protects the body from heart diseases, including irregular heartbeat and heart attacks. Omega-3n fatty acid also neutralizes internal inflammation and aids in better cognitive functions.
A Spanish study reported that walnuts neutralize free radical damage and inflammation within the veins as effectively as olive oil. The study noted that consuming at least 8 walnuts a day is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of heart disease! An ounce of walnuts packs 18 grams of beneficial fats, 4 grams of protein, and 185 calories.
The Worst Nuts For Your Health
Macadamia nuts are not as healthy as other nuts because they contain more calories and fewer proteins that promote muscle growth. Worse, macadamia nuts contain the highest amounts of fats than all nut varieties. An ounce of macadamia nuts yields about 21 grams of fat, 200 calories, and 2 grams of protein.
Just like macadamia nuts, pecan nuts are oilier and more calorific than other nuts. An ounce of pecan contains about 3 grams of protein, 20 grams of fat, and over 200 calories. That said, pecans and macadamias are still nutritious but you have to watch your portions. These are the type of nuts you have to consume sparingly. How these nuts are prepared can also affect their nutrient value. If the nuts are roasted using unhealthy oils, they are not suitable to people vulnerable to heart disease.