Nuts and Your Health – Must Know!

Noël 2012Do you love nuts? If yes, what kind of nuts is your most favourite? Do you eat a handful of it every single day, weekly, or monthly? Do you know that eating nuts can be good for your health? Discover how nuts can help you become healthier when taken as part of your balanced diet!

Health Benefits of Eating Nuts

People who are eating nuts regularly have lower levels of low density lipoprotein or more commonly known as the “bad” cholesterol. An increase in this substance is one of the most common and detrimental causes of heart disease.

Nuts can also help protect you from developing blood clots, which may lead to a heart attack. They likewise help improve the lining of your blood vessels, especially the arteries.

Healthy Substances in Nuts
• Unsaturated fats that helps lower and control bad cholesterol levels
• Omega 3 fatty acids that controls risky heart rhythms that may cause heart attacks
• Fibers that also lowers bad cholesterol levels and make you feel always full, thus helping among diabetic patients
• Vitamin E and other antioxidants that prevents development of plaques, which can narrow the lumen of blood vessels, thus avoiding chest pains and heart attacks
• Sterols that reduces cholesterol levels as well
• L-arginine that makes your artery walls more flexible and reduces risks of clots

Type and Amount of Nuts That You Should Eat

Any kind of nuts will do! All of them are generally healthy. But, walnuts appear to be the most studied type. It contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Macadamia, hazelnuts, pecans, and almonds are quite heart healthy. A peanut, which is actually a legume, is just relatively healthy.

As for the amount, almost 80% of its content is fat. Even if it is the healthy type, it still contains calories. You must take in moderate amounts. You may use nuts as an alternative for eggs and dairy products.
Instead of using margarine on your bread, try using a tablespoon of nut spread. Choose raw or dry roasted nuts.

Researches and Updates

The American Heart Association advice people to eat at least four servings of unsalted nuts weekly. Another study also confirmed that nut eaters are generally healthier as compared to non-nut eaters. They weigh less; have lower blood pressure, reduced risk of diabetes and other related metabolic diseases.

According to the National Institutes for Health in USA, nuts are very unique when it comes to their composition. Because of the variety it has, they have a huge impact on health. Epidemiologic studies have linked intake of nuts with a decreased number not just of heart disease cases but also gallstones among men and women, and diabetes, mostly in women. Though not yet well documented, nuts are also known to be helpful in treating inflammation and cancer.

Distribution of nuts is now also being regulated in USA. Majority of almonds being sold in America are pasteurized, but can still be considered raw. You can still get raw almonds, but it has to be purchased from vendors selling small amounts and have waivers concerning the pasteurization requirement.

photo credit: Noix via photopin (license)

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