I still remember, whenever we get ready to go to school, our mothers would make us eat 3 to 5 almonds every day. At that time, I used to make faces and not like the concept of having nuts. But now, I understand the health benefits of nuts to maintain a lifestyle. Nuts are the powerhouse for many important nutrients like protein, fibre, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids with antioxidants. It is inexpensive, easy to store and carry without any hassles. So lets know the amazing health benefits of nuts!
Eating Nuts have been related to many health benefits like improved brain function, making our heart healthy and keeping many disorders like diabetes, heart diseases and cancer at bay. Hence let’s take a look on amazing health benefits of nuts.
Amazing Health Benefits of Nuts
1. Peanuts are a Rich Vegetarian Source of Protein!
- Peanuts or as we call Moong phalli, do not fall in the category of nuts as it is a part of legume families like beans and lentils. But it offers all the health benefits of nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans. Apart from this, it is inexpensive, easily available and is overloaded with nutrients.
- Peanuts are a rich vegetarian source of protein. It also contains folate which protects against the birth defects, makes our bone strong and protects against heart diseases and cancer.
- Peanuts contain good amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids especially oleic acid which help to lower the LDL or bad cholesterol and improve the HDL or good cholesterol levels.
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- It also contains lipid soluble antioxidant, Vitamin E which provides protection against the harmful free radicals and helps to maintain the structure of the cell membrane of the mucous membrane and the skin. Another antioxidant that peanuts contain is resveratrol that provides protection against cancers, heart diseases and Alzheimer’s diseases.
- Apart from this, nuts are packed with many B- complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and pantothenic acid which can contribute towards brain health.
- Just a handful of peanuts will help you get your dose of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Roasting or boiling of peanuts improves the taste, increase the availability of nutrients and antioxidants and also removes toxic aflatoxin.
2. Almonds are Essential for Brain Development
- Almonds or Badaam, a very popular tree nut, contains a number of nutrients that are essential for health. Almonds contain two vital nutrients, riboflavin and L- carnitine that are essential for enhancing the brain activity and decreasing the occurrence of Alzheimer’s diseases. Hence, it is essential for brain development and brain health.
- The presence of fibre and monounsaturated fats in almonds help to bring about a feeling of fullness and satisfies an appetite. This prevents overeating even if we consume a few almonds.
- The presence of potassium and very less amount of sodium in almonds help in regulating and controlling the blood pressure.
- The presence of minerals like manganese, copper and riboflavin keeps you go throughout the day as it helps in energy production without adding up the calories.
- Almonds are good for the heart as it contains monounsaturated fats, protein and potassium. Vitamin E present in almonds is antioxidant and helps to prevent the brain diseases and magnesium present helps in avoiding heart attacks.
- Almonds are a good source of alkali materials which help in improving the immune system and help to enhance the ability to chuck out the diseases and various health conditions. Hence consuming almonds in moderation is good for a healthy start every day.
3. Walnuts Lower the Risk of Coronary Heart Diseases
- Walnuts or Akhrot are not only tasty to eat but also it has an immense number of health benefits. Unlike other nuts that contain the good amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, walnuts contain polyunsaturated fatty acids with Alpha-linolenic acid or Omega 3 fatty acids in significant amounts.
- Walnuts lower the risk of Coronary heart diseases by decreasing the cholesterol levels. Walnut consumption supports brain health and enhances the cognitive and motor functioning in individual as they age. This is because of the presence of folate, Vitamin E, melatonin, Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
- If you have hair fall issues, then walnut is considered to be perfect for the hair. Walnuts contain biotin which strengthens the hair, prevents hair fall and improves the growth of the hair.
- Eat walnuts to have a glowing skin for the longer period of time. The presence of B vitamins and antioxidants in walnuts help to prevent the skin from free radical damage and prevents wrinkles. Having walnuts everyday help in fighting stress. This ability of walnuts is because of the presence of alpha-linolenic acid, fibre and antioxidants.
4. Pistachios Can Help You to Reduce Weight
- Pistachios or Pistas contain two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are not present in other nuts. These carotenoids act as antioxidants and protect the tissues from the damage caused by the free radicals. These help in decreasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is the cause of visual impairment in people.
- The calorie content of pistachios is less and the protein content is high compared to the other nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts and hazelnuts. Hence, this nut is preferred by people who go for weight management.
- Apart from these, the low saturated fats and the high unsaturated fats in pistachios act as a cherry on top for the dieters. About 30 grams of pistachios contain 3 grams of dietary fibre, quite enough amount of fibre for the digestive tract to work well.
- Pistachios can help in combating conditions like anemia. Due to the presence of high copper content in pistachios, it helps in the absorption of iron from the food sources.
- Individuals who are having diabetes can benefit from having a handful of pistachios as it contains phosphorus which is beneficial for breaking down the protein into amino acids and glucose tolerance.
5. Cashew Nuts Reduce the Risk of Stroke
- Cashew nuts or Kaaju is used in many Indian sweets and improves the texture and taste of Indian curries. But there were many apprehensions as to how much cashew nuts are we supposed to eat. Should we avoid it totally? Not really. Cashew nuts may be low in fibre, but it is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- The Vitamins that are present are Vitamin E, K and B6 along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and magnesium. Apart from these, cashew nuts also contain the high amount of fats but in the form of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
- Hence when these nuts are substituted with saturated fats or eaten in moderation, the fatty acids present in cashew nuts help in preventing the heart diseases, reduces the risk of stroke and prevents weight gain.
- The combined presence of copper and iron in the cashews help in the formation and utilization of red blood cells. This helps in keeping the immune system and blood vessels healthy and supports the health and functioning of the bones.
- The presence of two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, in the cashews, protects the eyes from the damage of the light and also reduces the incidence of cataract.
- Thus, nuts have always gained a brownie point in terms of its nutrient content but that doesn’t mean that we can gorge on nuts as we like. Moderation is always a key because of its caloric content.
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Here we have seen the amazing health benefits of nuts. However, there are people who suffer from the peanut allergy or tree nut allergy. For them having nuts or foods containing nuts can be dangerous. The best way to prevent allergies is totally avoiding nuts or foods containing nuts. Please check the label for the presence of nuts before you buy the product.
However, packed with nutrients required for good health, there is no harm in being nutty for health.