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Nuts are most certainly nature’s way of proving that good things come in small packages.
Nuts are quite literally bite-size nutritional powerhouses that are packed with heart-healthy fats, minerals, protein and vitamins.
We know nuts are high in fat and calories, but as long as you don’t eat handfuls and avoid the ones coated in sugary, salty toppings, adding nuts to your diet can help your health.
So, let’s get the lowdown on what’s good when it comes to nuts.
Almonds are a great choice because that are high in Vitamin E, a nutrient that feeds your skin and keeps it looking plump and healthy. The benefits don’t end there, because they also contain bone building calcium making them perfect for anyone who doesn’t eat dairy products. Add almonds to your cereal and make sure you keep the skin on because it is full of the heart-protecting compounds flavonoids.
Talk to most people and they will know someone with a deficient thyroid. If this is you, you need Brazil nuts in your life. Brazil nuts are a fantastic good source selenium, the mineral that is needed to produce the active thyroid hormone that keeps you in good health. Selenium also helps keep your immune system strong and just three or four nuts a day are all you need for good mineral levels.
You might not know this, but raw chestnuts are a fabulous source of Vitamin C. They also have the lowest calorie and fat count of all nuts but are still rich in starchy carbs and fibre. While they are lower in protein than other nuts they do still contain B vitamins including B6 which helps keep hormones balanced and healthy. Fresh and roasted chestnuts make a healthy snack and ground chestnut flour is delicious when used for baking.
Macadamias are delicious and found in many dishes, and while they have a high fat content this is the healthy mono-unsaturated variety type. They are a rich source of and contain magnesium, calcium and potassium, so enjoy them but in small amounts.
If you want to keep your heart in tip-top condition, the mere pecan can be your friend because they are full of compounds that help lower cholesterol levels. They are also antioxidant-rich and contain oleic acid, the healthy fat you also get in avocado and olives. If you get tired, you’ll benefit from snacking on pecans as they are crammed full of energy giving Vitamin B3, so enjoy.
We love walnuts because they are jam-packed with cancer fighting antioxidants and are a brilliant source of mono-unsaturated, heart-friendly fats. If that wasn’t enough, they omega-3 rich so great for a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle.
So, the next time you are in the supermarket, add some nuts to your basket and snack the healthy way.