Nuts are good sources of fat, fiber and protein; studies have shown that nuts provide various health benefits especially in regards to reducing heart disease risk factors. Here are few essential nuts and their health benefits.
1. Almonds – Almonds are tree nuts containing a number of beneficial nutrients. Various studies have found that eating an almond-rich diet can reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol which is particularly harmful to heart health. Almonds are loaded with antioxidants that protect your cells from oxidative stress that majorly contributes to ageing and disease.
Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E that helps lowers the risk of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Almonds are low in carbs and rich in healthy fats, protein, and fiber that helps reduce blood pressure levels. Almonds are effective for weight loss as well.
2. Pistachios – Pistachio (pista) nuts are not just tasty, but are super healthy. They are a good source of fiber, protein, antioxidants, and vitamin. Loaded with nutrients, pistachios are important for several functions like regulating blood sugar levels, the formation of hemoglobin, reducing the risk of cancer.
As it is rich in fiber, pistachios improve cholesterol levels; 56-84 grams of pistachios a day may help increase “good” cholesterol levels. Also, pistachios help improve other heart disease risk factors, including blood pressure, weight and oxidative status.
3. Walnuts – Walnuts are an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which helps improve various heart disease risk factors. Various uses of walnuts are-
• They reduce bad cholesterol
• They may reduce inflammation, which is root for various diseases like type 2 diabetes.
• Promotes healthy gut and good overall health
• May reduce the risk of some cancers like breast and prostate cancer
• Walnuts reduce appetite and help reduce weight
• Reduce blood pressure
• Improves brain functioning
4. Cashews – Though cashews are lowest-fiber nuts, they are packed with vitamins (E, K, B6), minerals (copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, selenium oil), and antioxidants that are good for maintaining proper bodily function.
Few interesting studies showed that cashew-rich diet might increase blood sugar in people with metabolic syndrome. Apart from diabetes, they are good at improving cholesterol levels, body weight, and improve blood lipid levels.
5. Apricots – The dried version of orange fruit is full of antioxidants which are good for your skin. Loaded with vitamin A, apricots could help to improve vision. Not just this, apricots helps keep the immune system in check.
6. Hazelnuts – Hazelnuts are a good source of nutrients, such as vitamin E. They may also reduce heart disease risk factors.
Hazelnuts are not just nutritious, they help reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides. It also lowers inflammation and improves blood vessel function. Few studies showed that hazelnut diets improve cholesterol levels and increase the amount of vitamin E in the blood.
7. Peanuts – Peanuts have similar nutrient profiles and health benefits as other nuts mentioned. Peanuts help improve heart disease risk factors.
One study found that women who take peanut butter more than five times a week had lower rates of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, peanuts reduce the risk of asthma and allergic disease rates in children (of mothers who had peanuts during pregnancy).