Crack a Handful of Healthy Nuts
Crack a handful of HEALTHY nuts everyday with your loved ones this festive season.
A bowl of nuts ready with a nutcracker is very much part of Christmas festivity and deco in any home. Aside from promoting family togetherness, the action of cracking a nut and enjoying it comes with many health benefits too.
All nuts have an inherent health benefit as they high in:
- ‘Good’ fats - yes they are a good source of our primarily ‘good’ fats - unsaturated fat.
- Protein - Nuts are also a good source of protein and especially helpful with a vegan or vegetarian diet.
- Vitamins and minerals - Nuts are a good source of many vitamins and minerals and fibre too. Though the nutritional value of each nut varies, most are good sources of B and E vitamins, which aid in a number of things ranging from brain development and function to skin health.
- Weight Reduction - nuts also take longer to digest than other food, thus helping you to feel full longer and eat fewer calories throughout the day – helping your weight reduction routine.
Be mindful though to limit your consumption as they are high in calories. One handful can easily provide you with up to one third of your recommended daily intake of fat.
Get your bowl of walnuts, brazil nuts, hazel nuts, cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios and peanuts ready on your coffee table this festive season and enjoy the following health benefits:
- Walnuts contain a number of neuroprotective compounds, including vitamin E, folate, melatonin, omega-3 fats, and antioxidants and helps to support brain health, including increasing inferential reasoning in young adults.
- Almonds are rich in fibre, magnesium, protein, potassium, calcium, and zinc. And help to improve both heart health and blood cholesterol levels. They are also a good source of protein.
- Cashew nuts are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and copper, and help to relieve various conditions like constipation, insomnia, headaches and muscle cramps, as well as regulating the immune system and supporting brain function.
- Brazil nuts have exceptionally high levels of selenium which can help prevent coronary artery disease, liver cirrhosis, and cancers.
- Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats - the type of fat that is emphasized in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Peanuts are good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese.
- Pistachios have vitamins, minerals, fats and protein that help to promote a healthy heart, weight management, protection against diabetes and hypertension, and improved digestion.
- Hazel nuts have vitamins and minerals that promote heart health. They are also a good source of fibre and contain a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help to reduce LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) and increase HDL cholesterol(the “good” kind).
The health benefits of nuts have been substantiated by studies that have shown that people who eat at least 20g of nuts a day have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases. A study led by researchers from Imperial College London and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, published in the journal BMC Medicine, revealed that 20g a day - equivalent to a handful - can cut people's risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30 percent, their risk of cancer by 15 percent, and their risk of premature death by 22 percent.