I know some people can sometimes be turned away from nuts because of their reputation as a high calorie and high fat snack but don’t let that scare you away from this delicious treat. As with everything, in moderation nuts are a great on the go snack that will give you energy and help you feel full throughout the day. Now, if that’s not enough reason to eat nuts then here are a few more:
- Omega-3 fatty acids– Many nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Diets with a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids also help manage irregular heart rhythms, which can lead to heart attack. Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish and some greens and seeds, but nuts are the best vegetarian source.
- Fiber– All nuts contain fiber, which can help you lower your cholesterol. Fiber also helps you feel fuller longer so it is a great snack in the middle of the day to keep you energized.
- Vitamin E– Vitamin E is thought to help stop the development of plaque in the arteries. The development of plaque can lead to chest pain, coronary artery disease or a heart attack. Vitamin E is also essential for healthy skin, proper immune function, DNA repair and other metabolic functions.
- Plant Sterols– Some nuts contain plant sterols which can help you lower your cholesterol. Plant sterols are often added to margarine and orange juice for the extra health benefits but are found naturally in nuts.
- L-arginine– L-arginine is an amino acid that has been shown to improve blood vessel function. Specifically, by helping the blood vessels relax, allowing for better blood flow and reducing the risk for blood clots. It has also been shown to boost immune function, promote wound healing and manage existing cardiovascular disease. Walnuts, peanuts and almonds are especially high in L-arganine.
“Eating nuts for heart health.” Mayo Clinic . N.p., 4 february
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Valentine, Jennifer, ed. “Health benefits of nuts .” One Green Planet . N.p., 2 Mar 2011.