How Nuts Can Offer Some Great Health Benefits

Updated: Feb 4

I have fond memories of nuts - not the "crazy" folks in my life, the edible kind. Nuts are sprinkled liberally throughout my past and I still enjoy them nearly every day. As a kid, I sometimes snuck peanut butter by the spoonful. For my birthday, I'd always request German #ChocolateCake, which has pecans in the frosting. As an adult, my on the go snack of choice is Kar's Unsalted Raisin Almond Cashew Mix. And I've always wanted to roast chestnuts on an open fire... well, that's something I can look forward to.


Nuts, in moderation, offer an array of health benefits. They're a nutrient-rich food, packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, monounsaturated fats, and omega-3 fats (both healthy fats).


Different types of nuts have different nutrient profiles and health benefits, so eating a variety of nuts can improve overall diet quality and health.


The research related to nuts and heart #health was strong enough to convince the US Food and Drug Administration to issue a qualified health claim allowing manufacturers to print this statement on packages of peanuts and most tree nuts (#almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts, and #walnuts): "Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease."


Several studies show that nuts have powerful cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering effects. In fact, including nuts, such as almonds, in a heart-healthy #diet has been shown to rival the effects of cholesterol-lowering medications. Walnuts, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, lower triglycerides (a type of fat in the #bloodstream), and total cholesterol.


Research also indicates that walnuts may increase HDL ("good" cholesterol) and lower LDL ("bad" cholesterol). Pecans, as a part of a heart-healthy diet, have been shown to raise HDL and lower LDL #cholesterol and triglycerides.


Eating nuts, especially tree nuts, may decrease the risk of #metabolic syndrome, a cluster of factors that may lead to coronary #artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.


Enjoying nuts may also help maintain a healthy #weight. The protein, fat, and fiber in nuts are very filling which may help curb overeating. In fact, research shows that eating nuts is associated with lower body weight.


Enjoy a small handful of nuts as a snack or add to your favorite foods:

  • Stir ground nuts into pancake, waffle, or muffin batter.

  • Use finely ground nuts to coat chicken or fish before baking

  • Sprinkle nuts on #yogurt, #oatmeal, salads, or steamed #vegetables.

  • Spread peanut butter on apple slices or celery sticks.

  • To intensify their flavor, toast nuts in a dry skillet or bake them for five to 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

  • Bonfire anyone? I'll bring the #chestnuts.

For more information & delicious recipes on Nuts visit NutHealth.org

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Don Colbert, M.D. is broad certified in family practice and anti-aging medicine. He is the New York Times best-selling author with over 10 million books sold. He is the Medical Director of the Divine Health Wellness Center in Orlando, Florida where he was treated over 50,000 patients. Learn more at drcolbert.com

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