5 Health Benefits of Eating More Nuts in Your Diet
by Blake Cooley on November 10, 2018
Nuts are very popular. In addition to being tasty and convenient, they can be enjoyed with almost any diet. These delicious snacks come in all types ranging from almonds and brazil nuts to pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts and cashews. Although each nut has a unique nutritional profile, they have similar health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits of eating more nuts in your diet.
They’re high in Fiber
Dietary fiber has many health benefits including maintaining bowel health, normalizing bowel movements, lowering blood cholesterol levels, aiding in weight loss and helping to control blood sugar levels.
Fiber keeps you feeling full and reduces the number of calories you absorb from meals. As a result, people who eat nuts have an easier time sticking to their diets because the fat and fiber content makes them less hungry.
Fiber also helps to slow the rate of digestion. This means sugar from your food enters the bloodstream slowly, resulting in a gradual rise in blood sugar that leaves you energized for longer.
They’re loaded with Antioxidants
Nuts are full of antioxidants that can help to reduce the risk of chronic disease and protect against free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules produced as a normal part of metabolism. Although free radicals can have a beneficial role in boosting immunity, having too many can lead to cell damage from oxidative stress, which increases the risk of disease.
Antioxidants such as polyphenols found in nuts can reduce oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise harm your cells.
Great source of heart-healthy fats
Studies of the typical western diet reveal the overconsumption of unhealthy fats. This comes from a diet packed with refined oils found in processed foods and saturated fats found in meat and dairy products.
Containing mostly “good” fats, nuts make a good source of a type of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that have disease prevention properties as well as the ability to lower your body’s cholesterol levels.
Great source of many nutrients
Nuts are a great source of a wide range of nutrients, which makes them ideal for people on a low-carb diet. Besides good fat and protein, nuts will also contain carbs, vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, manganese, copper phosphorus and selenium, among others.
Phosphorus helps to build and maintain the strength and durability of teeth and bones, helping to prevent conditions such as osteoporosis. Selenium, on the other hand, acts as an antioxidant but also contributes to other crucial body function roles such as proper sperm motility.
Beneficial for type 2 diabetes
Since nuts are lower in carbs and don’t raise blood sugar levels much, they can lead to reduced blood sugar levels. A study at the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that women who reported eating an ounce of nuts at least five times every week or so reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by close to 30 per cent compared to those who never or rarely ate nuts.