Nuts are among the healthiest natural foods and the best snacking option. They are well known for centuries for their health-restoring properties. They can be enjoyed in all kinds of diets. They offer great taste as well. Nuts should be a significant part of your everyday diet. About 20 to 30 g or a handful of nuts per day is enough to maximize their benefits. But you should not take them in excess. Nuts are very well known for the benefits they provide to a person trying to lose weight. They are very filling and keeps hunger pangs away, which helps in reducing the consumption of unnecessary calories. Here are 6 good reasons to enjoy nuts daily.
Due to their fatty acid profile, nutritional properties and bioactive constituents, nuts have been found to be useful in preventing heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, hypertension, obesity and asthma. They also work as an anti-ageing food and make skin and hair healthier. They also aid vision and increase mental alertness.
Also read: Can Fruits & Nuts Make you Lose Weight?
Nuts have special amino acids (building blocks of protein) that control appetite and prevent cravings. They keep hunger pangs away and keeps you full for a longer time. Adding a few almonds to a low-calorie diet can enhance weight loss.
Fats present in nuts and seeds are a combination of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). MUFAs reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels. Certain PUFAs are essential fatty acids that are not produced in our body and need to be supplemented through our diets. Diets which are excessively processed and refined do not provide adequate quantities of these fats, and this deficit can lead to a number of health problems. Including nuts in your diet ensures you get these essential fats in a natural way.
Nuts are a good source of plant protein, particularly for vegetarians. In addition, nuts also contain essential amino acids, which are necessary for the synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain, and thereby help in alleviating depression and improving mental alertness.
Nuts are a storehouse of anti-oxidants like Vitamin E, zinc and selenium that help prevent degenerative diseases like cancer and heart ailments. They are also rich in special plant chemicals-phytochemicals and phytosterols that help lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
Other nutrients that make nuts nutritious.
- Calcium and magnesium help in improving bone health and preventing osteoporosis
- Potassium helps manage hypertension (high blood pressure) and prevents arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats)
- Copper is needed for synthesis of hemoglobin and also helps manage hypertension
- Vitamin B and folic acid decrease homocysteine levels in blood and protect from cardiovascular diseases. Folic acid also helps in preserving nerve cells and delays the ageing process
- Choline helps in preventing fat deposits in the liver
Eat them right
Lightly roasting or having nuts just as they are, delivers best results. When exposed to high temperatures (when fried), they lose most of their goodness-vitamins E, B, and essential fatty acids. Soaking makes them more digestible and helps in enhancing their nutrient absorption. Children, less than four years of age and the elderly should take full advantage of nuts in their ground form because they could choke on whole nuts.
Replace your oily snacks with roasted nuts or add them to your breakfast. Coat them with honey or jaggery to satisfy your sweet tooth or bind them into various recipes.
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