A handful of salty, delicious nuts – is there anything better? Whether your favorite nuts are almonds, walnuts, cashews, or any other type, they’re the perfect snack food. They’re also one of the most versatile of foods; nuts can liven up a variety of dishes or they can be eaten all by themselves for a tasty, healthy treat.
Good News for Dieters
Once upon a time, dieters were advised to give up nuts if they wanted to take off the pounds. However, a new report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed 31 separate studies on consuming nuts and found that those who eat them regularly lose more weight than those who shun nuts.
Losing weight is just one of the health benefits that you can receive from eating nuts; here are a few more reasons why you should incorporate them into your diet:
- Stress relief – Eating a handful of cashews isn’t going to magically make all of your stress go away, but there are nutrients in several types of nuts which can help to protect your body during periods of acute stress.
- Heart health – Many nuts contain a dose of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, as well as a healthy dose of fiber which can be very beneficial for your heart. Specific nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews can also help to reduce your LDL cholesterol levels.
- Lung health – Pistachios have been found to offer some protection from lung cancer according to new preliminary research. Researchers involved in the study believe that the gamma-tocopherol, which is a type of vitamin E found in nuts, may be beneficial in preventing cancer.
- Lower cholesterol – Walnuts in particular are very effective in helping to lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol while helping to balance out the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol levels.
- Brain health – As we mentioned earlier, nuts are very high in vitamin E, which makes them a type of “brain food.” Peanuts shine in this particular category, even though they’re technically legumes, not peanuts. Peanuts are also loaded with the B vitamin folate, which has an effect on neural health.
- Reproductive health in men – Studies have suggested that two handfuls of nuts each day can improve the quality of sperm, including increased vitality and motility.
The Nuts and Bolts of Healthy Eating
There are a lot of excellent health reasons to eat nuts on a regular basis, and that’s not even counting the fact that they’re delicious and require no advanced preparation. If you’d like to learn more about the effects of proper nutrition on the body, contact your chiropractic team. They’ll be able to help you understand how important the foods we eat are for our overall health.
Photo credit: Walnuts by Pauline Mak. Used under a Creative Commons license.
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