Here’s a riddle: Which superfood is void of sugar, loaded with fiber and heart-healthy fat, and tastes just divine? Nuts! Yes, we love nuts for their properties of helping us live longer and healthier. Here are the best nuts for health that you should be snacking on.
Best Nuts for Your Brain
Walnuts are the same shape as the human brain. But this is not the only reason they are considered brain tonics; they are chock full of with Omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fatty acid that regulates brain functioning and fights signs of stress.
Did you know that peanuts aren’t nuts at all? They are legumes. But they’ve made our list because everyone calls them nuts. Peanuts are loaded with folic acid which makes them a very good choice for vegetarians and mom-to-be. This essential mineral is vital for brain development and to keep unborn babies safe from birth defects. Among this nuts nutrition is also that they are powerhouses of brain-boosting healthy fats and Vitamin E.
Best Nuts for Weight Loss
If you struggling to win the battle of the bulge, the best nuts to add to that green smoothie would be pistachios. Being extremely high in dietary fiber (3 grams per ounce) they signal feelings of fullness to your brain to curb those intense snack cravings. A scientific study by Girdwain in 2014 showed that participants on a high-pistachio diet busted belly fat more effectively.
Curvy cashew nuts can make you curvier because they are the best nuts for protein. A single serving contains 5 grams of protein, along with loads of magnesium. A 100-gram serving (about an ounce) provides 73% of your recommended daily value of magnesium (Nutrition and You, 2015). Magnesium is a key regulator of fat and carbs, to keep you from piling on the pounds.
Best Nuts for the Heart
Heart-smart nuts include almonds, which incidentally are also the lowest in calories compared to most other nuts. They are also have the highest stock in calcium, along with Vitamin E which is an anti-inflammatory agent that supports heart health.
We know we mentioned walnuts before but we are going to say that Omega-3 fatty acids are equally good at boosting circulation, bringing down inflammation and preventing cholesterol from building up in the arteries. The Alpha Linoleic Acid in walnuts has been shown to possibly help heal arrhythmia. In fact, they may be just as good as olive oil in reducing oxidative stress on your heart.
Worst Nuts to Eat
The good news is that there is nothing like a bad nut. If had in moderation, all nuts are beneficial for health. Much of what makes nuts go rogue on your health is because of how they are processed – because they are not in their natural state. All you have to do is avoid these:
- Nuts that have been salted or caramelized
- Nuts that have been roasted at high temperatures, in hydrogenated oils
- Nuts that come in plastic cans. They are usually “healthy mixes” with candy, chocolate or other high fructose foods
- Nuts that have been coated with yogurt or the like as they will contain artificial preservatives and sweeteners
Fun Fact: Nuts are our favorite TV snack after crisps, chocolate bars, fresh fruit, sandwiches and ice-cream.
Health Tip: Make nuts your first choice followed by fresh fruit.