Nuts are amazingly good for you.
Do you eat nuts? Do you love filling your mouth with that sweet nut meat? People are always asking us why they should eat nuts. Sure they taste good, but what are the benefits? We’ve put together 8 reasons why you should embrace nuts and swallow a mouthful daily.
Nuts are like tiny nuclear bombs of nutrition. They have high levels of healthy fats, including monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also high in vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, manganese, and selenium. They are also relatively low in carbs, so they make a great addition to keto diets.
Nuts are antioxidant powerhouses. Think of them like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the antioxidant world. These antioxidants can combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that float around the body and can cause cell damage and increase the risk of certain diseases. One study showed that 2-8 hours after eating whole pecan, participants experienced a 26-33% drop in levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad stuff) – a major risk factor in heart disease.
Live your best life!
Seriously! According to a 2016 review article published in BMC Medicine, people who ate at least 20 grams of nuts per day (approximately a handful) were 22 percent less likely to die prematurely. We all know that premature is bad (or so we were told by our ex). So eat nuts to actually have a few extra years to enjoy that retirement you’re working so hard for.
Get a heart on!
In that same study, the people who ate the most nuts had almost a one-third decreased risk of having coronary heart disease and a 21 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared with people who ate little to no nuts. Nuts are also rich in arginine, an amino acid needed to make a molecule called nitric oxide that relaxes constricted blood vessels and eases blood flow. Eating 1 ounce of pistachios twice per day has shown a reduction in blood pressure and C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a marker of inflammation linked to heart disease. Keep your heart pumping so the rest of you can pump along with it.
Take a slice out of cancer!
A handful or more of nuts daily corresponded to a 15 percent lower risk of developing cancer compared to those who eat little to none. It’s probably because those little antioxidant ninjas are running through your body assassinating those dirty free radicals. Ninja power! Best of all, these tasty little powerhouses can be sweet, spicy, salty, or even crispy coated. It is almost a guarantee that you can find a flavor that makes you happy.
Give your scale a break!
Yes nuts have calories, but they also have fiber, protein, and fat. These can help curb your appetite and help you to eat less overall throughout the day. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders showed that overweight adults who were put on a diet with a meal plan that included almonds lost more weight and kept it off for longer compared to those who ate more carbs. Another study assessing the benefits of the Mediterranean diet found that people assigned to eat nuts lost an average o 2 inches from their waists. This was significantly more than the group given olive oil. If eating a handful of nuts can knock off some of that extra weight and make my clothes fit better, I’ll be eating nuts every day.
There are many studies that show that a diet that includes nuts can significantly lower your risk of diabetes, but it has recently been shown that nuts may even be able to help prevent prediabetes from developing into full-blown diabetes. Nuts are low in carbs, so they don’t raise blood sugar levels much. Some nuts, like pistachios, led to improved insulin resistance. Studies have even shown that eating pistachios could decrease fasting blood sugar by 9%. It’s far easier to eat some nuts than to deal with the effects of diabetes.
Fun with fiber!
Nuts are high in fiber and that brings along with it many benefits. Fiber is used by the bacteria in your gut as food. They ferment the fiber and turn it into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which improve gut health and reduce your risk of diabetes and obesity. Fiber also helps you to feel full and reduces the number of calories you absorb from meals. But probably the greatest benefit of extra fiber is it helps keep you regular (that’s pooping for those of you who don’t know), which can decrease your chance of colon cancer. Save the booties!
Adding at least a handful of nuts to your diet everyday may improve your health in a variety of way. Everything from reducing diabetes and heart disease risk, to improving your gut health and adding a few years to your life. All of this may even be accompanied by some much desired weight loss. Nuts are a flavorful addition to a healthy, balanced diet. It’s time to start listening to all those people who love a mouthful of nuts in the morning and get your freak on. Rip open a fresh nut sack and put a handful of nuts in your mouth! As we love to say, Grab A Sack!