Nuts are healthy… nuts are unhealthy…nuts are healthy…nuts are unhealthy…plucking out the petals of a rose will not give you a satisfactory answer to this debate. The confusion about whether nuts are healthy or unhealthy in understandable as some people tell you they are great snacks and some will tell you they contain a high level of cholesterol.
So, what actually are these nuts? Healthy or unhealthy? Should you eat it or should you avoid it? The answer is nuts can be healthy as well as unhealthy depending on which one you are talking about. Read on to know the healthy nuts from the unhealthy ones:
The healthiest nuts
If you’re looking for nuts that can improve your overall health; then, you search ends at almonds. Almonds are low in calories and contain a high amount of proteins. They are also filled with Omega-3 fatty acids, which provide numerous health benefits and prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, and stroke.
The next in line are the cashews and pistachios. These nuts are rich in special nutrients, which can promote your overall health. But, make sure you eat them raw, and unroasted!
The unhealthiest nuts
The list of nuts you must avoid is topped by Macadamia nuts. These nuts are delicious; but, definitely not a healthy choice as they contain loads of calories, and fats and less of proteins. Macadamia nuts are followed by Pecans, which are again full of fats and calories.
The best nuts for your heart
Walnuts are what you should be eating if you are worried about your heart health. Walnuts provide the best nut source of healthy fatty acids like Omega-3s, and help to improve the blood circulation, while reducing inflammation in the heart.
Walnuts also prevent the build-up of excess cholesterol in the arteries and thus, reduce the risk of stroke, heart attacks, and hypertension.
These nuts are rich in Alpha Linoleic Acid, which can help prevent arrhythmias. Arrhythmias are cardiac diseases that cause an irregular or very fast or very slow heartbeats. Walnuts are also effective in preventing oxidative stress on the heart.
Healthy nuts for your brain and intelligence
Your brain needs a rich supply of nutrients to produce some important neurochemicals, which help it function at its optimum. You can ensure your brain is supplied with these nutrients by eating peanuts!
They are loaded with several vitamins and folic acid, a mineral needed by the brain to perform its cognitive functions.
It helps to prevent the age-related cognitive decline and reduces the risk of disorders like Alzheimer’s disease that affect the brain functions such as memory, concentration, learning, and attention span. Eating more peanuts will also give your body more of healthy fats, vitamin E, and fibers.
If your general health is poor and you lack strength and stamina, you need to eat lots of almonds. Almonds are loaded with healthy fats and fiber. They not only help to improve your digestive functions, but also reduce the blood sugar levels, and cholesterol.
They also help to eliminate toxins from the blood thus protecting the body from potential damage. Almonds also contain Vitamin E, which is essential to fight inflammation that can trigger a host of illnesses like diabetes, infections, ulcers, and wrinkles.
Best snacking nuts
Snacking is one habit that is too difficult to give up. It is also the worst habit that makes you put on considerable weight. If you are looking for healthy snacking options, then peanuts are probably the best ones for you.
Just a handful of peanuts is enough to help you feel full. These are also one of the best low-calorie nuts. But, just remember to avoid the salted versions.
Men above the age of 50 years are prone to develop prostate diseases like benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer. These conditions can be prevented by including Brazil nuts in your diet.
These nuts protect against prostate cancer with its rich mineral content of selenium. But, since Brazil nuts are high in calories, avoid eating them in excess. You need not worry about your selenium needs as a handful of Brazil nuts are enough to give your body the required amount of this mineral.
Pecans are another good choice for men as they are full of a natural steroid, beta-sitosterol. It can help relieve the symptoms of benign hyperplasia of prostate such as increased frequency of urination, pain while passing urine, and an incomplete emptying of the bladder.
Healthy nuts for women
Women have a higher requirement of certain nutrients like folic acid during pregnancy. Hence, pregnant women should eat peanuts to ensure their body is supplied with a good amount of natural folic acid, which can keep their baby safe from birth defects.
What turns the ‘Good’ nuts into the ‘Bad’ nuts
The problem with most nuts is though they are healthy in their natural form, they can actually cause a lot of harm due to the processes they have to undergo while making them tastier. Here’s a list of different forms of nuts you must avoid to get the best benefits from them.
- Nuts roasted in hydrogenated oils
- Nuts that have passed through a very high temperature as this can destroy most of the nutrients, which make them healthy in the first place.
- Nuts coated with sugar like caramel and toffee.
- Nuts that come in plastic tubs.
- Nuts mixed with unhealthy foods like yogurt-covered raisins, chocolate pieces, high-fructose corn syrup, or candy.
- Beer nuts that are covered with a salty or sweet glaze, which just adds empty calories.
Nuts have been garnering a lot of attention lately. People have finally recognized that nuts provide numerous health benefits and can be terrific sources of healthy fatty acids, minerals, proteins, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
Well… Some nuts can be dangerous for your health. Since you are now armed with the information about which nuts are healthy and which are not, you will be able to make smart choices and stay healthy.