Nuts have been maligned as of late as a potentially diet-busting calorie bomb.
Now, if you simply compare numbers to numbers with a few other snacks you might enjoy, you’ll likely see that nuts may, in fact, have a higher fat content and calorie count.
However, that being said, there is new and mounting evidence that the potential health benefits of nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews far outweigh the limited – and often misguided – negative attributes of nuts.
Current estimates contend that tree nuts account for less than 10% of Americans antioxidant intake. That’s unfortunate, because a handful of walnuts or macadamias is a great way to provide your diet with boost of hunger-quelling protein and fiber – as well as healthful, anti-inflammatory omega-3 acids.
Here are a few of our favorite nuts – and a few reasons we think you should like them, too.
Walnuts are so much more than a brownie ingredient! Crack open a handful for particularly powerful dose of healthy unsaturated fats and omega-3 acids.
We have a gut feeling you may already know that almonds are packed with fiber – and that’s great for your gut! Additionally, studies are suggesting links between almond intake and lower cholesterol levels.
Want to boost your brainpower? Who doesn’t? Try adding cashews to your daily diet. These crescent-shaped tree nuts are packed with zinc and iron – and a one-ounce serving of cashews contain nearly one-quarter of your daily need for magnesium, which has been shown to improve memory and help to stave off age-related memory loss.
Interested in natural cancer prevention? Just ONE Brazil nut contains greater than 100% of the recommended daily intake of a mineral called selenium, which has been linked to prevention of cancers including bone, breast and prostate. Go easy on these, however, as too much selenium can potentially be harmful. Stick to a serving or less of Brazil nuts.
Bottom line: next time you’re at the grocery store or farmer’s market, pick up a few varieties of unsalted tree nuts. When you find yourself reaching for a mid-morning pick-me-up, a handful of nuts is a healthy, hearty, and filling option.
For more healthy snack tips, call us here at Mediplan Diet Services or click the Schedule an Appointment button at the top of the page.