Gone are the days when nuts are considered unhealthy and we were asked to refrain from having nuts, as they were believed to increase cholesterol levels and fats. But recent studies have shown that nuts should, in fact, be made an integral part of the diet as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is a good source of healthy fats for vegetarians and vegans. You can have a fistful of them instead of chips and chocolates in between meals or cut them in slivers and sprinkle them as dessert toppings. You can also add them into your salads for a hearty meal. Badam ka sharbat or Badam Doodh used to be a staple in old Indian households as it is filling and was deemed highly nutritious. But sadly these recipes have lost with the bygone generations, as we are the healthy types.
But in recent years, once again, nuts have been revived for their nutritional and health benefits. They are not just rich in unsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acids but are also a powerhouse of energy, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and natural fiber. The fat in nuts is mostly monounsaturated fats, omega-6, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, although they do have some saturated fats in them too.
If you think that nuts will increase your weight, time to think again. Studies have found that nuts do not have any significant effect on weight gain if eaten in the right proportions and included in a healthy diet plan. Nuts also increase longevity as they prevent the risk of many chronic diseases.
Here is a list of nuts that you must eat daily for good health. You can also include them as an essential part of your office snacks.
Almonds are considered the healthiest of all the nuts available. They are high in monounsaturated fat that contributes to good heart health. Eating a small handful of almonds every day will improve cholesterol levels and also lower blood pressure in individuals who are overweight. Almonds are also proven to reduce inflammation in people having type 2 diabetes. It is an all-rounder.
Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytosterols. Walnuts are the magical food for the brain as they improve cognitive ability and slow the process of Alzheimer’s. It also helps people with depression. Besides, walnuts are also good for the heart, protects the body from cellular damage and cancer.
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Pistachios have less than four calories per nut and are rich in Vitamin E that is good for the health. Pistachios also contain l-arginine that flexes the lining of the arteries prevents blood clots and heart attacks.
Who doesn’t love munching on a handful of spiced peanuts! It serves as a delicious snack. Peanuts are very rich in monounsaturated fats, Vitamin E, Folate and manganese. Also filled in antioxidants, peanuts boost the immune system and keep heart diseases at bay. But you must have a limited amount of peanuts per day, not more than 8 to 10. You can also opt for a spoonful of peanut butter daily.
Hazelnuts are very nutritious with unsaturated fats (mostly oleic acid), magnesium, calcium, and vitamins B and E. They are especially good for the heart by reducing the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Cashews are rich in iron, zinc, phosphorus and unsaturated fat (predominantly oleic acid). They also have high magnesium content, even more than almonds. It helps to strengthen bones and is an essential part of the pregnancy diet. It prevents cancer and lowers blood pressure in people with metabolic syndrome.
Have these nuts in moderate amounts daily and enjoy their health benefits.