Nuts: The most popular types of nuts and their health benefits
Nuts are dried fruits appreciated all over the world for their special taste and they are a source of energy and health for those who consume them. They are rich in iodine, saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Nuts are foods recommended in diets by both nutritionists and doctors, due to the many benefits they offer us. Experts say that it is enough to eat about seven nuts a day to get the full potential of their health benefits.
Rich in saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help lower LDL cholesterol (bad) and increase HDL (good cholesterol), nuts also help reduce the risk of other cardiovascular complications and correct diabetes.
But what are the most famous benefits of nuts?
- Help lower blood cholesterol;
- Their consumption prevents diabetes, certain types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases;
- Represent a recommended food in diets;
- Improve inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, due to the content of omega 3 fatty acids;
- Minimize the discomfort of PMS and the symptoms of menopause by the presence of omega 6 fatty acids;
- Represent a strong ally against diseases associated with the thyroid gland, due to its iodine content (nuts are one of the richest sources of iodine content).
Nuts are considered miracle food for our health
According to research, nuts are a miracle food, due to the high level of antioxidants and proteins. Also, the antioxidants they contain are not only more than enough, but also very powerful. For example, the antioxidant polyphenols in nuts (antioxidant chemicals that help the body counteract the effects of molecules that cause oxidation and cell damage) are 4 to 15 times stronger than vitamin E, which is known to be very beneficial for its powerful antioxidants effects.
Nuts, a safe source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
Many people do not eat nuts believing that they are high in fat and fear that they can affect both their health and their silhouette, but few know that they contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are "good fats" and do not contain harmful saturated fats, which can cause narrowing of the arteries.
Nuts can successfully replace meat
In order to supplement their benefits as a miracle food, nuts are a rich source of protein, thus being able to successfully replace meat (ideal for vegetarians). They are recommended to be eaten for snacks, but they are also a basic ingredient in the preparation of many recipes, both sweet and salty, due to their particular flavor and texture.
How many types of nuts are there and what are their health benefits?
There are several types of nuts and each of them has certain properties that are good to know about, to choose the most recommended to us and with many benefits for our health, especially if we face certain diseases.
Also called the "queen of nuts", Macadamia nuts come from Australia and are considered the finest nuts in the world, while representing a refined snack. They are distinguished by a rather particular aroma and are widely used in baking.This type of nuts:
- Represent a real source of calcium, which prevents bone wear;
- Contain magnesium and potassium, with a role in reducing migraines and cancer risk;
- They are a source of fiber, which aims to improve the functionality of the intestine, thus promoting digestion;
- Provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering LDL cholesterol, just by replacing snacks with 15 macadamia nuts;
- LDL cholesterol levels improve, especially in adults with hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in the blood);
- Reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment, both during aging and in the transition phase between dementia or mild cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease, due to the content of monounsaturated fats;
- Represent a good source of thiamine and manganese;
- Contribute to the reduction of biomarkers for inflammation and oxidative stress, a study proven in people who consumed 15% of their calories in macadamia nuts;
- The prevention of coronary artery disease plays an important role.
Pecan nuts have a fine, sweet, buttery aroma and a crunchy texture. This type of walnut has become one of the most popular in the world, due to its antioxidant benefits, making it one of the best foods in the world in the category of nuts.
They are served as an appetizer with almonds, blueberries or chocolate, and due to its sweet aroma, they are also widely used for the preparation of desserts, jellies and jams.Among its health benefits, we mention:
- Represents a rich source of zinc, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, B and E;
- Helps the cardiovascular system;
- Delays the degeneration of the nervous system;
- Prevents osteoporosis.
Classic walnuts (European or Spanish walnuts)
Ordinary walnuts (also known as European or Spanish walnuts) are the ones we are used to see all around us and probably consume them most often, Romania being one of the most productive places for this type of nuts (the ideal season to eat is autumn).
They contain much more antioxidants than other types of nuts and the recommendation of specialists is to be eaten unroasted, in their natural state, to take full advantage of their health benefits.Which are these?
- Improve neural abilities;
- Represent a real source of antioxidants;
- Contribute to a positive mood;
- Help digestion;
- Reduce blood cholesterol levels and improve circulation, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Among the most popular types of nuts, California nuts stand out for their large size and regular shape, but especially for the health benefits they offer.
- Help control cholesterol level;
- Lower blood pressure;
- Reduce inflammation of blood vessels and the risk of stroke;
- Contribute to the inhibition of risk factors for colon cancer and slow down the development of this disease;
- Protect against prostate cancer and could slow down the disease;
- Improve good cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes;
- Increase memory and concentration and decrease age-related impairment, being recommended for the elder people.
- Protect brain cells, delays onset and slow the progression of Alzheimer's;
- Fight obesity, especially in women;
- Protect against breast cancer;
- Help reduce metabolic syndrome.
The Brazilian nut, a wild tree from the Amazon that can reach up to 50 meters in height and can live over a thousand years, gives us its dried, round fruits, which are a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, selenium, copper and magnesium, thus being a source of energy for those who consume them. But what are its properties?
- Represent an essential food in preventing cell damage;
- Help fight oxidative stress, thus delaying the aging process;
- Contribute to strengthening the immune system;
- Play an important role in normalizing thyroid function;
- Help control weight;
- Maintain cardiovascular health;
- Medicine for lowering cholesterol.
Despite its nutrients, we must be careful with the amount consumed, because excess selenium can affect health. It is thus recommended to consume them with moderation or when prescribed by a specialist.
Cashews or Indian nuts
Well known especially as cashews, Indian nuts are very healthy because:
- they anti-inflammatory have properties, contain essential minerals of phosphorus, magnesium, copper and manganese;
- contributes to lowering cholesterol (research shows that men and women with moderate high LDL cholesterol who consumed between 16 and 36 cashews a day experienced a reduction in total cholesterol and LDL within a month).
Cashew nuts are grown mainly in Brazil and India. They are extremely nutritious and have a distinctive flavor, which makes wonders in South and Southeast Asian cuisine, while also being an extremely used ingredient in recipes with chicken and vegetarian from South India. In Western countries, they are consumed mainly as a high-protein food.
Nuts should not be missing from our diet and our lives
Nuts are recommended for all people, due to the many health benefits they offer, but especially for people who suffer from the conditions mentioned in this article.
Before introducing nuts in our diet, it is good to ask the specialist if they are recommended to us, but also in what quantity it is suitable to consume them. Miracle foods can really make wonders for us, just use them with confidence and "by the book”.
Beneficial effects of nuts
- Recommended in diets
- Improve inflammatory diseases
- Recommended for premenstrual syndrome and menopause
- Ally against anemia
- Good for migraines
- Reduce the risk of cancer
- Lower blood cholesterol
- Cognitive (improves cognitive function, increases memory, concentration and decreases age-related impairment)
- Ally against heart disease
- Prevent osteoporosis
- Fights obesity, especially in women
- Helps reduce metabolic syndrome
- Helps strengthen the immune system
- Normalizes thyroid function.
Side effects of nuts
- Weight gain
- Swelling and skin rash
- Asthma attacks
- Swelling of the throat and tongue
Contraindications of nuts:
- Obese people
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Asthma patients
- People with allergies or dermatological problems.