What are the best nuts for health?
If you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you have probably already heard that nuts are very important for your diet. Indeed, nuts contain a wealth of nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and oils – all of which contribute greatly to health.But there are many types of nuts, and within them there are those that are better and those that are less, especially considering that most of the nuts that come to our table have undergone roasting, grinding, peeling, frying, caramel coating, salting and the like. Also, do not forget that nuts contain a lot of calories. Therefore, while a snack of one handful will suffice for you to last until the next meal, a larger amount may ruin your dieting efforts.

Which nuts will contribute the most to your health?

Almonds, cashews and pistachios: The three types of nuts contain about the same amount of calories. Almonds, cashews and pistachios are a healthy addition because they contain omega-3 fatty acids, protein and dietary fiber. In addition, they contribute to a feeling of satiety and reduce appetite.

A handful of nuts (20 almonds, 16 cashews or 45 pistachios) contains about 180 calories, five to six grams of protein and 13 to 14 grams of fat. It is best to eat them fresh or lightly on low heat, as high heat can cause oxidation of the good oils. It is advisable to avoid nuts in ready-made packages that have already been roasted or fried due to the ingredients added to them during processing, which include other unhealthy oils.

Macadamia and pecans: Despite the wonderful taste of macadamia nuts and pecans, in this comparison they are considered to be less good. A handful of macadamia nuts (10-12 units) or pecans (18-20 halves) contains about 230 calories, only two to three grams of protein and 20 grams of fat. Therefore they are also considered the fattest of all the nuts.

Emphasize, this does not mean that these nuts are not good for your health, but that you need to be more careful with them so as not to overeat.

It is best to eat them fresh or lightly on low heat. cashew | Photo: Imagebank / Thinkstock

Want to adjust the type of nuts to what is missing in your diet? These are the nutritional benefits of each:

1. Walnuts

While all nuts contain the best omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts contain the largest amount. Studies suggest some benefits of walnuts to cardiovascular health: They may help maintain a normal heart rate and reduce inflammatory and oxidative processes following eating a fatty meal, similar to olive oil. It is recommended to eat about eight walnuts a day.

2. Peanuts

Although peanuts are considered nuts, in fact they belong to the legume family. Peanuts contain high amounts (145 mcg per 100 grams) of folic acid – a vitamin that is important for maintaining the proper functioning of the brain. In addition, peanuts also contain healthy fats and vitamin E. A handful of peeled peanuts contains 170 calories, 7 grams of protein and 14 Gram fat.

3. Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are known as a rich source of selenium, one of the important minerals for the optimal functioning of the immune system, antioxidant and helps cleanse the body of toxic substances and the diseases they cause. Although a handful of Brazil nuts contains only 190 calories and is very satisfying, it is advisable to make do with a maximum of two or three nuts a day. A much larger amount can lead to excess selenium in the body and even damage.

4. Pecans

Pecans are good for male health because they contain beta-sitosterol, an herbal substance that may relieve the symptoms of benign prostate enlargement. Just do not get confused, eat the pecans in their fresh form and not the Chinese pecans (roasted in vegetable oil with sugars).

5. Almonds

Almonds contain the highest amount of calcium among nuts, so many also recommend them for relieving heartburn. Almonds are also rich in fiber and vitamin E, an important antioxidant that helps fight the inflammatory processes and keep the brain healthy and good for health in general.

You can do a lot of things with almonds: eat them fresh, roasted with or without salt, coat them with sugar and honey, chocolate or wasabi and soy, add almond chips to pastries and even make a ground almond drink.

Walnuts (Photo: Imagebank / Thinkstock)
Contain the largest amount of omega 3 | Photo: Imagebank / Thinkstock

Want to maintain weight? Choose a small package or bulk

Obviously large packages save money, but they also make us eat more. Who does not know the overflowing plate of nuts that is emptied even before the end of the first half of the game broadcast on television. In addition, large packages that remain open may lose their umbrellas.

The buyer’s guide warned

– Be careful when buying a nut-roasted nut mixture, as it is often a collection of leftover nuts whose freshness is questionable.

– If you are trying to maintain weight, it is not recommended to buy a mixture that combines nuts with raisins or cranberries, as the amount of sugar in such a product is very high. This recommendation is also true for chocolate-coated nut snacks or sugar glaze: do not forget, even though they contain nuts and nuts it is healthy – they are still sweets. Prefer those that contain a little chocolate sweetened with sugar or a sugar substitute, rather than fructose syrup, and of course, be careful not to finish the whole package at once.

– If you do not suffer from high blood pressure, eating a handful or two of roasted nuts with a little salt once or twice a week will not hurt you. Be sure to read the labels to know how much sodium (salt) there is in each product so you do not eat excessive amounts of salt. If you must maintain a low-salt diet, stay away from flavored nuts, such as barbecue or chili, as in addition to spices the coating also contains large amounts of salt.

Nut spread and butter

Here, too, it is important to read labels so that you know exactly what it contains. For example, there are cases where minced oils are added to nut spread, so that they are more viscous or easily spread, and of course a large amount of salt or sugar.

Spreads that combine chocolate with nuts can be used as an occasional treat, but they are far from being a balanced breakfast on a daily basis because of the large amount of sugar and other oils they contain. In any case, keep the spreads in the fridge, especially the natural ones and especially in the summer. This way they will be firmer and easier to use and will not spoil. Separation of the oil and its decay are dangerous to health.

Almonds (Photo: istockphoto)
Contain the highest amount of calcium among the nuts | Photo: istockphoto

So what is the best nut?

A difficult question that science found an unequivocal answer to as early as 2004. A study conducted at the School of Family Medicine at Harvard University in the United States found that the combination of several types of nuts is the healthiest. A mixture of fresh nuts (not roasted or fried), preferably without salt or sugar, will provide the best variety of antioxidants and other nutrients.

By Editor

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