7 Healthy Nuts for Tasty Living
Eating Healthy Nuts
Eating healthy nuts as part of a balanced diet can provide numerous health benefits. Nuts are rich in healthy fats, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Incorporating a variety of healthy nuts into your diet can support heart health, aid in weight management, promote brain function, and provide a wide range of essential nutrients. Let’s explore the benefits of eating nuts and highlight some of the healthiest options.
Almonds are an easy, delicious “go-to” snack. They are nutrient-dense and packed with vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber. They are also a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats. Almonds have been associated with improved heart health, weight management, and reduced LDL cholesterol levels. Beyond snacking, they can be added to salads, oatmeal, or baked goods.
I love walnuts because they were always in my grandma’s chocolate chip cookies when I was a kid. So, there’s that. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support brain health. They contain antioxidants, fiber, and important minerals like copper and manganese. Consuming walnuts has been linked to improved cardiovascular health, reduced inflammation, and enhanced cognitive function. Add walnuts to your trail mix, sprinkle them on salads, or include them in baked goods (especially cookies).
Okay, okay, so pistachios aren’t actually nuts. They are considered “drupes.” That said, pistachios are delicious, so let’s include them. Pistachios are a good source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They are lower in calories compared to some other nuts, so they may aid in weight management by promoting feelings of fullness. They have been associated with improved heart health, blood sugar control, and reduced inflammation. Enjoy pistachios as a snack or use them in pesto, yogurt, or desserts.
Cashews are a favorite of mine but you only know me as “admin,” so who cares? But I bet you’ll love them, too. They are packed with nutrients, including healthy fats, fiber, protein, and minerals like magnesium and copper. They are lower in fat compared to some other nuts and contain a good amount of monounsaturated fats. Cashews have been linked to improved heart health, bone health, and cognitive function. They can be enjoyed on their own, used in stir-fries, or added to nut butter.
Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium, a mineral that acts as a powerful antioxidant. Selenium supports immune function, and thyroid health, and may play a role in cancer prevention. Brazil nuts are also a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. However, due to their high selenium content, it’s important to consume them in moderation. Include Brazil nuts as part of a mixed nut assortment or enjoy them on their own.
These are great on ice cream … oops, I shouldn’t say that. We’re “Naked Food,” after all. Well, eat your ice cream naked, and let’s call it all good. Anyhoo, pecans are rich in monounsaturated fats, fiber, and antioxidants. They also provide important minerals like zinc and manganese. Pecans have been associated with improved heart health, reduced inflammation, and antioxidant protection. They make a delicious addition to salads, baked goods, or as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt (or ice cream).
They’re good, but not a big fave of mine. However, hazelnuts are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. They are also rich in vitamin E, which supports skin health and immune function. Hazelnuts have been linked to improved heart health, reduced inflammation, and enhanced cognitive function. They can be enjoyed on their own, used in baking, or added to salads and desserts.
There are many easy and versatile ways to incorporate healthy nuts into your diet. Here are a few, simple ways to enjoy them:
- Snack on a handful of mixed nuts as a nutritious and satisfying snack option.
- Add chopped nuts to salads, yogurt, or oatmeal for added crunch and flavor.
- Use ground nuts as a coating for fish or chicken instead of breadcrumbs.
- Mix nuts into homemade granola bars, energy balls, or trail mix.
- Use nut butter as a spread on whole grain bread, fruit, or in smoothies.
While healthy nuts offer numerous benefits, they are also calorie-dense. Portion control is key when consuming nuts to avoid excessive calorie intake. Aim to include a variety of healthy nuts in your diet while being mindful of overall energy balance.
Consuming a variety of healthy nuts in your diet can provide a range of health benefits. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, Brazil nuts, pecans, and hazelnuts are among the healthiest options, offering essential nutrients, supporting heart health, aiding weight management, and promoting brain function. By including these nutritious, healthy nuts in your meals and snacks, you can enjoy delicious tastes while reaping the benefits they provide for your overall well-being.
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