Best Snack to Support Your Health? Could it be Nuts?

The hidden health benefits of adding nuts to your diet. They are full of nutrients but what are the best nuts to include in your diet? Read the blog to find out.

NUTS, HEALTH, NUTRITIOUS

Colin Henderson

7/1/20233 min read

Nuts are loaded with essential nutrients
Nuts are loaded with essential nutrients

Incredible Health Benefits of Nuts and How to Incorporate Them in Your Diet

Pistachio nuts
Pistachio nuts
Cashew nuts
Cashew nuts
Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts
Walnuts
Walnuts

Could Nuts help you win your Health

I often incorporate nuts into my training regime when I'm running, rowing or strength training, usually incorporated in a trail mix. Nuts are tasty, satiable and packed with goodness and are perfect for staving off hunger after a heavy session. I knew they were packed with nutrients, protein and good fats but I was unsure which ones packed the most punch in terms of nutritional value, so I thought Id write a little blog regarding the old nut.

Categories of Nuts

Nuts are usually categorized based on their nutrient profile. Generally, we have heart-healthy nuts rich in unsaturated fats such as walnuts and almonds. Then there are high-fiber nuts like pistachios and almonds. Nuts like hazelnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts are rich in antioxidants, while cashews, almonds, and pistachios have a rich protein content [1].

Pecan are packed with fiber and help to stop blood sugar spiking
Pecan are packed with fiber and help to stop blood sugar spiking
Almond nuts
Almond nuts

The Benefits of Including Nuts in Your Diet

Nut consumption can significantly contribute to a healthy diet due to their rich nutrient profile. They are packed with protein, fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, and essential minerals. Regular consumption of nuts can assist in weight management, lower the risk of heart diseases, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion [2].

Which Nuts Should You Avoid?

While most nuts are healthy, you might want to avoid less healthy variants like salted or chocolate-covered nuts, which include additional sodium and sugar. Additionally, if you have specific allergies to certain species of nuts, they should be completely avoided.

Consumption: When, How and How Much?

The best time to consume nuts is as a snack between meals to maintain your energy levels. Since they are high in calories, a handful (approximately 1 ounce) is sufficient [3].

The Pros and Cons of eating Nuts as a snack?

On the upside, nuts are nutrient-dense, heart-friendly, help in weight management, and improve digestion. On the downside, they can be high in calories and cause weight gain if not eaten in moderation and they're certainly one of those morish foods that when you start it can be hard to stop. Additionally, they can cause allergic reactions in some individuals [4].

The Perfect Nut to Eat Daily

Based on what I've learnt through research, If I had to recommend one nut to consume daily, it would be the almond. Almonds are packed with antioxidants, rich in vitamin E, help lower blood sugar levels, and are known to reduce blood pressure levels, making them a brilliant choice for everyday consumption [5]. However, I have to say, I like to eat a mix of nuts and mix them with a variety of foods. Goes great with porridge oats, muesli, yoghurt and cashews in a curry are simply amazing. My advice buy in bulk, its so much cheaper.

Almonds are the top nut when it comes to health
Almonds are the top nut when it comes to health

References

1. Ros, E. (2010). Health benefits of nut consumption. Nutrients, 2(7), 652–682. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu2070652

2. Kris-Etherton, P. M., Hu, F. B., Ros, E., & Sabate, J. (2008). The role of tree nuts and peanuts in the prevention of coronary heart disease: multiple potential mechanisms. Journal of Nutrition, 138(9), 1746S-1751S.

3. U. S. Department of Agriculture. (2019). Nut Consumption for Americans. https://www.mypyramid.gov

4. Bao, Y., Han, J., Hu, F. B., Giovannucci, E. L., Stampfer, M. J., Willett, W. C., & Fuchs, C. S. (2013). Association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality. New England Journal of Medicine, 369(21), 2001–2011.

5. Kalita, S., Khandelwal, S., Madan, J., Pandya, H., Sesikeran, B., & Krishnaswamy, K. (2018). Almonds and cardiovascular health: A review. Nutrients, 10(4), 468. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10040468