Nuts have many health benefits.
Healthy snacking can feel really challenging.
This is especially true when you are on the road, at work, or out running errands.
It often feels easy to simply grab prepackaged and highly processed items like chips or crackers.
According to a recent Livestrong article titled “The One Snack a Dietitian Wants You to Eat Every Day for Longevity,” nuts are a healthy and convenient alternative and probably should become a staple in your snack rotation.
They provide balanced calories and several nutrients to improve your physical functioning.
In fact, a study from Harvard Health Publishing shares how those who daily consumed nuts had longer lives than those who did not.
What specifically makes nuts a good snack to eat?
They Are High in Antioxidants.
Antioxidants are key to protecting cells from oxidative damage through reducing inflammation and repairing DNA.
This type of damage often leads to chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, cancer, and cognitive decline.
The most antioxidant rich nut is the Brazil nut.
A single one of the nuts contains your recommended daily value of selenium.
Nuts Promote a Heart Health.
Although nuts do contain fat, they have been connected to an increase in good HDL (Happy) cholesterol and a decrease in bad LDL (Lousy) cholesterol.
They have also been linked to lower blood pressure.
The best nut to eat for the heart is almond.
Almonds are rich in omega-3 fats, fiber, and vitamin E.
Nuts Support Healthy Brain Functioning.
Several nuts are known to provide specific benefits to the brain.
Pistachios reduce and prevent inflammation.
Macadamias support healthy brain functioning.
Almonds improve memory.
A type of omega-3 fat called ALA is highly correlated to fighting inflammation and supporting brain health.
Walnuts have the best ratio of these fats and also contain twice the amount of antioxidants to protect against cognitive decline.
They Promote a Healthy Gut.
Both insoluble and soluble fiber are good for a healthy gut.
Fiber combats constipation by bulking and softening “used food,” making it easier to pass.
Diets rich in fiber found in nuts can improve bowel functioning and decrease your risk of colorectal cancer or diverticular disease.
Nuts Could Help With Weight Management.
Because nuts are high in fiber, healthy fats, and protein, they can help people efficiently get the nutrients their bodies need.
The stomach is satisfied longer between meals.
Nuts also help to stabilize blood sugar.
Both of these benefits can help reduce the urge to overeat.
If you are looking for a healthy and satisfying snack on the go to support better aging, fill up a baggy with some nutrient rich nuts.
By the way, as much as I like them, peanuts are not nuts.
They are legumes.
Regardless, peanuts have many health benefits similar to their “nutty” cousins.
Reference: Livestrong (March 22, 2022) “The One Snack a Dietitian Wants You to Eat Every Day for Longevity”