If there is one thing that you should add to your diet plan – especially if you are particularly health-conscious – it’s nuts and seeds. Not only do they taste great, they’re versatile in how you can eat them and they are satisfying for your appetite. The best bit? They’re great for adults and kids alike. Nuts contain healthy amounts of protein and fibre, along with a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that make for some exceptional health benefits. On top of this added goodness, nuts are a provider of a healthy source of fats – heart-healthy ones that will offer you excellent long-term health benefits.
When you eat nuts regularly as part of your diet, you will notice a difference in your cholesterol management and the reduction in risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and digestive issues. You may even reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia later on. The best & healthiest nuts can be easily added into your diet across a range of meals and snacks, and while you can toast them and cook with them, eating them raw allows you to get as much of the nutrients out of them as possible. All nuts are a good source of fibre and protein, but it often comes down to tastes as to which ones you choose to eat. Many of us don’t get nearly enough fibre in our diet, and nuts are a great way to add it in. Nuts are a great source of magnesium, too, which is another nutrient that you may forget about in your quest for better overall health.
The one thing to remember is that nuts are exceptionally high in calories alongside healthy fats, so while they are an exceptional addition to the diet, moderation is key. The issue isn’t the fats in the nuts, it’s the portion size. The good news is that you can incorporate small numbers of nuts into your day, and you will help your heart at the same time. No matter the type of nuts you choose to eat – and we are soon to go into the 10 best & healthiest nuts around – you will see how they are a versatile food for your diet. You can snack on them, make butter from them and even add them to salads to add a little healthy crunch! You can’t go wrong with the nuts you choose, so let’s learn a little something about them before you choose which ones to eat.
Health Benefits of Eating Nuts
So, before you head to the shops to choose a variety of nuts and nut butters to add to your diet, let’s talk a little more about their advantages. Once you understand which nuts have the best benefits, you’re going to be better equipped to make this decision.
Aiding Weight Loss
It’s a common option in all articles online: if you want to lose weight, snack on nuts! Of course, nuts do have a high amount of fat, but these are healthy fats and not saturated fats that you’ll find in burgers! Nuts keep you fuller for longer, and making nuts part of your main diet will ensure that you have a good balance of all of the nutrients that nuts offer. They are slow-releasing, too, which means you can lose weight and enjoy delicious nuts at the same time.
Packed With Nutrients
Nuts of all kinds are packed with nutrients, from vitamin E to protein. If you are choosing a low-carb option for your diet, nuts will offer you protein in addition to eggs and meat. You’ll also get more fibre that you’re not getting from refined carbs such as bread and pasta!
Reduction In Bad Cholesterol
No one wants to have high cholesterol, and nuts are perfect for controlling those levels because they are high in monounsaturated fatty acids. They help to reduce the bad cholesterol and boost the good stuff at the same time. Almonds and hazelnuts are amazing for this, and they keep your LDL levels in check, too.
We need fibre and roughage to keep our digestive system healthy and moving. Nuts can keep our fibre levels up and reduce our obesity and diabetes risks at the same time.
Nuts have anti-inflammatory properties and while we wouldn’t recommend throwing down a handful of nuts in place of an anti-inflammatory medication, they can help to speed up your recovery when you’re feeling unwell or recovering from an injury.
Nuts are enriched with the essential fats, protein, fibre and nutrients that you need to feel healthy and keep your insides moving well. A bowl of nuts offers you more than excellence on your taste buds: you’ll feel fuller, you’ll enjoy high antioxidants for your immune system and you’ll lower your triglyceride levels. Nuts can be eaten as a snack, on salads, ground down as a coating for chicken or fish and even with desserts. Some nuts – such as almond – are made into milk, too, which means that you can add them to smoothies and even soups.
Eating a little amount of nuts every single day can offer you a huge list of health benefits that you will feel better for. You’ll reduce your risk factors for a range of conditions, and you can enjoy relief from chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, too!
10 Best & Healthiest Nuts to Eat For Better Health
Now that you know the health benefits for nuts, we’re going to talk through the best & healthiest nuts to eat for better health. You deserve to optimize your health as much as possible, and these are the top ten you should try out and see how your diet could be better improved. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up some recipes to make the most of the nuts you choose – there are hundreds of delicious options out there for you to enjoy!
A powerhouse nut, the walnut is a sneaky one! It is found in trees in the Genus Juglan and it hides in the form of a fruit. Unless you peel back the fleshy outer layer of the fruit, you won’t find this delicious seed inside. Walnuts are small, but they’re packed with omega-3 fats and protein, and you will also find huge amounts of vitamin E and some of the most important B vitamins. Walnuts are a great source of potassium and magnesium, and they are versatile in their use. Along with everything else that they contain, walnuts have a high amount of monounsaturated fats, too. They’re one of the most nutritious foods that you can add to your diet and they can be added in salads, desserts, drinks and more. Walnuts are very popular when ground down and sprinkled in cakes, too! Did you know that walnuts go right back to 7000 B.C?
They’re long rated as an immensely rich option that are great for nutrition and their benefits include better heart health as a result of eating them regularly. Choosing to have walnuts regularly will help you to improve your blood pressure and control your weight, and they make for an exceptional snack with grapes and crackers. Chop, grind, roast and more, they’re a super source of everything you need to keep your heart healthy. Sure, they’re higher in calories, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantage of calories.
If you are looking to improve your heart, muscle and nerve function, cashews should be a part of your diet. You can consume them whole, in the form of butter and milk and you can even use them ground down in place of Parmesan. Cashews are an excellent dairy replacement, which is why cashew butter is so popular! There’s a reason that cashews are so well known, and it’s because they are higher in iron than most other nuts out there. Those who deal with anemia and gallstones know how much cashews can support their immune system. Cashews can offer an antioxidant defense, and they can support your immune system, too. Cashews are packed with nutrients and they belong to the same family as mangoes pistachios – they’re a tropical nut, too! You can find cashews as native nuts to Brazil and they are grown in tropical climates like India, Kenya and even Tanzania.
They are found at the bottom of a cashew apple, and they are great for you for adding protein to your diet. These little, kidney-shaped nuts are also full to the brim with magnesium, potassium and zinc, as well as a myriad of essential vitamins. There are 157 calories per ounce of cashews, and when consumed in moderation, you will find that these little miracles have no cholesterol content in small amounts! Cashews hold more iron than any other nut out there, so if you are deficient in your iron, including cashews in your diet (no matter the form) will help. They’re a creamy nut in flavor and they work very well with a range of foods.
You may have seen them on the side of chocolate spread pots, but hazelnuts have so much more to them than just great with chocolate. Hazelnuts are wonderful as a Vitamin E source, and they are great for decreasing cholesterol and inflammation. Hazelnuts are exceptionally versatile and they can be eaten toasted and crushed on oats and in pastas, and they can be eaten as a snack straight away, too. Keep the skin on when you eat them to get the highest possible concentration of antioxidants. These are a sweet nut; tasty and palatable compared to other nuts that need the flavor of other foods to be edible. Hazelnuts are native to Europe, but they’re grown primarily in Turkey alongside Italy. Hazelnuts are hidden inside hazel fruits and they grow in a cluster together and are the perfect addition to a heart-healthy diet.
The use of hazelnuts in your day to day eating can help you to reduce your weight, maintain your digestive and heart health and they will keep you fuller for longer, too. Consume hazelnuts in specialty ravioli dishes, in desserts and crushed into oats. You could even make your own hazelnut chocolate spread at home with sweetener, hazelnuts and cocoa if you want to avoid the palm oil added to store-bought chocolate spreads. Hazelnuts feel indulgent due to their natural sweetness, and this marble sized marvel is packed with benefits.
You may have had pine nuts in salads and in pesto pasta dishes, but pine nuts are popular for a good reason. These tiny nuts have been popular since way beyond the past century: try the Paleolithic times! Delicious and crunchy, these are found in pine cones! Some people call them cedar nuts, but pine nuts are smaller than a couple of inches in length. They’re great sprinkled on salads and pasta dishes and they can be eaten as a snack on their own, too. Pine nuts can aid weight loss, help you to manage your weight and they are packed with vitamins E and K. A great source of magnesium and iron, pine nuts are highly beneficial to your body and are excellent vehicles for iron in the body. There are nearly eight grams of iron per cup of pine nuts, so you will find that they do your iron levels exceptionally well. Vegetarians are huge fans of pine nuts for the fact that they are iron-rich, as they make for an excellent replacement for the iron lost through the lack of meat.
Famous for the Thanksgiving pie in the U.S, pecans are known to be a wonderful source of vitamin E. In fact, pecans are one of the best known dietary sources of vitamin E out there! 80% of pecans are grown in the United States, and these are a delicious powerhouse of nutrients that are ideal as a snack, as an ingredient in your best recipes and even as a condiment. You’ll find that pecans are packed with thiamin, vitamin B and ore minerals that will play a big role in your ability to metabolize energy. There is a high fat content in pecans, so they do require proper storage if you want them to stay delicious. You can use them in yoghurt, porridge, in a side order of veggies and even ground down into soups. You’ll find them available in a variety of ways, from shelled or unshelled, sweetened or salted. Unshelled pecans can be stored for up to four months, and the high fats make them an excellent addition to any dish – especially the sweet ones. You want to have nuts that are good for the heart, blood pressure and cholesterol, and pecans are one of the best options.
If you are looking to lose weight while consuming healthy fats, macadamia nuts could be the answer. In just one serving, you’ll have an abundance of thiamin, dietary fibre, protein and copper – all the things that the body relies on for health. Macadamia nuts are higher in their fat content than most other nuts, but the fats are good ones. More than 75% of the nuts in macadamia nuts is monounsaturated and great for the heart, reducing cholesterol and reducing blood pressure. There are certain monounsaturated fatty acids found in macadamia nuts that are not found in other nut options. Given that they contain over 1g of natural sugar, macadamia nuts are used in a lot of desserts and salads, and yet they are also used as a ground coating for chicken and fish, too. Vitamin B1 – or thiamine – is essential for the body and the fats in these nuts are similar to those found in avocados and olive oil! When you add macadamia nuts to your diet, you are adding nuts that are low on the glycemic food index. The health benefits make them a nut that fits into any healthy diet in moderation. The fatty content also means more calories, but that’s not a bad thing when you want to add good calories to your snacks!
Almonds have to feature on a list of the ten best & healthiest nuts to eat for better health, but these are a deceptive one – almonds are actually seeds! You don’t have to tell anyone, though, especially as the benefits of almonds are huge. These can be found on the almond tree, and you can get them in supermarkets either blanched and treated or still shelled. Almonds are known to be high in fat, but the fats are monounsaturated, which means that they are the good kinds of fats. The heart is better protected as almonds help to maintain good cholesterol and they are one of the best sources of fibre and protein you can find. There are some important nutrients in almonds, including vitamin E, zinc, calcium and plenty of B vitamins, too. Almonds are also good for iron and are a source of biotin and folate. There’s a good reason that almonds get a ton of support from the health world, and not only are they a good source of fibre, they’re great at lowering inflammation in the body. Research done on almonds has been conducted to show that there is a link between eating almonds and a reduction in the risk of developing colon cancer. If you need any more convincing, just one ounce of almonds has 164 calories and 6g of protein – this is excellent for your body. Almonds can be added to curries, pastas, desserts and even salads. If you prefer to eat them on their own, they’re great as a handy snack.
Pistachios – whether you love them in ice cream or on salads – are often overlooked as a healthy nut option for your diet. They are little goldmines packed with nutrients, and they are a great source of protein that can keep you fuller for longer. There are a ton of recipes out there that include pistachios as a supporting ingredient, and support is exactly what they do for you. You will find that one of the biggest benefits of pistachios is in how they can help your skin to look and feel good. If you are dealing with acne, pistachios can influence your insulin levels and help to control the onset of acne. Selenium is a main ingredient in pistachio and it works alongside Vitamin E to reduce any inflammation of the skin and improve the appearance of scars. Pistachios are very high in antioxidants and nutrients and these are one of the best nuts that can also promote excellent eye health. You have to de-shell pistachios before you eat them, and a little known fact is that they are the nuts that take the longest to de-shell, and this means you are likely to eat much less of them! High fat often means high calories, but these are the kinds of calories you want in your daily diet. Pistachios are an excellent source of satiating snacking, and you can add them to pretty much any dish.
Peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, is a delicious addition to porridge, toast and even as a dip for apple slices. However, peanut butter isn’t the only thing that peanuts are good for. Peanuts are very rich in a variety of nutrients including Vitamin E and niacin, folate and manganese. Peanuts are an excellent source of protein, too, and they are a great substitute for nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts and pine nuts. The best thing about peanuts is that it comes in many different forms, from salted and dry roasted to boiled and raw. You can bet that peanuts are one of the best additions to any diet plan out there, and they can be spiced and snacked on, added to chocolate, ice cream and turned into butter for a nice addition to your food. They’re not actually nuts, either!
Peanuts are legumes, so if you are allergic to nuts, you may be okay with peanuts – check with your doctor first. You can reap a lot of the benefits from peanuts with organic and pure peanut butter, but it’s a high calorie food and requires moderation. Peanuts are a great source of biotin and it’s a great food for genetic regulation. One of the best benefits of peanuts is that they are packed with monounsaturated fats, which as we know, are heart healthy fats. They get a bad reputation for their high fat content, but it’s this fatty content you want to take in moderation for your body to thrive. Did you know that peanuts have some of the same antioxidants as red wine? There are sources of resveratrol in peanuts, just in a lesser amount.
Lastly, Brazil nuts are something of a delicious nut that is just loaded with tons of nutrients and vitamins. If you want to benefit your skin, hair and your overall health, you want to indulge in Brazil nuts! You will find that these are native to South America and they are found in the Amazon forest encased in a very thick brown shell. They have a sweet and earthy flavour, which is why they’re a popular option for chocolate and desserts. Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, which is a mineral that is involved in thyroid production, and for those looking for nuts with antioxidants, Brazil nuts are a great option. The antioxidant functions of Brazil nuts are crucial for the processes of protecting us against certain cancers. To boost your nail health, Brazil nuts are an excellent option for your diet. You can even see studies that show immediate impacts on cholesterol within less than a day of ingestion. These are big nuts in the nut world and you only need to eat up to three per day to gain the benefits of Brazil nuts. They don’t need to be eaten at the same level of almonds, either. However, they are packed with protein and fibre, and these are excellent for your continued health!
Whether you believe you are eating a healthy diet or not, you need to consider adding nuts to your daily intake. Whether you eat them as part of a meal, as a meat crust, a topping or just as a handful of deliciousness, you can add nuts to your diet for all of the multiple health benefits. You’re going to be powering your body with all of the vitamins and minerals you may be missing when you consume more nuts, and they are a healthy option when you need to feel fuller for longer. In this article, we’ve learned that nuts of all kinds are excellent for satisfying your hunger, keeping your meals packed with nutrients and boosting heart health. Give each of these nuts a try and see which ones you fall in love with! If you know that you can improve your blood pressure and your cholesterol with nuts, then adding them to your daily diet could be one of the best choices that you make for your health this year. Consuming almonds, pistachios, walnuts and more will help you to boost your health and feel great from the inside out.