Including nuts into your healthy diet can provide some amazing health benefits. Whichever nut you choose to add - almonds, cashews, pistachios - almost every type of nut has some nutritional goodness to offer! So many people forget about the benefits nuts can bring to their diet and forget to eat them altogether. Instead, they may choose to snack on unhealthier foods such as processed chips, biscuits and chocolate bars.
Nuts can be a good source of healthy unsaturated fats (omega-3 fatty acids), protein and fibre. However, each type of nut will also have its own unique mixture of essential nutrients, such as:
- Vitamins like some of the B group vitamins, vitamins C and/or E;
- Minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, selenium;
- Plant sterols.
- Your heart;
- Your cholesterol levels;
- Your brain;
- Your bones and teeth;
- Your risk of some cancers;
- General health and well-being.
Because of their omega-3’s, protein and fibre, nuts may also provide a sense of fullness and help to keep you feeling satisfied so you don't feel too hungry in between meals. This is why they are a perfect midday snack!
It is important to keep in mind that some nuts contain more heart healthy nutrients and fats than others. While the fats that are found in nuts may be healthy, they are still high in calories so they are best eaten in moderation. The recommended daily intake for women is 20g (a small handful) per day.
My favourite ways to incorporate nuts into my diet is sprinkling them on pancakes and in oats, adding them to smoothies and salads as well as making up snack packs I can eat throughout the day. What are your favourite ways to eat them?