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Six Reasons to Add Nuts to Your Daily Diet
Don’t pick out the cashews in your salad! In the culinary world, different varieties of fruits and seeds can be classified as nuts, and they pack a healthy punch. Here are six reasons to add these nutrient-packed morsels to your daily diet.
High antioxidant content. Various nuts such as peanuts, almonds, pine nuts, and hazelnuts contain a high amount of vitamin E—an antioxidant that prevents cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. Additionally, consuming one or two raw Brazil nuts can provide the daily recommended intake of selenium, a hard-to-come-by mineral that contains anti-cancer and anti-aging properties.
They lower “bad” cholesterol. Almonds and hazelnuts have a high monounsaturated fat content, which helps reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad cholesterol.” Pistachios (which typically contain less total fat than other varieties of nuts) contain beta-sitosterols that reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood.
They protect against cardiovascular diseases. Although most nuts have a higher monounsaturated fat content, nuts such as walnuts, Brazil nuts, pine nuts have a higher polyunsaturated fat content, which provides more membrane fluidity, thereby preventing cardiovascular diseases. Walnuts and pine nuts contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to creating hormones that control blood clotting.
They promote strong bones. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of magnesium, which is essential for maintaining strong bones, is roughly 400mg for adult males and 310mg for adult females. Brazil nuts, cashews, and hazelnuts contain 113mg, 88mg, and 49mg of magnesium per ounce, respectively. In addition to containing roughly 43mg-50mg of magnesium, peanuts and almonds also contain about 28mg-65mg of calcium.
Boosted brain-power and maintained focus. Walnuts are rich in vitamin B6, which helps maintain brain function and normal nerve function. Similarly, cashews are a good source of vitamin B6 and iron, which helps fight fatigue.
Increased fertility. Although an unexpected health benefit, nuts that have a high vitamin E content to boost fertility levels, particularly among males. Specifically, studies have also shown that the high level of both vitamin E and zinc in pine nuts helps to boost fertility.
100 Best Health Foods. Bath, UK: Parragon Books Ltd., 2010. Print.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.