Although nuts are usually considered a healthy snack (provided they aren’t loaded with salt!) compared to something like potato chips, let’s say, they really deserve much more credit than that. Nuts are one of those foods that definitely deserve a special place when it comes to healing foods.
Nuts are nutrient dense, meaning they’re loaded with healthy fats, high-quality vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. What can all of these super nutrients do for your health?
Researchers in Spain have compiled an impressive list of diseases the nutrients in nuts could help prevent. They reviewed a whole host of clinical trials and found that nut consumption reduced incidence of coronary heart disease and gallstones in both men and women. They also found that a diet containing nuts helped prevent diabetes in women.
They even found evidence that nuts can exert beneficial effects on hypertension, cancer, and inflammation. Worried about the fat content of nuts? Consider the research team’s findings on nut consumption and cholesterol: studies consistently show that nut intake has a cholesterol-lowering effect, even in the context of healthy diets.
Other evidence shows that nuts exert beneficial effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular reactivity. Vascular reactivity simple means that your circulatory system is able to respond to physiologic and pharmacologic stimuli that require adjustments of blood flow and changes of vessel tone and diameter.
Blood pressure, belly fat, and metabolic syndrome also appear to be positively influenced by nut consumption. The research team concluded that it’s clear that nuts have a beneficial impact on many cardiovascular risk factors. They also clarify that, contrary to expectations, studies and clinical trials suggest that regular nut consumption is unlikely to contribute to obesity and may even help in
Nuts are nutrient-rich foods with wide-ranging health benefits. Don’t forget to throw a handful of walnuts into your cereal at breakfast, or add some almonds in your stir fry at dinner. Try a handful of pistachios at midday for a healthy energy boost.
For more on the nut-healthy heart link, read the article These Nuts Could Reduce Blood Pressure.