Go Nuts For Your Health

Which Nuts To Eat

best-nuts-for-healthIt’s nuts that people don’t often realize how good nuts are for you. Of course, if they’re candy-coated or covered with salt or chocolate, you might end up canceling out their health benefits.

But eating nuts can have some really positive effects on your body. It can reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, and of developing certain cancers, all while improving your blood sugar levels.

A recent study out of Spain showed that people who eat nuts not only have a lower risk of developing diabetes but also that adults who have prediabetes who eat nuts may stave off the full-blown disease. The study concluded that nuts helped improve their levels of insulin resistance.

Now let’s get down to the nuts and bolts. Here are the best nuts (plus a legume) to eat for your health.

Almonds

Almonds aren’t just delicious, they have some serious brain-boosting benefits. Compounds in almonds actually help regulate the production of dopamine in your brain. This hormone helps with brain development, memory, and mood-best-nuts-for-healthboosting.

Brazil nuts

Brazil Nuts aren’t as well-known as some others, but they are chock-full of goodness.

Here’s a taste of what’s in them:

  • Selenium, which is a mineral that helps boost your immune system and improve thyroid function
  • nutrients, including some B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
  • ellagic acid, a compound that can stop blood flow and cut down cancer cell growth

Cashews

Of all the nuts you could enjoy, cashews rank highest with their amount of zinc and iron per ounce. Both of these minerals are essential in helping keep your immune system healthy.

Cashews, which are high in protein, also contain magnesium – a nutrient your body depends on to stay healthy. It helps regulate nerve and muscle function, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and more.

Hazelnuts

When you read the word hazelnut, you may think of a certain delicious hazelnut and chocolate spread that some people wish they could eat by the jar. That, of course, is NOT what we’re talking about here.

While hazelnuts are among the least popular nut to eat, they are a great source of vitamin E. This antioxidant is great for your outsides (your skin) and your insides (protects against heart disease).  Hazelnuts are also a good source of B vitamins and magnesium. Plus, their primary fat is monounsaturated fat, which is beneficial for your blood sugar levels.

best-nuts-for-healthMacadamia nuts

These nuts have the ability to lower your blood cholesterol, a well-recognized risk factor for heart disease. Macadamia nuts also have more monounsaturated fat per serving than any other nut out there. They’re also packed with minerals that help deter bone loss – calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

Peanuts

Even though peanuts are technically legumes, they needed to be included here if only for how high they are in protein. They also contain calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, all of which are essential to your health. Another benefit of peanuts is that they are more affordable than some other varieties of nuts, making them more easily accessible.

Pecans

This is not your grandma’s pecan pie. Pecans (minus the buttery flakey crust, sugar, and corn syrupy goodness) are a good source of oleic acid, which can have positive effects on autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, along with wound healing and even cancer.

These nuts also contain dietary fiber, B vitamins, as well as copper, manganese, and zinc.

Pistachios

Although pistachios are a lower calorie nut, they certainly don’t pack any less of a punch for your health. Pistachios arebest-nuts-for-health full of potassium, and lutein which is good for your eye health.

What’s more, these nuts can also improve cholesterol and triglycerides in adults with diabetes. Pistachios also help control blood sugar, improve insulin resistance and inflammatory markers in people who are prediabetic.

Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats, and brimming with antioxidants. Eating walnuts can help improve your brain health, your cardiovascular system, and may also help prevent cancer. According to a 2006 study, walnuts may be as effective as olive oil at lowering inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after you’ve eaten a fatty meal.

Next time you reach for a snack, think about how nuts can help improve your hair, skin, and nails, strengthen your bones, prevent some disease, and keep your heart healthy.

To your health,

Dr. Laura

The content on heartroothealth.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.