People can go nuts when it comes to “nuts”. Nuts are nature's special way of reminding us that some good things come in small packages. This bite-size nutritional power energetic bundle of heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals are available everywhere you go, affordable and not messy to eat. Eat it anytime but don’t go overboard or it may ruin your appetite because of its content of fat and calories.
And although many believe that nuts are a healthy choice by themselves, avoid mixing them with sugary or salty toppings or they’ll quickly become a diet crasher.
· BEST FOR DIET
In moderate quantity, all nuts are about equal in terms of calories per ounce, and for sure are all healthy additions to any diet. Nuts mix of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber will make you feel full and curb your appetite to gobble more.
- Almonds (23 nuts): 160 cal. per ounce ; 6 grams protein; 14 grams fat
- Cashews (16 to 18 nuts) : 160 cal from 16-18 nuts ; 5 grams protein ; 13 grams fat
- Pistachios (49 nuts): 6 grams protein; 13 grams fat.
Avoid nuts packaged or roasted in oil; instead, eat them raw or dry roasted, says Caplan. (Roasted nuts may have been heated in hydrogenated or omega-6 unhealthy fats, she adds, or to high temperatures that can destroy their nutrients.)
· WORST FOR DIET
Ounce for ounce, macadamia nuts and pecans have the most calories- along with the lowest amounts of protein and the highest amounts of fats.
- Macadamia Nuts (10-12 nuts) : 2 grams protein; 21 grams fat
- Pecans ( 18 to 20 halves) : 3 grams protein; 20 grams fat
Despite higher quantity of fat, as long as you're observing proper portion control and not munching down handfuls at a time, any kind of raw, plain nut will give a good dose of healthy fats and nutrients.
· BEST FOR THE HEART
While all nuts carry earth-healthy monounsaturated fats, walnuts have high amounts of heart-healthy alpha linoleic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants.
- Walnuts (14 halves) : 185 calories; 18 grams fat, 4 grams protein.
Research has suggested that ALA may help heart arrhythmias, and a 2006 Spanish study suggested that walnuts were as effective as olive oil at reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after eating a fatty meal.
- BEST FOR THE BRAIN
Peanuts are generally referred to as nuts but they’re technically legumes and are high in folate—a mineral essential for brain development that may protect against cognitive decline. Most vegetarians choose peanuts for its folate contents while some pregnant women, who need folates eats peanuts to protect their unborn babies from birth defects
- Peanuts ( an ounce-about 28 unshelled ) : 170 calories;7 grams protein and 14 grams fat. Peanuts are full of brain-boosting healthy fats and vitamin E.
- BEST FOR MEN
- Brazil Nuts ( 1 ounce-about 6 nuts): 190 calories: 19 grams fat; and 4 grams protein
Creamy Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, a mineral that may protect against prostate cancer and other diseases. Eat this in moderation because one nut contains more than a day's worth. Studies show that too much selenium may be linked to type 2 diabetes risk.
- Pecans (One ounce of pecans (18 to 20 halves): 200 calories; 21 grams fat; and 3 grams protein.
Pecans are also good for men's health: They're loaded with beta-sitosterol, a plant steroid that may help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate.
It is easy to get hold of most variety of nuts. They can be purchased in supermarkets and online stores. They are available in a wide variety of options, including salted or unsalted, seasoned or plain, raw or roasted.
In general, it’s healthiest to eat nuts raw or toasted. Dry-roasted nuts are the next-best option. If possible avoid nuts roasted in vegetable and seed oils.
Nuts can be kept at room temperature, which makes them ideal for on-the-go snacks and traveling. However, if you’re going to be storing them for long then a refrigerator or freezer will keep them fresher. Eating nuts on a regular basis can fit into anyone’s diet. It is a very enjoyable yet nutritious way to improve your health.