As Diwali arrives, so does the season of Nuts. It is mandatory to serve nuts to guests on Diwali, and the practice continues through winters. During Winters, the grocery stores stack a variety of nuts. In Winters, they make popular snacks, though have to be eaten in moderation.
Nuts are nutritional powerhouses, packed in tiny package, but high in calories. They have high protein and fiber content. If you add nuts to your diet, you'll want to cut back on something else. Substitute nuts for chips or cookies, and avoid nuts that are fried in oil or loaded with salt.
So, what are the health benefits of eating Nuts?
1. Nuts are good for your Heart:
Most nuts contain the following substances
- Unsaturated fats. It's not entirely clear why, but it's thought that the "good" fats in nuts — both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — lower bad cholesterol levels.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Many nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a healthy form of fatty acids that seem to help your heart by, among other things, preventing dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to heart attacks. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in many kinds of fish, but nuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Fiber. All nuts contain fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol. Fiber also makes you feel full, so you eat less. Fiber is also thought to play a role in preventing diabetes.
- Vitamin E. Vitamin E may help stop the development of plaques in your arteries, which can narrow them. Plaque development in your arteries can lead to chest pain, coronary artery disease or a heart attack.
- Plant sterols. Some nuts contain plant sterols, a substance that can help lower your cholesterol. Plant sterols are often added to products like margarine and orange juice for additional health benefits, but sterols occur naturally in nuts.
- L-arginine. Nuts are also a source of l-arginine, which is a substance that may help improve the health of your artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow.
2. Nuts reduce Cancer risk
Some nuts contain special compounds that don't exist in other food or exist in other foods in very limited amount. These special compounds exert special health functions in our body. For example, peanuts contain high concentration of phytosterols.
Phytosterols protect against cancer by several means. These include inhibiting cell division, stimulating tumor cells death and modifying some of the hormones that are essential to tumor growth.
Nuts also contain Selenium which is needed to fight cancer.
3. Controlling Body weight
Studies show that nuts contain a number of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and antioxidants which are all important for any healthy weight loss program. The fat and fiber content in nuts make them very filling and satisfying and so people tend not to overeat them. Studies have shown that eating small amounts of nuts help people lose weight.
Benefits of various nuts:
These are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Also contains potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper. Walnuts can help to lower the harmful LDL cholesterol.
Almonds contain good amounts of Calcium, Magnesuium, Vitamin E,Zinc and Phytochemicals which help to protect against Heart diseases and fight Cancer.
These contain good amounts of Magnesium, Zinc and Phosphorus. Also contain some amount of Iron.
They contain good amount of Vitamin B, along with Protein and fiber.
They contain protein, fiber, thiamine, niacin and zinc in good amounts.
Ways to use nuts in your diet:
As a snack between meals
As a snack between meals
Garnish on desserts, ingredients in salads, topping on breakfast cereals and in milkshakes.
As a snack, a handful of roasted nuts can beat hunger because of the protein and fat content.
So for good nutrition, long life and better health, make nuts as part of your balanced diet.