Are nuts simply full of fat, or can they help your health?
Can nuts be a healthy snack, even if you’re watching your weight or your glucose levels?
1) Edible nuts are great sources of fiber and protein, and most have a glycemic index between 0 and 20.
2) Certain compounds within nuts, called phytates and tannins, can make them difficult for your body to digest, and they may cause feelings of discomfort in the process. However, soaking them in water for a few hours can solve this potential issue.
3) Peanuts contain the most omega-6 fatty acid content of all nuts. Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid, but in moderate amounts. Too much omega-6 can actually increase inflammation.
4) Most doctors and nutritionists recommend eating no more than 30 grams of nuts per day, 4 or 5 days a week.
5) An ounce of macadamia nuts contains nearly 60% of your daily requirement for manganese, a mineral which aids in brain, bone and nerve health. Studies also show that manganese plays a role in blood sugar regulation, and it’s can help reduce inflammation.
6) Walnuts are an excellent source of alpha linolenic acid. ALA is a plant-based Omega-3 fatty acid, and can help you lose body fat through it’s appetite-suppressing properties.
7) Recent studies have found that type 2 diabetic participants who ate a cashew-enriched diet improved their HDL cholesterol levels and lowered their systolic blood pressure, compared to participants who ate no cashews.
8) The Review of Diabetic Studies found that regularly eating pistachios improved blood sugar levels in diabetics, and other studies revealed that regular pistachio consumption may improve blood pressure, reduce obesity, and lessen inflammation.
9) A recent study found that type 2 diabetic participants who ate almonds regularly for 12 weeks lowered their fasting glucose and insulin levels, and a separate study found that eating almonds can improve insulin sensitivity while decreasing cardiovascular risk factors.
10) Which ever nut is your favorite, you really can’t go wrong. Just remember to limit your portion size, and go for unsalted, unsweetened varieties whenever possible. Adding a one ounce serving of raw nuts to your daily diet, a few days per week, can improve your heart health, lower your risk of cancer, lessen inflammation, and aid your glucose control.