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They're Nuts!

nutsNuts are sometimes classified as a wonder food because they contain impressive amounts of antioxidants. As most of us know, antioxidants fight free radicals and help deter damage at the cellular level.  When this takes place, the opportunity for health-threatening illnesses like cancer and heart disease become minimized

Naturally, people who have nut allergies should not partake in this hardened fruit because serious reactions may occur.  For the rest of us, though, nuts are a great source of key vitamins and minerals.

“Which ones?” you ask.  Let’s look at some varieties and their benefits.

  • Almonds. This nut is found on the almond tree and contains a healthy dose of vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber.  It also provides a respectable amount of protein and certain amino acids.  Some studies even indicate the regular intake of almonds could lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and bolster good bacteria in the gut.
  • Pistachios. Another nutrient-filled nut, pistachios are rich in oleic acid, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, carotenes, and so much more!  They are a wonderful source of energy, and they’re kind of fun to eat (particularly if still in the shell!).
  • Cashews. A classic nut favorite, cashews contain needed minerals like zinc, iron, copper, and magnesium; plus, they are skinnier than other nuts because they do not contain as much fat.  In fact, people who regularly consume nuts (cashews included) tend to lose weight instead of gain it.
  • Walnuts.  Sometimes walnuts are unsung heroes; people seem to think they only serve a purpose in banana bread.  Yet, they are delicious in and of themselves.  Furthermore, they’re a fabulous source of plant protein, vitamin E, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids.  Hmm, maybe add a few to your morning cereal?
  • Peanuts. Okay, these nuts are the lowly guys.  They’re relatively inexpensive and not nearly as “la-di-da” as their above cousins.  Even so, peanuts are tasty, nourishing, and versatile.  To boot, they contain healthy fats, fiber, and B vitamins.

There are many good things that can be said about nuts.  Yes, they are high in fat, but it’s mostly the unsaturated kind, which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain diseases.  Moreover, they’re packed with vitamins, which often results in bolstering the immune system.  Not to mention, they are high in fiber, and fiber helps people stay regulated.

Nonetheless, everything in moderation; a handful is all that is needed to realize nuts’ benefits.  Also, keep in mind the salty assortment can elevate blood pressure for those with hypertension; therefore, choose unsalted if you have a propensity to this condition.

So, you want a healthy, satisfying, and delicious snack?  Then go nuts!