Nuts may be eaten raw, baked into cookies or cakes, or cooked into savory dishes like stir-fries. As with other plant-based foods, nuts are rich in dietary fiber and nutrients such as vitamin B, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc. Nuts are also good sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Nuts are noted for large amounts of unsaturated fats or “good fats.”
An ounce of nuts typically contains from 3 to 6 grams of protein. Protein is essential in building muscles and stamina. Eating nuts regularly can help muscles to repair and recover after a strenuous workout.
Other Health Benefits
Nuts have been found to be helpful in controlling blood sugar. A study published by Diabetes Care showed that regular consumption of pistachio nuts may help people who are at risk for diabetes control their blood glucose levels. Another study found that tree nuts such as almonds, cashews, pecans, and Brazil nuts could help reduce the risk of type 2 Diabetes.
Contrary to popular belief that eating nuts leads to weight gain because nuts are high in calories, it was found in recent studies that eating 1 to 2 ounces of nuts a day does not have any negative bearing on body weight. Nuts contain healthy fats and are a great replacement for snacks like potato chips. The fiber content of nuts can help make you feel full faster.
Medical research has shown that some varieties of nuts may help lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol. A lower LDL level also lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Nuts also contain L-arginine, which maintains the flexibility of the artery walls for better heart health.
Nuts provide the body with folate, or folic acid, which aids brain function and can help delay the onset of cognitive decline among seniors. Folic acid has also been found to prevent depression.