Nuts gain prominence in festive seasons, but are often overlooked or ignored in our daily diets. Nuts are not just healthy for our physical health, but also for brain power and mental well-being. While we often hear about the health benefits of almonds, walnuts and peanuts, there are other healthy nuts to know about too! Let us tell you about a variety of nuts with nutritional value that you must add to your diet.
Global health organisations such as the World Health Organization and American Heart Association recommend the intake of nuts for better cardiovascular health and overall well-being. According to research, the high content of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids, sterols and fiber in nuts, make them a food worth adding to a healthy diet.
5 healthy nuts and their health benefits
Hazelnuts are modest in size and taste sweet and earthy. This tree nut is considered the second richest source of MUFAs among nuts. They are rich in vitamin E, magnesium, copper, selenium, folate and fiber, as per a study published in the Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Journal. From supporting healthy digestion, managing cholesterol and improving insulin sensitivity to reducing inflammation and supporting heart health, hazelnuts are wonder nuts!
As for hazelnut nutrition facts, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that 100 grams of hazelnuts offer 628 kcal of energy, 15 grams of protein, 9.7 gram of fiber, 114 gram of calcium, 163 mg of magnesium, 680 mg potassium and more.
If you’ve heard of pecan pies, you know about the pecans we are talking about! Pecans are typically rich in monounsaturated fats that make it a heart-friendly choice of nuts. Studies have found that the consumption of pecan nuts can mitigate risks of inflammation, cardiovascular disease or metabolic disorders. Pecans also contain antioxidants, including vitamin E!
USDA states that 100 grams of pecans offer 691 kcal of energy, 9.17 grams of protein, 9.6 grams of dietary fiber and more.
3. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts stand out for their monounsaturated fat content. These fats foster heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels and managing lipid profiles. This has a positive effect on heart health. The health benefits of macadamia nuts also plays a role in managing body weight and obesity. They are also said to boost energy production and nerve function, improve metabolic processes and cognitive capabilities.
The round white nuts offer 716 kcal of energy, 7.79 gram of protein, 8 gram of fiber, 70 mg calcium and more, as per the USDA.
4. Brazil Nuts
Renowned for their exceptional selenium content, Brazil nuts play a pivotal role in maintaining thyroid health and regulating metabolism. Selenium also functions as a potent antioxidant that improves the body’s immune system, boosts cardiovascular health and maintains thyroid function. These oblong-shaped nuts also have calcium and magnesium to promote bone health.
The USDA cites that just 100 grams of Brazil nuts give 659 kcal of energy, 14.32 grams of protein, 7.5 grams of fiber, 160 mg of calcium and 376 mg of magnesium among other nutrients.
5. Pine Nuts
Slim and petite in size, pine nuts have sizeable health benefits. This variety of nuts must be had in moderation since it is high on fat and calories. Eating it in excess may cause unwanted complications. On the positive side, it is packed with protein and fiber that facilitate diabetes management and heart health. They are good energy producers too!
Let us tell you that 100 grams of pine nuts will give you 673 kcal of energy, 13.7 grams of protein, 3.7 grams of dietary fiber, 251 mg of magnesium and more.
The last word
Incorporating these lesser-consumed nuts into our diets will help us add nutrients for our overall health.