Eating nuts…Health Benefits

EATING NUTS

For many years, nuts have gotten a bad rap for being high in fat. But in reality, nuts should be a vital part of our diet, as they are high in monounsaturated fats that help keep us heart-healthy and disease-free. Healthy nuts are also great sources of protein, minerals and other life-enhancing nutrients. Scientific studies now show that different types of nuts and seeds may support factors that help prevent heart disease, weight gain and the accumulation of LDL cholesterol.

All nuts should be organic, eaten in their raw state, and not irradiated or roasted. In no particular order, here is my list of the five healthiest nuts you should add to your diet.

  1. Almonds

A small handful of almonds gives you almost 25% of your daily needs for magnesium, and more bone-strengthening calcium as an equal amount of cow milk.

They are also high in many antioxidants, such as vitamin E and selenium. Studies show that almonds may play an important role in preventing colon cancer due to their high fiber content. Almonds also helps lower negative forms of cholesterol in the blood stream.

2. Walnuts

One of the best nuts on earth, walnuts may actually support your brain function. Studies show that consumption of walnuts is related to heart-health, better cognitive function, as well as the reduction of skin and bone conditions. Packed full of an antioxidant known as ellagic acid, researchers have shown that walnuts contain 16 disease-fighting polyphenols.

3. Pecans

Recent clinical studies show that pecans significantly lower cholesterol. Pecans are also a great source of over twenty essential vitamins and minerals.

4. Brazil Nuts

 

High in heart-healthy nutrients and minerals like copper, niacin, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, and selenium, studies on Brazil nuts show that they are a protein-packed snack that may aid in the prevention of breast cancer.

5. Cedar Nuts

Siberian cedar nuts, originating in Russia, hold 70% of the essential amino acids your body needs. They also contain high amounts of vitamins A, B and D, and tocopherol-containing vitamin E. This exotic nut also contains a fatty acid similar to fish oil, which is known for reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol, keeping the arterial walls free of disease-causing inflammation and plaque.

Raw nuts are a big part of my diet and pack more energy than any other food. They make a healthy snack that is low in calories and can be a great addition to your diet.

 

Cashew Nuts

Delicately sweet yet crunchy and delicious cashew nut packed with energy, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that are essential for robust health. Cashew, or “caju” in Portuguese, is one of the popular ingredients in sweet as well savory dishes worldwide.

Botanically, cashew is an average sized tropical evergreen tree belonging to the Anacardiaceae family, of the genus: Anacardium. Scientific name: Anacardium occidentale.

The cashew tree is native to the Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. It spread all over the planet by Portuguese explorers and today; it is cultivated on a commercial scale in Brazil, Vietnam, India, and many African countries.

Cashew tree bears many, edible, pear-shaped false fruits or “accessory fruits’” called “cashew apples.” Cashew nut which is a “true-fruit,” firmly attaching to the bottom end of cashew-apple, appearing like a clapper in the bell. Botanically, this tiny, bean shaped, gray “true fruit” is a drupe, featuring hard outer shell enclosing a single edible kernel known commercially as “cashew nut.”

Structurally, this Cashew “drupe” is made up of outer, hard shell and inner, edible kernel. Cashew shell composes of a toxic phenolic resin, urushiol; a potent caustic skin irritant toxin and therefore should be eliminated. In the processing units, the whole cashew is treated under the high flame to destroy urushiol resin. Thus roasted cashew becomes safe to handle with bare hands by workers, who then mechanically shell the nuts to extract underlying edible cashew kernel.

Cashew nut measures about an inch in length, 1/2 inches in diameter, and kidney or bean shape, with a smooth surface and smooth curvy pointed tip. Each nut splits into two halves as in legumes. The cream white kernel features firm yet crunchy texture and sweet, buttery flavor.

Health benefits of Cashew nuts

  • Cashews are high in calories. 100 g of nuts provide 553 calories. They packed with soluble dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and numerous health-promoting phytochemicals that help protect from diseases and cancers.
  • They are rich in “heart-friendly” monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids. These essential fatty acids help lower harmful LDL-cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol in the blood. Research studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids contribute to preventing coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
  • Cashew nuts are abundant sources of essential minerals. Manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium are especially concentrated in them. A handful of cashew nuts a day in the diet would provide enough of these minerals and may help prevent deficiency diseases. Selenium is an important micronutrient, which functions as a co-factor for antioxidant enzymes such as Glutathione peroxidases, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a co-factor for many enzymes that regulate growth and development, gonadal function, digestion, and DNA (nucleic acid) synthesis.
  • Cashews are also good in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). 100 g nuts provide 0.147 mg or 32% of daily recommended levels of pyridoxine. Pyridoxine reduces the risk of homocystinuria, and sideroblastic anemia. Niacin helps prevent “pellagra” or dermatitis. Additionally, these vitamins are essential for the metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates at the cellular level.
  • Further, they also hold a small amount of zeaxanthin, an important pigment flavonoid antioxidant, which selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes. It is thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV ray filtering functions and helps prevent age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) in the older adults.

Groundnuts, also known as peanuts, are considered a very healthy snack. Although small in size it plays a vital nutritional role and contains amazing health benefits.

The health benefits includes:

  1. Helps Promote Fertility (Folate) Peanuts contain a good amount of folate. Repeated studies have shown that women who had a daily intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid before and during early pregnancy reduced their risk of having a baby born with a serious neural tube defect by up to 70%.
  2. Helps Fight Depression (Tryptophan) Peanuts are good sources of tryptophan, an essential amino acid which is important for the production of serotonin, one of the key brain chemicals involved in mood regulation. When depression occurs, a decreased amount of serotonin may be released from the nerve cells in the brain. Tryptophan may raise serotonin’s antidepressant effects when there is an increased amount of serotonin in the blood.
  3. Boosts Memory Power (Vitamin B3) Do you know what can be found in peanuts that gave them the “brain food” tag? This is due to their vitamin B3 or niacin content whose many health benefits include normal brain functioning and boosting memory power.
  4. Aids in Blood Sugar Regulation (Manganese) One fourth cup of peanuts can supply the body with 35% of the DV of manganese, a mineral which plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.
  5. Cancer Protection A form of phytosterol called beta-sitoserol (SIT) is found in high concentrations in some plant oils, seeds, and legumes including peanuts. Phytosterols not only protects against cardiovascular disease by interfering with the absorption of cholesterol, they also protect against cancer by inhibiting tumor growth.
  6. Helps Prevent Gallstones It may come as a surprise that peanuts can help prevent gallstones. But 20 years of studies have shown that eating 1 ounce of nuts, peanuts or peanut butter a week lowers the risk of developing gallstones by 25%.
  7. Boosts Memory Power (Vitamin B3) Do you know what can be found in peanuts that gave them the “brain food” tag? This is due to their vitamin B3 or niacin content whose many health benefits include normal brain functioning and boosting memory power.
  8. Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels (Copper) The same nutrient which gives peanuts their memory enhancing power also helps lower and control cholesterol levels. Added to that is their copper contents which aids in reducing bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels.
  9. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease Numerous studies have shown that regular nuts consumption is linked to reduced risk of heart disease. Peanuts are rich in heart-friendly monounsaturated fats and antioxidants such as oleic acid. So take a handful of peanuts and other nuts at least four times a week to reduce your risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.
  10.  Lowers Risk of Weight Gain Eating nuts regularly is associated with a lowered risk of weight gain. Research has shown that people who eat nuts at least twice weekly are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat them. Surprise!.

Groundnuts can be enjoyed raw, roasted, boiled and fried, whichever way you choose to prepare your groundnut, just make sure you enjoy every moment of it.

source: Culled from wikinut.com

 

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “Eating nuts…Health Benefits

  1. Wow, how amazing,that groundnuts have all these health benefits. We sometimes eat n not know the health benefits of them, whether good or bad. This was a very educative blog. Keep it up👍

    Like

  2. Would like to commend you for the educative and insightful piece of Info’s you’ve been providing us. Keep it up bro

    #Best blog ever

    Like

  3. This piece of writing had been so much educative and have cleared the notions and mindsets I had about eating nuts……Highly educative and impactful

    Like

  4. Very educational and healthy. This clears the misunderstanding of nuts most people have and shows the healthy ones we should eat. Thanks for the blog

    Like

  5. This is very resourceful and educative, you have really opened my eyes about all the goodies in nuts I never knew. I salute you for this info

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s