By – Scott K, Health & Wellness Contributor
Why Nuts are the perfect Snack
There are certainly plenty of snacks you can choose from when you want something healthy to munch on, but is there any healthy snack more perfect than nuts?
If you aren’t already enjoying these natural, easy-to-carry and fun to consume treats as part of your daily diet, you really should, and here’s why…
Nuts are a Natural Way to Stay Healthy
If you want to enjoy a healthy snack that hasn’t gone through any sort of processing whatsoever, contains no artificial flavors or preservatives, and doesn’t cost a fortune like some organic health foods do, then you simply can’t do better than nuts.
While you have the option of purchasing nuts with extra salt, honey-roasted coatings, or other seasonings, plain nuts are really the best. Munching on mixed nuts will provide you with a variety of flavors that eliminates the need for those other added flavorings.
It’s Easy to Always Have Nuts With You
Another great thing about nuts is that you can always have a small bag of nuts with you. Carry them in your purse or pocket, and when a hunger craving hits, you are good to go! Just a handful of nuts can be enough to satisfy a hunger pang and give you an energy boost, so it just makes sense to make nuts your go-to snack.
They are Healthier Than You Might Think
You probably already know that nuts are healthy, but do you know just how healthy? Some of the health benefits of nuts might surprise you!
Yes, nuts do have a high fat content—and while some nuts contain some saturated fats, the majority is monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat, which are healthy fats. These healthy fats are a necessary part of regular body functions, such as aiding in the absorption of vitamins and helping cell growth. There are plenty of other foods with healthy fats, but nuts have them in abundance!
Nuts are also high in fiber and protein, both of which help you to feel fuller. That means you can eat a small amount of nuts and not feel so hungry, so they won’t really cause any weight gain like other less healthy snacks might. Additionally, you’ll feel fuller longer, so you won’t be tempted to grab another snack so quickly. No worrying about proper portion control here.
Nuts also contain a number of important vitamins and minerals, and adding them to your regular diet can help to reduce the risk of various diseases. Studies show that a handful of nuts each day can significantly lower the risk of heart disease.
And the problem with a lot of other snacks is that they’ll cause a blood sugar spike and a subsequent drop, which doesn’t feel so great. There’s no problem like that with nuts, another reason they are the perfect healthy snack!
Which are the Healthiest Nuts?
When you get mixed nuts you get a little of everything, but if you prefer to just snack on a few select nuts, consider which ones are the healthiest overall. Nuts in general do have a high fat content, which, as we’ve stated before, is mainly good fat. But a few particular nuts, such as macadamia nuts, cashews, and Brazil nuts, have higher amounts of saturated fats, and so should not be consumed as much as other nuts.
And, believe it or not, the nut that is the lowest in all fats and carbohydrates is the humble chestnut! But as mentioned above, eating mixed nuts can give you a well-rounded dose of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Consider the nutritional properties of the following nuts often found in a container of mixed nuts:
• Health Benefits of Walnuts
loaded with Omega 3’s, heart healthy, fights inflammation, add the popular walnut to the mix
• Health Benefits of Peanuts
many people consider peanuts the most boring nut, but it contains essential nutrients for keeping your hair and skin looking vibrant and healthy.
• Health Benefits of Almonds
a handful of almonds can help you destress and brighten your mood! And, they are also good for the health of your bones and teeth.
• Health Benefits of Cashews
also good for the health of your bones and hair, as well as the nervous system. Eating cashews regularly also helps lower the risk of cancer.
• Health Benefits of Brazil Nuts
these are packed with nutrients, helping to support immune system health as well as the health of your thyroid glands, hair, and nails.
• Health Benefits of Pecans
good for bone health and protecting your cells from damage caused by stress.
Overall, depending on which nuts you consume, mixed nuts offer you healthy doses of potassium, calcium, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, folate, magnesium, zinc, thiamin, manganese, omega-3, selenium, and plenty of antioxidants.
And if you don’t buy the salted kind, (or at least a brand that
doesn’t have much sodium added) they are naturally low in sodium as well!
You’d be nuts not to be crazy about nuts!