Nuts are more than just simple snacks. These small yet powerful foods are essential for a balanced diet and offer a wide range of health benefits, from improving gut function to aiding in abdominal fat loss.
Crunchy and delicious, nuts can be consumed in various ways: as snacks, in smoothies, as dessert toppings, in salads, turned into spreads, or even in cakes and cookies.
Originating from different plant families, they are characterized by having a single seed and a hard shell. An example is the peanut, which, although belonging to the legume family, shares similar properties with other nuts.
Why Should You Incorporate Nuts into Your Diet?
These foods are a rich source of dietary fiber, proteins, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folic acid, niacin, magnesium, zinc, copper, and potassium.
They also contain the non-essential amino acid l-arginine, which, according to recent research, can improve cardiovascular health.
Heart Health Benefits
Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are especially known for their high content of healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
These nuts are a source of monounsaturated fat, which, according to a study published by Mayo Clinic, can help reduce total cholesterol when it replaces saturated fats in the diet.
Dr. Nicolás Veller, an expert in nutrition and health, highlights in a YouTube talk the properties of fibers present in walnuts, almonds, and pistachios.
These fibers can improve gut function, promoting proper transit and boosting the health of colon bacteria. Additionally, the plant proteins they contain are beneficial for muscles and the body overall.
Although nuts are highly nutritious, it’s essential to consume them in moderation due to their high-caloric content. It’s recommended that adults include between 4 and 6 servings of unsalted nuts per week in their diet. It’s crucial to avoid those processed with added salt or sugar.
In the case of cashews, it’s worth noting that they contain high amounts of carbohydrates and few fibers.
Veller indicates that the calories from nuts aren’t fully assimilated in the body, so, if consumed in proper amounts, they don’t contribute to weight gain. Some studies even suggest that almonds could help reduce abdominal and thigh fat.
Incorporating nuts into a balanced diet can offer multiple health benefits. Research on the consumption of peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios supports this claim.
However, as with any food, it’s essential to consume them in moderation and within the context of a balanced diet.
Note: This article is purely informational. Before making significant changes to your diet or consuming specific foods, it’s important to consult with a health or nutrition professional.