The Nuts


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Almonds★★

The almonds that we are use to eating are from the sweet almond tree. Almonds have been known to lower cholesterol levels and low on the glycemic index so its great for people with diabetes especially those with type 2 diabetes. It’s also a great source of Vitamin Etg1-3.

Almonds have plenty of fiber (4 grams per serving) and are good for your heart because they are a solid anti inflammatory food and have a good dose of fiber. 2-4% of an almond is an antioxidant called amygdalin. The antioxidants combined with the vitamins and minerals makes almonds a great cancer fighter.

They have a high fat content but the fats are health monounsaturated and poly unsaturated fats (MUFA and PUFA’s). However, 20 percent of an Almond is protein so this is a great food for those trying to lose weight and get lean regardless of the fat content since eating healthy fats can help you lose weight. Almonds are one of the only nuts that contain kaempferol. Blanched almonds are almonds without the skin. The skin actually has a wide variety of antioxidants in it 2.

 

Bitter Almonds

Bitter almonds look similar to the almonds we eat but they contain cyanide. They are usually not sold in stores.

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Brazil Nuts

Brazil Nuts ★

One of Brazil nuts’ biggest boasts is its selenium content. The amount of selenium per serving (about 6 nuts) is about 547mcg per day, which is way more than the recommended daily allowance of about 55 mcg per day. Selenium is a very because it helps us produce glutathione, a very powerful antioxidant.

Brazil nuts are also high in magnesium, which is important for keeping your nerves healthy especially when it comes to nerve signaling.

Two Brazil nuts per day should be enough to start getting the health benefits.

 

  1. Röder M, Filbert H, Holzhauser T. A novel, sensitive and specific real-time PCR for the detection of traces of allergenic Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) in processed foods. Analytical And Bioanalytical Chemistry [serial online]. November 2010;398(5):2279-2288.
  2. The Dr. Oz Show

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Cashews

Like Almonds, Cashews are excellent for those with diabetes because of its low glycemic response and fiber content. They also contain proanthocyanin antioxidants, which are good at stopping cancer cells from multiplying.

 

  1. Tedong L, Madiraju P, Haddad P, et al. Hydro-ethanolic extract of cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) nut and its principal compound, anacardic acid, stimulate glucose uptake in C2C12 muscle cells. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research [serial online]. December 2010;54(12):1753-1762.
  2. The Dr. Oz Show

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Chestnut

Chestnut

Sweet Chestnuts, which are fruits as well as nuts, have a good amount of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a neurotransmitter that inhibits signals in the brain but in a good way. It’s the main neurotransmitter that calms your nervous system down so it is great at relieving anxiety and nervousness.

 

  1. De Vasconcelos M, Bennett R, Rosa E, Ferreira-Cardoso J. Composition of European chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) and association with health effects: fresh and processed products. Journal Of The Science Of Food And Agriculture [serial online]. August 15, 2010;90(10):1578-1589.

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Hazelnut

Like most nuts they are high in healthy fats. They are a good source of Vitamin E. It can reduce your LDL cholesterol levels quite well especially Hazelnut Oil.

Hazelnuts are high in copper, which is important for our bodies because it works like an antioxidant and we only need small amounts. One ounce of Hazelnuts gives you 41% of your daily recommended intake (RDI) of copper.

 

  1. Tey S, Brown R, Chisholm A, Gray A, Williams S, Delahunty C. Current guidelines for nut consumption are achievable and sustainable: a hazelnut intervention. The British Journal Of Nutrition [serial online]. May 2011;105(10):1503-1511.
  2. http://www.sharecare.com/question/are-health-benefits-eating-hazelnuts

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Lychee Nut ★

Lychee nuts have a flowery/rosey smell and taste. They were traditionally used to replenish your vital organs especially the liver. It has one of the highest concentration of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant reported of any fruit.

  1. Bhoopat L, Srichairatanakool S, Kanjanapothi D, Taesotikul T, Thananchai H, Bhoopat T. Hepatoprotective effects of lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.): A combination of antioxidant and anti-apoptotic activities. Journal Of Ethnopharmacology [serial online]. June 14, 2011;136(1):55-66.

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Macadamia

Macadamia nuts are very good, according to recent studies, at reducing cholesterol levels and therefore lower your risk for heart disease, atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. They also contain very high levels of monounsaturated fats, which are also very good for your heart health.

 

  1. Garg M, Blake R, Wills R, Clayton E. Macadamia nut consumption modulates favourably risk factors for coronary artery disease in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Lipids [serial online]. June 2007;42(6):583-587.
  2. http://www.sharecare.com/question/are-macadamia-nuts-beneficial-health

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Peanuts

Peanuts have gotten a bad rap because they are so highly allergic for some people. But for those who are not allergic, peanuts have plenty to offer.

One serving of peanuts is 1 ounce or about ¼ cup of shelled nuts. Peanuts have 14 grams of fat per serving and only 2 of those grams are saturated fat with the rest being mono and polyunsaturated fats (i.e: MUFA’s and PUFA’s; the healthy fats) and they contain no cholesterol per serving. One serving also contains 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Along with that they also contain Vitamin E, magnesium, folate, thiamine (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), iron, manganese and phosphorus.

Surprisingly enough peanuts are a good cancer fighter because they contain resveratrol. This is the same antioxidant that’s found in red Grapes and wines that’s been getting rave reviews for it’s anti aging ability.

 

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Peanut Butter

Concerning antioxidant content, roasted peanuts are better than raw ones. There are more antioxidants in roasted peanuts than unroasted ones and most peanut butters are made of roasted peanuts.

 

  1. http://www.sharecare.com/question/is-nutritional-value-peanuts

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Pecans ★★

This is probably the most underrated of all the nuts.  According to the USDA it has one of the highest antioxidant contents for any food and the highest of all the nuts.  One of the antioxidants that it has is ellagic acid, which is also found in Pomegranates. They are also have plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids in it which makes it good for your brain and heart. On top of that they have 19 different Vitamins and minerals and 3 grams each of fiber and protein per serving.

The combination of the antioxidants and Omega 3’s make for a very strong anti inflammatory, anti cancer food. 1 ounce per day makes a great snack.

 

  1. The Dr. Oz Show
  2. de la Rosa L, Alvarez-Parrilla E, Shahidi F. Phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of kernels and shells of Mexican pecan (Carya illinoinensis). Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. January 12, 2011;59(1):152-162.
  3. de la Rosa L, Alvarez-Parrilla E, Shahidi F. Phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of kernels and shells of Mexican pecan (Carya illinoinensis). Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. January 12, 2011;59(1):152-162.

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Pine Nuts

Pine nuts contain a good dose of manganese, copper, Vitamin B6 and Copper. They are great for your heart and can help lower your blood pressure.

 

  1. http://www.sharecare.com/question/health-benefits-eating-pine-nuts
  2. Bolling B, Chen C, McKay D, Blumberg J. Tree nut phytochemicals: composition, antioxidant capacity, bioactivity, impact factors. A systematic review of almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. Nutrition Research Reviews [serial online]. December 2011;24(2):244-275.

 

 

 

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Pistachio ★★

When it comes to Vitamin E about two handfuls of Pistachios will give you about 100% of the Vitamin E you need for the day. They are full of lutein, which is a powerful antioxidant that’s also in Eggs and can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise your HDL (good) cholesterol.

Like most nuts it has plenty of mono and polyunsaturated fats as well as fiber.

Pistachios can act as a prebiotic meaning they can help boost the performance of the good natural bacteria in your gut.

One serving of Pistachios is 1/3 of a cup or about 47 shelled nuts. Click here for more information on the nutritional content.

 

  1. Aldemir M, Okulu E, Neşelioğlu S, Erel O, Kayıgil O. Pistachio diet improves erectile function parameters and serum lipid profiles in patients with erectile dysfunction. International Journal Of Impotence Research [serial online]. January 2011;23(1):32-38.
  2. The Dr. Oz Show
  3. Dreher M. Pistachio nuts: composition and potential health benefits. Nutrition Reviews [serial online]. April 2012;70(4):234-240.

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Walnuts ★★

It’s hard to go wrong with Walnuts. They have a high amount of Omega 3’s per ounce. One serving is about 1 ounce of walnuts. It is a very good source of manganese and a good source of Copper.1  Click here for more info.

Walnuts can lower you bad cholesterol and improve your good cholesterol levels.

Walnuts can help boost dopamine and arginine levels in your brain2, which helps you relax and opens up your blood vessels. This can be beneficial for a number of things ranging from erectile dysfunction to high blood pressure.

A study presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease in 2010 reported that mice with Alzheimer’s improved their learning, memory and coordination after being fed walnuts3. Although the study was on mice, the implication is that the same results would be likely if the study was done on humans.

Walnuts are a very powerful anti inflammatory food and cancer fighter. They contain a lot of powerful antioxidants and can help your vision, skin, hair, nails, and joints. They can also help reduce your appetite if you are trying to lose weight.

Like Pecans, Walnuts tend to fly under the radar despite their great health benefits. You can grind them up and add them to oatmeal or put them in yogurt or make them part of a trail mix. They are very versatile and can be used a number of different ways. Try eating a few servings per week to get the most out of them.

 

  1. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3138/2
  2. The Dr. Oz Show

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