How Nuts Can Improve Your Health

How Nuts Can Improve Your Health

Nuts are dry hard fruits that are either encased in a hard shell or in the seed of the tree itself. Most of which are edible. You can eat and cook them in a lot of different ways.

You can see them from small packs or as additives to some salad dressing for extra flavor or some crunch.

Many of these nuts are high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber and incorporated into many people’s diets.

There is a huge variety of nuts on this planet; some of them are the tiniest foods on the planet. But as the saying goes, “Great things come in small packages.”

They are some of the most underrated foods because they have loads of benefits to a person’s health.

5 General Health Benefits of Nuts

1. Weight loss

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Eating nuts when you’re hungry is like taking a power nap when you’re sleepy.

These small foods, being high in nutrients, can fill you up and can last you for a long time. This long-term satisfaction will stop you from eating many or heavy meals a day.

The common notion is that nuts aid in obesity because of their high-fat content. But a recent study found that nuts have an inverse association with obesity.

2. Reduce the risk of heart disease

Person making peanut butter sandwiches, healthy food

Nuts are rich in antioxidants and unsaturated nutrients. These promote heart health and regulate blood cholesterol. They do this by lowering triglyceride levels and the “bad” cholesterol.

Another name for harmful cholesterol is low-density lipoprotein or LDL. They are part of the build-up of plaque that can clog the arteries.

What is present in nuts that make and keep your heart healthy? It is unsaturated fats and fiber that lower bad cholesterol levels.

They also have Omega-3 fatty acids that prevent irregular heart rhythms. There’s also Vitamin E that can prevent heart attacks, chest pains, and coronary heart.

It does this by preventing the build-up of plaque in the arteries. L-arginine is like Vitamin E. It prevents plaque build-up in the arteries.

They do this by making the arteries flexible, also preventing blood clots.

3. Reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes

The polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in nuts improve proper cholesterol levels. They are also thought to enhance insulin sensitivity, as one study suggests.

They also decrease the glycemic index of a diet. When you add nuts to a high-carb meal, digestion becomes slower.

KETOGENIC DIET - Low carbs high fat products@2x

It also lowers blood sugar levels, and can also slow down the absorption of carbohydrates.

Nuts can also help people who already have diabetes. They cut side effects and prevent some other chronic illnesses.

4. Antioxidants and beneficial fiber

Antioxidants bring many benefits on their own, and nuts have a lot of them. They repair damaged cells in the body.

They can prevent many different diseases and can benefit acute and chronic illnesses.

Like antioxidants, fiber has many health benefits. For one, it lessens the calories you get during meals, thus helping in weight loss. The fiber in nuts can improve gut health, too.

It does this by acting as prebiotics, or food for healthy gut bacteria. The friendly bacteria then ferment the fiber in the colon. Finally, they become short-chain fatty acids or SCFAs.

These SCFAs can then improve gut health and also aid in the prevention of diabetes and obesity.

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They can also make up 10% of your daily caloric needs and help in the digestion of carbohydrates and fats. SCFAs also help fight some digestive disorders.

5. Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is the body’s natural way of protecting itself from harm like an injury. Prolonged inflammations come with consequences. It can damage organs and weaken your immune system.

It is adults who are more at risk for harmful inflammation. Diets with nuts high in Omega-3 have higher chances of preventing inflammation.

Woman holding tasty walnuts, closeup - Organic snack

Walnuts, in particular, contain an Omega-3 fatty acid called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). This helps battle inflammation.

There are clear connections between these health benefits. Reducing inflammation can lead to other positive effects.

Preventing diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.

6 Common Nuts and Their Health Benefits

1. Almonds

Almonds isolated on white

These are all the rage in veganism and other related diets, and there’s a good reason why.

Almonds are tree nuts that are rich in calcium but non-dairy, perfect for those wanting to stay away from it. Being a great source of calcium, they strengthen the bones and teeth.

They also contain vast amounts of Vitamin E that helps the skin and eyes become healthy. This compound protects cells from damage and repairs already damaged cells.

It also functions as an antioxidant, strengthening the immune system.

2. Pistachios

Pistachios aren’t only an excellent flavor for ice cream. They also have loads of dietary and health benefits. For one, they’re very rich in fiber.

There is an association between dietary fiber, the digestive system, particularly excretion. It also lowers the risk of diabetes, some forms of cancer, and heart disease.

Pistachios isolated on a white background

This nut, like many others, improves cholesterol levels. But instead of decreasing the bad cholesterol, they increase the good cholesterol.

HDL or high-density lipoprotein is another name for good cholesterol.

Pistachios can also decrease the risk of the change of blood pressure, weight. It can also regulate the oxidative status. This status is the many levels of oxidized chemicals in the blood.

3. Walnuts

Walnuts contain high amounts of the Omega-3 fatty acid ALA, bringing a lot of positive effects on the body.

It has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent some chronic diseases. Also, it prevents some heart disease.

Studies on walnut consumption show improved cholesterol levels. It shows a decrease in bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL).

Walnuts also improve blood pressure and blood flow.

Tasty walnuts isolated on white

A study also suggests that walnuts improve some brain activity in young adults. One of their cognition measurements called inferential reasoning, increased.

Cognition, in simple terms, refers to thinking. Inferential reasoning is the acquisition of knowledge and information by thought.

Walnuts are also believed to have anti-cancer properties. But further studies need to be conducted.

4. Cashews

Cashews, as some studies suggest, improve metabolic syndrome symptoms.

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of complications, which include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess fat.

This collection can increase the chances of stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Delicious cashew nuts, isolated on white background

Cashews are also rich in magnesium. It can improve some brain activity, like recall and delay and age-related memory loss.

5. Macadamia Nuts

Many of the health benefits related to macadamia nuts are of the heart. This is because they are high in monounsaturated fat.

Two of the risk factors these nuts can reduce are inflammation and oxidative status.

Macadamia nuts may decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome. They may also reduce the effects of it to those who already have it. Gut health is another thing macadamia nuts improve.

Rich in soluble fiber, macadamia nuts act as a prebiotic. The healthy bacteria in the colon needs this, as explained above. This can then reduce inflammation.

It can prevent digestion-related ailments such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and ulcers.

Group of macadamia nuts isolated on white background

Macadamia nuts contain significant amounts of tocotrienols and flavonoids. These are plant compounds that are both believed to fight cancer.

Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimutagenic, and anticarcinogenic properties. Tocotrienols are vitamin E compounds that fight cancer by fighting free radical damage.

This compound is also believed to protect the brain. It protects brain cells from glutamate and the consequences it brings.

Some adverse effects are the development of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Protein and fiber are essential nutrients that suppress hunger. They can also promote a feeling of being full. Macadamia nuts are rich in them, reducing factors connected to weight-related problems.

They help in preventing unwanted weight gain and unhealthy weight. This is due to the monounsaturated fat Omega-7 fat palmitoleic acid they have.

Some research also suggests that some fat stays in the nut’s wall during digestion. This makes you absorb fewer calories.

6. Chestnuts

Chestnuts aren’t only a favorite holiday food. They have excellent nutritional values.

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Among all the nuts, they have the lowest fat and calorie count but are rich in fiber and starchy carbs. They are also a great source of Vitamin C.

Like many of the other nuts, it’s believed that chestnuts improve cholesterol levels. They are also thought to maintain a healthy and regular blood sugar level.

Being heavy in healthy fiber, they prove to be suitable for the digestive system. Two digestive problems chestnuts can fight are constipation and intestinal complications.

Chestnuts are high in fat-soluble B vitamins. They may have the ability to improve brain function. They can also nourish healthy skin and produce red blood cells.

Chestnuts contain manganese that can fight cancer, heart disease, and prevent blood clotting. It also contains copper that can strengthen bones and strengthen the immune system.

They are also a great addition to some healthy diets as they are entirely gluten-free.

References and Citations

  1. WebMD. (n.d.). *Vitamin E*. Retrieved January 25, 2020, from WebMD:
  2. Viguiliouk, E., Kendall, C. W., & Sievenpiper, J. L. (2014). *Effect of Tree Nuts on Glycemic Control in Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Dietary Trials*. Retrieved January 25, 2020, from NCBI:
  3. Villines, Z. (2017, October 14). *What you need to know about tocotrienols*. Retrieved January 25, 2020, from Medical News Today:
  4. American Institute for Cancer Research. (n.d.). *AICR’S FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER*. Retrieved January 25, 2020, from American Institute for Cancer Research: