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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Health Benefits of Nuts

I've been asked by Nuts.com to write a blog post regarding the nutritional benefits that nuts provide our bodies. I couldn't agree more -- these little edible nuggets of deliciousness are excellent to add to your daily diet whether they be in a salad, side dish or a quick healthy snack. Enjoy....


Nuts of every kind have a variety of health benefits that give our bodies strength – especially after a good workout, promote weight loss (with portion-control), curb our chances of getting diabetes, and simply taste good! The delicious little nut can not only give us a wonderfully surprising amount of the appropriate vitamins and minerals we need for our bodies to benefit, but should simply be part of a heart-healthy diet as well. 

We’ve all heard of LDL, right? This is the bad cholesterol found in blood that we can and should limit as much as possible. Similar to how plaque (sticky, soft substance) builds up on our teeth to eventually cause tooth decay if not taken care of – sticky plaque can occur in other areas of our body, i.e., arteries where build up in our arteries can lead to heart disease. So what can help with minimizing LDL cholesterol? Yes! You guessed it – nuts!

While you may know about the nutritional power of nuts, the website www.nuts.com gives more reasons why nuts are so good for the body. In addition to making a healthy lifestyle an easier choice to make, nuts taste so good that it wouldn’t be difficult to make them part of your daily diet. The health benefits are numerous! In giving our bodies strength with the nutrition nuts provide, even workouts become more effective and looking forward to the next workout becomes effortless! Here is a link to the healthy snacks page and learn about how these high protein snacks enhance the body’s overall cell production for optimal wellbeing.

Nuts of every kind have a variety of health benefits that includes a generous amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids that actually work to reduce the LDL levels in blood and they are not hard to add to any diet! Another thing to keep in mind with these little nutritional powerhouses is that the less salt and sugar and other unpronounceable ingredients added to them to makes them taste better. After all,  those added ingredients – salt, sugar, natural flavors -- actually are counterproductive to a healthy diet! So be sure to read the ingredients on the back of the label of Planter’s Peanuts for example – some of the “tricky” ingredients found could be added sugars, corn syrup or Maltodextrin (which is a food additive commonly used in sodas and candy).

So what are some of the other reasons to make nuts part of your heart-healthy diet?
These little nuggets of deliciousness contain unsaturated fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber (for satiety and diabetes prevention), Vitamin E (for diminished plaque development in the arteries), and Vitamin B12, which assists with brain health, metabolism, the creation of healthy red blood cells, DNA cell production and can be a great addition to enjoy after working out at the gym!

Lastly, it really is difficult to say which nut is better than another with regard to nutrition as some may have more vitamins, less minerals, more calories, less calories – you get the picture. If I can leave you with one thought with regard to nuts is that eating a small handful of a variety of nuts is best and eating them in their most natural state (without added sugars and salts) is even better. This link provides a breakdown of calorie counts, vitamins, minerals and overall nutritional value for you to make your own informed decision. Be sure to add nuts to your permanent healthy diet for nutritional balance and focused mental strength! Bon Appetit!

 

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