But virtually all types of tree nuts offer healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, along with protein, fiber, vitamins E and K, folate, thiamin, several important minerals, carotenoids, antioxidants and phytosterols. Here’s why you should consider adding a serving of nuts to your day, every day.
1) They protect your heart
Over the past 30 years, numerous studies have shown that nuts are good for heart health. An analysis of three studies published in November 2017 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology included data from more than 210,000 people. Researchers found that eating 30g of nuts five times a week was associated with a 14% lower risk of heart attack and stroke and a 20% lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to eating no nuts.
That said, the nut eaters in the studies tended to have healthier habits, such as a balanced diet and regular exercise.
2) They can help manage diabetes-related heart disease
Adding monounsaturated fats to your diet can be beneficial, especially for people with diabetes, and nuts are an excellent source.
A March 2019 study of patients with type 2 diabetes and published in the journal Circulation Research found that eating five or more servings of nuts per week was linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and all mortality. causes, whether people started eating it before or after they were diagnosed with diabetes. The study also found that people who started eating nuts after their diagnosis still had a lower risk of developing or dying from heart disease. For them, increased nut consumption was also linked to a 27% reduction in the risk of dying from any cause.
3) They can help you maintain a healthy weight
Yes, nuts are high in calories due to their fat content. But adding it to your diet doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll gain weight. In fact, in a large study published in the BMJ in September 2019, researchers found that increasing daily nut consumption was associated with lower weight gain and a reduced risk of becoming obese over time. .
Nevertheless, it is important to eat nuts in moderation. Try to limit yourself to 30g per day, due to calorie density. 30G nuts corresponds to approximately 24 almonds, 14 walnut halves, 48 pistachios, 35 peanuts, 18 cashews or 8 Brazil nuts. If you choose a nut butter, limit it to 2 tbsp.
You can also add nuts to your diet in place of snacks or less healthy foods. Top the salad with almonds or pecans instead of croutons. Add your favorite nuts for a healthy snack.
4) They may help reduce the risk of cancer
As with cardiovascular disease, many researchers have studied the link between walnuts and cancer prevention. In a 2013 study published in BMC Medicine, people who ate more than three servings of nuts per week had a 40% lower risk of death from cancer. One theory is that eating nuts can change your genes in ways that fight cancer, some of the compounds in nuts could influence how your DNA behaves, which could prevent cancer from developing.
5) They enrich your gut
Prebiotics are foods, usually high in fiber, that promote the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system. Researchers have linked these good bacteria to the prevention of many diseases and conditions. Fortunately, the fiber in nuts can act as a prebiotic; research suggests they can stimulate good bacteria while inhibiting the growth of the types of bacteria that can contribute to disease.
Unfortunately, most people don’t get the recommended amount of fiber, which is about 38 grams per day for men and 25 grams per day for women. Adding a serving of nuts can help boost your intake of this important nutrient. A handful of almonds provides 3.3 grams of fiber per day, about the same amount as a cup of brown rice.
What about nut oils?
Although nut oils don’t contain the fiber you get from eating a whole nut, they do offer unsaturated fats that can improve your diet. These oils contain omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids that help protect your heart.
Walnut oils can be quite delicate but very tasty, so try them in homemade salad dressings, marinades or pesto. They can also be used to finish dishes, such as a drizzle of walnut oil in soups and purees.
What if you can’t eat nuts?
A nut allergy doesn’t mean you have to give up all the health benefits. Remember that while one serving of nuts can benefit your health, you can still get just about everything you need from a balanced diet. For example, there are many other foods that provide similar healthy fats, including
- – Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines
- – Eggs rich in omega-3
- – Chia, flax, hemp and sunflower seeds
- – Attorney
But before getting rid of nuts for good, consult your allergist. It is possible that some nuts can end up harmlessly in your diet.