A healthier life in a nutshell


Photo credit: WIkimedia Commons Nuts have shown to be beneficial to a healthy diet. They should be consumed regularly.

Nuts are an underappreciated snack. They are known to lower cholesterol, create healthy hearts and lower the risk of some cancers. Although too many nuts can result in negative effects, regular consumption in moderation can benefit one’s health.

Walnuts have the most antioxidants of all nuts. They protect against heart disease, cancer and premature aging. They also are rich in fatty acids, which make them a healthy alternative for people who do not like fish, which are also rich with antioxidants. They are also known to reduce pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.

Almonds contain the most fiber of all nuts and can help dieters lose weight. They also help diabetics who must pay attention to their blood sugar as they cause cholesterol to drop. Almonds also raise the amount of good bacteria that helps boost the body’s immune system.

Cashews are chock full of zinc and iron which can help increase immunity and encourage healthy vision. They also deliver oxygen to cells which can prevent anemia. Cashews are rich with magnesium, which can improve memory.

Pecans can help to prevent plaque formation in arteries which can improve heart health. Because of the vitamin E content, pecans can delay progression of diseases such as Alzheimer’s or amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Brazil nuts are quite possibly the most protective nut against cancer, holding an immense amount of selenium, a mineral known to help prevent many types of cancer. However, since consuming too much of this mineral may prove harmful, it is best to eat such nuts in moderation–a rule worth following for all types of foods.

Macadamia nuts help lower cholesterol as well as blood pressure. This outweighs the disadvantage of macadamia nuts containing the most calories of all nuts.

Pistachios come with the hassle of deshelling, but this may be one of the nut’s best qualities. The inconvenience proves to be too much for many and as a result, fewer pistachios are consumed. Although even with the shells slowing down the intake, pistachios contain the least number of calories, making them a good snack. They also have shown to help reduce the risk of lung cancer.

Hazelnuts serve as more than just as a coffee flavor. They help Type 2 diabetes and can improve cardiovascular health. They also have a healthy helping of vitamin E.