Nuts are one of the most underrated food categories. Small but truly potent, each nut is packed with healthy fats, protein, fiber, and best of all, each nut has its own nutritional profile. Are you looking to improve your vitamin E status? Go with the almonds. Do you want more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet? Walnut snack. Do you need to relax and unwind? Cashews are an excellent source of soothing magnesium for the nervous system.
Nuts are a great addition to salads, soups, bowls of yogurt, or on their own as a snack. There are so many reasons to enjoy nuts, including these five best effects.
Next, for healthier tips, here are the amazing effects of eating oatmeal every day.
In recent years, researchers have finally been able to link mood, particularly depression, to diet. The historic SMILES study was able to show that following a modified Mediterranean diet can improve symptoms of depression. One serving of walnuts per day was included in the intervention group which ended up showing marked improvement in symptoms of depression.
Another study looked at the role of diet in depression among young adults. For this study, participants were told to consume two to three tablespoons of nuts and seeds per day along with other dietary changes. Similar to the previous study, this showed improvement in symptoms and episodes of depression.
There are many reasons why walnuts can improve mood. Two of these include the amino acid profile of walnuts which are beneficial for the brain and omega-3 fatty acids which are neuroprotective.
We’ve all been there, you have a bowl of plain yogurt begging for a crunch or vegetable soup that may be nutritious but lacks texture and excitement. This is where a handful of nuts will not only improve the mouthfeel of your meals by adding a satisfying crunch, but will increase satiety by adding fiber, healthy fats, and protein.
Satiety is a measure of how long you stay full after a meal and is affected by hormonal and blood sugar changes after eating a meal. The key to a filling meal is to include fiber, fat, and protein. While small, nuts offer a powerful nutritional punch by being packed with all three: fat, fiber, and protein.
Nut consumption has been linked to lower inflammation markers. Nuts, especially almonds, are rich in vitamin E, providing about 47% of the recommended daily allowance in one serving. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from oxidative stress which, in turn, helps reduce inflammation.
An important part of a heart-healthy diet is to include more foods that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Walnuts are rich in both and are a particularly good source of polyunsaturated fats known as omega-3 fatty acids.
One way to reduce high triglyceride levels that are a risk factor for cardiac events is to increase omega-3 fats. Additionally, the consumption of these healthier types of fats is associated with higher HDL cholesterol levels and lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Blood sugar is affected by the amount of protein, fat, fiber and, of course, carbohydrates found in food. Eat a juicy apple on its own for a snack and you’ll likely be hungry again in 30 minutes and you may even experience sugar cravings, a burst of energy, or feel shaky.
But apples are healthy, so why is this? Well, an apple alone contains mostly carbohydrates which will quickly rise and therefore decrease your blood sugar. Now, pair a handful of nuts or nut butters with apple and you’ll have fewer blood sugar spikes and a crash otherwise known as a stretched blood sugar curve.
When blood sugar curves are less “edgy,” our snacks will keep us fuller, longer, and lead to fewer dips in energy and cravings.