Nuts are one of the healthiest foods, providing “healthy” fats, quality protein, and fiber. Making a habit of eating nuts can lower inflammation and support longevity.
Why Are Nuts Healthy?
Nuts are high in antioxidants that have many health benefits. They also contain healthy fats that lead to healthier cell membranes, which impacts everything from brain function to metabolism.
Walnuts provide the largest amount of high-quality antioxidants. They also have a nice dose of alpha linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat. Walnuts are the most beneficial nuts health-wise according to scientists, but for best results you can include pecans, pistachios, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, and pine nuts in your diet because they all provide diverse antioxidants that lower inflammation.
Many Health Benefits Of Nuts
Studies show eating nuts lowers inflammation and has many health benefits:
- In the Nurses’ and Physicians’ Health studies, nut consumption was associated with lower risk of heart attack. Eating a 1-ounce serving of nuts five times per week resulted in a 50 percent lower risk of heart disease than eating the same serving only once a week.
- Frequent nut intake can lower your risk of all-cause mortality. In the Iowa Women’s Health Study, eating two or more servings of nuts decreased death risk by 12 percent compared with eating less than one serving a month.
- Nut consumption is associated with less risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
- Compared with a low-fat control diet, eating one serving of nuts a day improved insulin health and decreased oxidative stress levels in older adults aged 55 to 80. Endothelial function and heart health improved too, indicating the benefit of healthy fats on cardiovascular function and arterial health.
Get The Best Results From Nuts
Eat nuts in their most natural form to lower inflammation and support health. Raw nuts are higher in antioxidants than roasted nuts. A few more things to be aware of when choosing nuts include the following:
- Avoid nuts from China. They are often treated or bleached, which decreases the antioxidant levels and leaves dangerous residue on the nuts.
- Other nut treatments that you want to avoid include hot water blanching, high temperature roasting, and especially irradiation.
- Try to buy and use nuts regularly and not store them for long periods. Nutritional value will degrade over time, making it better to eat them as fresh as possible.