Nuts are a great source of plant-based protein for anyone who’s wondering where vegans get their protein from. But being high in protein is just one good thing about nuts, they also benefit your heart.
A Lesson on Healthy Fats
So why are nuts a heart healthy food? Although extremely high in fat per serving, the fat in nuts is what’s known as “good fats.” The omega 3 and unsaturated fats (both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) can help lower your bad cholesterol, this means the good fats in nuts can help improve the health of your arteries, making it less likely for you to have a stroke or a heart attack. In addition to the good fats and protein, fats are high in fiber which also helps lower cholesterol and prevent diabetes.
There are just over 50 different variety of nuts in the world, so which one is the healthiest for you?
After doing some research myself, I have compiled a list of my top 5 healthiest nuts, in no particular order:
1. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts originate from…yes, Brazil. The tree grows in the Amazon forest and Brazil nuts are the richest source of the mineral selenium you will find in any food in the world. 30g of Brazil nuts will have you meeting 100% of the RDI for selenium, and 25% of your RDI for Magnesium.
Walnuts are a good source of the omega 3 fats, these are the so-called “good fats” that are responsible for lowering your “bad” cholesterol, while increasing your “good” cholesterol. Because of the omega 3 fatty acids, eating walnuts will help improve your heart health by helping maintaining a normal blood pressure.
Almonds contain several notable beneficial nutrients such as vitamin E and magnesium. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is very good for your skin and eyes. If you have a scar on your body, take a vitamin E pill (find one that’s a capsule with oil in it), break it open and spread it on your scar and rub it into your skin. I did this for some stretch marks on my arm and it definitely looks a lot better afterwards.
Like almonds, cashews are a good source of magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that does many good things for your body such as regulating blood sugar levels and helping strengthen your bones, but since this article is about nuts and heart health, it’ll be appropriate to note that magnesium helps maintain normal blood pressure and a steady heart pace.
Yes, I know…peanuts are technically legumes and not real nuts. But since most people eat them as nuts anyway, and that their nutritional profiles are very similar to real nuts (high in protein and fiber, have good fats that keeps your bad cholesterol in check, protecting you against heart disease), let’s just include peanuts in the list.
Pick Up Your Mixed Nuts
My favourite way to eat nuts is to buy a package of mixed nuts because each different nut offer their own benefits, so having mixed nuts allow me to get the benefits of all of them in one single serving. I suggest that you pick up mixed nuts for the most convenient way of getting the nutritional benefits of all these nuts:
Natural Is Best
Nuts are great on their own, they are a tasty and healthy snack. But a lot of prepackaged snack nuts contain lots of additional oils, salt, and other flavorings that reduces the healthy aspect of it. Sort of like how potatoes are very healthy for you, but potato chips aren’t. If you want to eat nuts for healthy reasons, stick to the kind that are all natural with nothing added to them.
Have a favorite kind of nut you’d like to share? Post your thoughts down below in the comment box. If you found this post on nuts useful, please like and share it on social media.