Based solely on their calorie and fat content, it would be easy to rule nuts out of your diet altogether. But, in doing so, you’d be making a huge mistake. (And not only because today is Grab Some Nuts Day!)
You see, calorie and fat counts only tell a small part of the story of these petite powerhouses. Yes, nuts are calorie-dense and contain higher amounts of fat (mostly the heart-healthy kind), but they’re also packed with nutrients that are kinda difficult to come by otherwise. In short, they offer a huge bang for your dietary buck.
All nuts are loaded with beneficial nutrients, vitamins and minerals like:
- Vitamin E — a powerful antioxidant which reduces the risk of all major diseases;
- essential fatty acids — inflammation fighters that we can only get from food since our bodies can’t produce them;
- calcium and phosphorus — key components for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth;
- iron — necessary for the transportation of oxygen to all tissues in the body;
- magnesium — essential for the development and maintenance of all tissues of the body as well as regulating blood pressure, metabolizing energy efficiently and controlling blood sugar levels;
- copper — responsible for healthy formation of red blood cells and iron absorption to maintain a healthy immune system and skeleton;
- zinc — a super immune system booster;
- thiamin — supports efficient metabolism, nervous system and brain function;
- manganese — helps prevent free-radical damage to your cells and plays a vital role in proper brain function as well as many processes like blood clotting, metabolism, hormone production, tissue formation and blood sugar regulation.
Another big bonus — they’re high in fiber and protein, so snacking on nuts can take the edge off those hunger pangs between meals and keep you satisfied longer than many other snacking options.
Plus, they’re pretty darn tasty.
Wanna know how some of your favorites break down? Check this out.
- Almonds are super high in fiber and protein and loaded with Vitamin E, biotin which plays a critical role in cell growth and riboflavin — a free-radical fighter that’s also vital for energy production and efficient metabolism.
- Cashews are one of the richest sources of copper and phosphorus, making them fabulous bone health boosters.
- Pistachios are jam-packed with protein and fiber as well as Vitamins E and B-6 (used in the formation of healthy nerve cells and the chemical messengers that stabilize your mood and stimulate your brain).
- Walnuts are filled to the brim with super heart-healthy essential omega-3 fatty acids and alpha linoleic acid which, together, may lower your risk of developing heart disease, arthritis and cancer as well as contribute to brain health.
- Pecans contain high levels of manganese, copper and vitamin E but also are loaded with beta-sitosterol which helps boost your immune system and ease the symptoms of menopause and prostate enlargement.
- Brazil nuts are the highest natural source of selenium, an antioxidant that promotes proper thyroid function and may offer protection against prostate cancer and other diseases.
- Peanuts are high-protein and pack a powerful punch of folate, which helps preserve brain function as we age and niacin — an anti-inflammatory B vitamin that helps improve circulation and produce several essential hormones in the body.
- Hazelnuts deliver some of the highest quantities of of copper, manganese and vitamin E.
Bottom line: our bodies are made of up of thousands of moving parts — we’ve got a lot going on in there. Nuts are a great way to help preserve our overall health and well-being … all the way down to the itsy bitsy cellular level. Think of them as delicious little insurance policies.
Celebrate Grab Some Nuts Day with us today (and every day)! Grab a handful and tell us which is your favorite way to go nuts. —Alison