Trying to eat healthy while still getting all of what you need nutritionally can sometimes be a challenging affair. It's a matter of getting healthy fats, the right amounts of protein, and enough carbohydrates to give you the energy you need to get through your day. Trace minerals and extra vitamins are just the icing on the cake.
How can you factor this into your daily diet? Well, nuts might just be the answer. They are incredibly tasty, are incredibly varied, and are cheap on top of it all. All of these make them an attractive option to either add into an existing dish, or to keep around as a snack to help you hit all of your dietary needs while still keeping things on the healthier side. Here are some of the great things a cupful of nuts can add to your daily diet:
An Amazing Source of Antioxidants
Nuts are stocked to the teeth full of anti-oxidizing agents. Antioxidants are beneficial because they neutralize harmful free radicals in the body by converting them to compounds the body can better digest and remove, as opposed to letting them wreak havoc on the body's systems. In fact, walnuts have a more free-radical fighting power than an equivalent serving size of fish. Whole pecans are great at reducing LDL cholesterol as well, which is the "bad" cholesterol. Only 2-8 hours after consumption, one study found a 26-33% drop in LDL cholesterol levels.
High in Fiber
Fiber is excellent for the body as it supports digestive health, and works as a probiotic for the flora found in your colon. The bacteria in your colon convert fiber to short-chain fatty acids that have been proven to reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity.
On top of it all, fiber helps you feel fuller, so if you're a constant snacker, nuts might help you fight more intense cravings by keeping you full.
Excellent Nutritional Profile
Take a look at what one ounce of mixed nuts can provide for you:
- Calories: 173
- Protein: 5 grams
- Fat: 16 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
This means that nuts are extremely high in fiber, fat, and protein, but are relatively low in carbs compared to other foods. This alone should have you looking at getting some bulk of nuts in the future. Besides that, this same serving of mixed nuts will get you anywhere from 10% to 50% of select minerals like magnesium, selenium, copper, and vitamin E. The kind of nuts you eat will factor heavily into how many carbs, and what trace minerals you'll receive. If you're carb-conscious, stick to hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts. If carbs are a thing you're looking for, go with cashews.
That's three great reasons for why you should include at least one serving of nuts into your daily diet. They are extremely healthy and can help reduce cholesterol levels, as well as provide an exceptionally nutritionally balanced addition to your regular food. Instead of buying expensive supplements that won't keep you full, you should research what kind of nuts will help fill in the gaps of your current diet and purchase accordingly.