Nuts and health

A nut is a simple dry fruit with one or two seeds in which the ovary wall becomes very hard (stony or woody) at maturity, and where the seed remains attached or fused with the ovary wall….Examples include almonds, pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts and pistachio nuts.

The term ‘nut’ is applied to many seeds that are not botanically true nuts. These may include cape seed, caraway, chia, flaxseed, linseed, passionfruit, poppy seed, pepita or pumpkin seed, sesame seed and sunflower seed.

Nuts are naturally low in sodium, contain potassium and most contain some carbohydrate in the form of natural sugars. Chestnuts are different they are rich in low glycemic index carbohydrates and low in fat making them more like a grain than a tree nut.

1)Fiber
Nuts and seeds benefit your health by providing a source of dietary fiber. Fiber is a specialized type of carbohydrate found in plant-based foods. It does not break down as it passes through your digestive tract, and the undigested fiber adds bulk to your stool to promote regular bowel movements. Fiber also helps slow the rate of digestion.

2)Healthy Fats
You need fat as part of your diet, and eating nuts helps ensure that your fat intake comes from healthy unsaturated fat rather than harmful saturated fat found in meats and other animal products.

3)Disease Prevention
A diet rich in nuts and seeds also helps keep you healthy as you age by preventing disease. People who regularly consume nuts tend to weigh less than those who rarely eat nuts, as well as face a lower risk for weight gain in the future.

4)Intake Recommendations and Meal Ideas
The U. S. Department of Agriculture has not yet set a recommended intake level for nuts and seeds. However, the Linus Pauling Institute indicates that you’ll reap the benefits of nuts and seeds if you eat the equivalent of 1 ounce of seeds or nuts five times weekly. Use nuts and seeds to add texture to smoothies or pureed soups — simply add ground flaxseeds directly to your meal, or soak other nuts and seeds until soft and then blend into your food.

Seeds and nuts benefit your health because they offer key essential nutrients and play a role in disease prevention by keeping you healthy as you age; preliminary studies have indicated that nuts may play a role in:

Reducing the risk of gall stones
Reducing age-related macular degeneration (which can lead to blindness)
Maintaining bone health
Slowing brain aging
Reducing cancer risk

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