Health Benefits of Eating Nuts
If you haven’t yet discovered the many health benefits of eating nuts, you’re missing out! Nuts are delicious, convenient and packed with nutritional benefits. These easy-to-eat foods provide your body with tons of nutrients; plus, they’re rich in fiber, unsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and protein. They can reduce your risk of cancer, lower your cholesterol, improve your heart health, and can even help you control your weight! Clearly, nuts have a lot to offer.
Ways to Add Nuts to Your Healthy Diet
There are so many ways to incorporate healthy nuts into your diet:
- Grab a handful for a healthy snack
- Spread them on a whole grain cracker
- Bake them into your favorite cakes, quick breads or cookies
- Sprinkle them on top of salads, yogurts or your favorite whole-grain cereal
Nutritional Values of Nuts
Let’s take a closer look at nutritional values for some of our favorite nuts. Note: The following data was obtained using the CalorieLab Calorie Counter. All figures are based on a single one-ounce serving (28.4 grams). Percentages are based on the Daily Value (DV) based on a daily intake of 2,000 kcal.
The Health Benefits of Eating Almonds
As far as healthy nuts go, almonds are champions. With a whopping 3.4 grams of fiber per one-ounce serving and 24.5% of the Vitamin E you need each day, almonds will help you drop your bad cholesterol levels and keep your blood sugar levels consistent. On top of all of that, almonds also increase the good bacteria in your body, boosting your immune system! A single serving (about 23 almonds) contains:
- Calories: 164.2
- Fat: 14.4 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Carbs: 5.6 grams
- Vitamin E: 24.5% DV
- Manganese: 36% DV (Learn more about this important trace mineral.)
Eat Pecans for Your Heart and Brain
While the calorie count on pecans is higher than most nuts, they are relatively low in sugars. More than half of their fat content comes from monounsaturated fats like oleic acid, important for heart health. They reduce LDL cholesterol and increase the HDL version, helping your body keep plaque from forming in its arteries. A single serving (about 19 pecan halves) contains:
- Calories: 196.2
- Fat: 20.4 grams
- Protein: 2.6 grams
- Carbs: 3.9 grams
- Fiber: 2.7 grams
- Vitamin E: 1.3% DV
- Manganese: 63% of the DV
Like other nuts, pecans also contain polyphenols, which are compounds that act as antioxidants.
Health Benefits of Pistachios
Roasted pistachios are a great snack if you are looking to add healthy nuts to your diet. If you are worried about the added calories, not only does their shell ensure that you eat them slowly, but each of these buttery little gems has only about 4 calories! Plus, they can reduce your risk of lung cancer, are potassium-rich, and even have vitamin B6. Some studies show that adding 2 servings to your diet may lower your cholesterol, thus reducing your risk of heart disease. This food is a good source of vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B6, copper, and manganese. A single serving (about 49 kernels) of pistachios contains:
- Calories: 162.2
- Fat: 13.1 grams
- Protein: 6.1 grams
- Carbs: 7.9 grams
- Fiber: 2.9 grams
- B1 (Thiamin): 15.9% DV
- B6: 18.1% DV
- Copper 18.8% DV
- Manganese: 18.1% DV
Walnuts are packed with antioxidants that protect your cells, helping you fend off aging, heart disease, and cancer. They’re also chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help you keep inflammation down. A single serving (14 halves) of walnuts has:
- Calories: 185.7
- Fat: 18.5 grams (most of which comes from healthy, polyunsaturated fat)
- Protein: 4.3 grams
- Carbs: 3.9 grams
- Fiber: 1.9 grams
- Manganese: 48.5% DV
Like other healthy nuts, healthy fats in Walnuts are thought to do all the right things to balance your cholesterol by reducing the bad kind (LDL) and increasing the good kind (HDL). A win-win situation for heart health.
Will Eating Nuts Help Me Lose Weight?
Be advised that while all nuts are packed with nutrients, not all nuts may necessarily be great for your health goals. For example, if you are trying to lose weight macadamia nuts and pecans have the most calories per ounce. Because all nuts are calorie-dense, make sure you don’t overindulge in them.
Ultimately, though, the only unhealthy nuts are those that are coated in unhealthy substances. If you’re looking for a healthy snacking solution, nuts are for you!