Nuts are great sources of beneficial vitamins and minerals, making for extremely low calorie foods that are great for your health. Nuts are very effective in treating and preventing several types of cancer, while also being very helpful in improving cardiovascular health of a person. Problems like indigestion, weight gain and dehydration can be kept at bay by regular use of nuts in your diet. Nuts are also found to be highly effective in treating mental disorders like schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Anemia, metabolic disorders and chronic inflammation are just some of the ailments that can be prevented by a regular use of nuts.
Looking at it from culinary and a general perspective, nuts are classified as a broad category but when it comes to the science of it all, nuts are essentially fruit that are made of shells and seeds. The major difference between nuts and other fruits are that they don’t dispense their seeds as naturally as most of the other fruits do. Talking about the health benefits, nuts and seeds are often categorized together due to similar properties and benefits for the human health. Nuts have been a part of people’s diets throughout human history across the world. With different kinds of nuts thriving in different atmospheres and climates, the origins and use of different nuts can be traced back to several human civilizations throughout the world. Nuts today are consumed in different forms, included in a variety of cuisines and play a major role in medicine too, thanks to the large number of health benefits to be gained from their consumption. Among the most common nuts used across the world, the chief are cashews, almond, pistachio, macadamia nuts, flax seeds, pecans, chestnuts, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds and brazil nuts, to name a few.
Nuts are associated with a wide variety of nutritional elements. Nuts are found to be rich in a number of vitamins, proteins, minerals and other organic compounds. When talking about specific nutritional components, for every ounce, or 28 grams, of a mixed variety of nuts, you may find about 173 calories. The fat content in each of ounce of mixed, unsalted nuts is about 16 grams, out of which 9 grams is monounsaturated fat. 5 grams of proteins, 6 grams of carbohydrates and about 3 grams of fiber is present in every ounce of nuts. When it comes to the recommended daily intake (RDI) of minerals and vitamins for a human body, one ounce of nuts can provide the following concentration of minerals and vitamins. An ounce of mixed unsalted nuts can help you fulfill 12% RDI of Vitamin E, 16% RDI of Magnesium, 23% RDI of Copper, 13% RDI of Phosphorous, 56% RDI of Selenium and 26% RDI of Manganese.
This benefit is associated with a large number of nuts. Thanks to the high concentrations of healthy fats present in nuts, they are deemed extremely well suited for the human body to fight cancer. Nuts are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, also called alpha-linoleic acids, which are polyunsaturated fats and widely deemed beneficial for the human body. This acid has specific anti-inflammatory properties which are known to reduce the possibilities of breast, colon and prostate cancer. The high content of dietary fiber present in nuts also promotes a better bowel movement, which in turn helps reduce the chances of certain gastrointestinal cancer types.
Out of the many health benefits that nuts can offer, one of the most important benefits of nuts is the cardiovascular health. A majority of nuts are found to be rich sources of good cholesterol, also known as HDL cholesterol. This type of cholesterol reduces the levels of LDL, or dangerous cholesterol in the blood stream. It also ensures that the dangerous cholesterol doesn’t stick to the walls of arteries and blood vessels, which avoids blood clots and other serious cardiovascular issues. Nuts are also found to be rich in L-arginine, which is an important amino acid for the body. It relaxes any constrictions or contractions by easing up the blood vessels. This leads to a better flow of blood in the vessels and decreased blood pressure.
Due to their high fiber content, nuts are extremely effective in helping you prevent digestive issues. The fiber content makes the bowel movement smoother by stimulating a peristaltic motion in the intestine. If the stool movements are smooth, then one can be sure to find relief from constipation. Other digestive conditions like hemorrhoids can also be prevented by regular consumption of nuts. The high fiber concentration also helps in removing excess cholesterol from the digestive system.
Another way in which the fibers present in nuts can be highly beneficial for the body. The high level of fiber found in nuts can make a person feel full, while preventing the release of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, resulting in ensuring that obese people can be kept from overeating. This is why most weight loss regimens incorporate consuming nuts of some kind. Since nuts are great sources of beneficial nutrients, vitamins and proteins without giving out too many calories, they make for a wonderful addition to any diet.
Nuts are rich sources of Vitamin E, which is widely regarded as a powerful anti-oxidant. Antioxidants are very effective in treating the byproducts of cellular metabolism, which produce free radicals that can cause a number of diseases and conditions, including different kinds of cancer. Antioxidants also offer great benefits for the skin health along with fighting off different conditions like wrinkles and premature aging. Vitamin E is also seen as a great way for enhancing immunity in the body, improving the metabolic functions and increasing cellular repair.
Potassium is one of the minerals that nuts are found to be rich in. The high concentration of potassium found in a majority of nuts acts a wonderful source for cellular fluid and water balance in the human body. Nuts help in keeping the body hydrated, which in turn leads to the body functioning properly. Potassium is also a highly effective vasodilator, which makes for better blood flow and reduced blood pressure.
It might not be spoken about very freely in the society, but mental disorders affect a large number of people across the world. Nuts have been found to be highly effective in treating mental disorders like Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. This is due to the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids present in the nuts. These acids are also extremely beneficial for reducing the effects of rheumatoid arthritis thanks to their anti-inflammatory nature. It also enhances the flow of blood to the brain, improving the healthy cognitive functions.
Nuts are proven to be rich sources of two highly essential minerals, iron and copper. Both of these minerals are considered to be very important for the creation and smooth operation of red blood cells. With both iron and copper being important components of red blood cells in the body, they help in inhibiting the different symptoms and effects of anemia. Anemia, if not treated in time, can result in fatigue, sleep disorders, digestive problems and light headedness.
The metabolic syndrome largely associated with type 2 diabetes can be treated effectively by making nuts a part of your daily diet. Since nuts are a high source of beneficial nutrients without increasing the carbohydrate content and the blood sugar level too much.
While inflammation can be a useful thing for the body to treat injuries along with bacteria and other harmful pathogens, conditions of chronic inflammation can cause serious damage to the organs and increase the risk of contracting diseases. Making nuts a part of the regular diet can help in reducing inflammation while also enhancing healthy aging.
As discussed earlier, nuts are rich sources of important minerals like calcium, copper, phosphorous, zinc and many more. The combination of these minerals makes nuts ideal for preventing bone related ailments like osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Nuts also help improving the health of your teeth.
Nuts are used in a wide variety of dishes and recipes across the world in many forms. Be it in the form of their oils or as ingredients in a dish to be cooked. They can be used for a number of things like thickening soups and stews, topping and decorating food and so much more. Nuts are also used for medicinal purposes for the treatment of various diseases and ailments.
Even though nuts have a high number of benefits and uses, there are a few side effects that one needs to be careful about. Nuts can be allergenic substances with the resultant allergies manifesting in different ways in different people. So it is always advisable to exercise caution when trying a certain kind of nut for the first time. The allergenic reactions can include anaphylactic shock, diarrhea, respiratory malfunctions, vomiting, skin irritation and many more.
The origins of different kinds of nuts can be traced back across thousands of years in different parts of the world.