The Healthy Snack You Must be Nuts About
For those who love to immediately dive for a handful of assorted nuts at a dinner party, this latest discovery should definitely keep you smiling and munching away. Last week, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that if you eat nuts in your regular diet, you can greatly decrease your chances of developing a lifestyle disease.
So What Makes Nuts So Great?
It should really come as no surprise that nuts have an abundance of health benefits for you. Though different types may have different nutrient levels, they all have have the same encompassing properties.
- Essential Fatty Acid Omega-3
Omega-3 is crucial for your brain, heart and overall body health and function. We don’t get nearly
enough through our diets usually and cannot produce it naturally.
Fibre is something many of us lack in our diets, we need it in order to keep optimal gut health and lower your cholesterol levels.
- Vitamin E
Not only is Vitamin E a powerful anti-oxidant, but it is one of the best vitamins for your hair and skin health.
Side Note: Certain nuts are a much higher source of fat. Make sure you’re aware of the different types of nutritional properties and moderate your intake… Unsaturated fat is still fat!
So What’s New?
Besides all of their fantastic known benefits, these recent studies have shown that nuts actually have a great ability to bring down inflammation in your body.
Why is This So Great?
Inflammation is one of the key reasons why we can develop a plethora of lifestyle diseases at any point in our lives.
Some lifestyle diseases caused by inflammation in the body include:
- Skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema
- Chronic pain
- Heart Disease
- High blood pressure
What’s The Link?
So why do we get inflammation in our bodies and why is it so bad?
Simply put, inflammation is your body’s fighting response to stress. Whether the stress is from your diet or lifestyle, in most circumstances, it is a good thing. It is only when inflammation becomes chronic, that it starts to cause problems.
When you are constantly under stress and inflamed, it throws your body out of balance. This instantly makes you more susceptible to rapid ageing and lifestyle diseases.
As certain foods you eat and lifestyle choices you make can make inflammation worse, you can get certain things that make it better.
And in the stress driven, rushed lifestyles that many of us follow, anything you can do to help your body keep strong, will make such a difference in the long run.
So Which Nuts Are The Best?
As we have already said, all nuts have different properties and can help in different ways.
The top three nuts for your overall diet and health are:
How To Eat Them
The best thing is always to snack on a variety of raw, unsalted nuts. They have the most amount of nutrients at this point.
How About Nice and Roasted?
If you like roasted nuts, make sure they have been dry roasted and not oil roasted. Oil roasting increases the amounts of unhealthy fats you take in and decreases the amount of nutrients.
Add a Pinch Of Salt?
… Probably best if you don’t! We get far too much sodium in our daily diets and should avoid it where we can.
What About Some Nut Butter?
Delicious as it is, always make sure you go for a natural option first. If there are any ingredients other than the actual nut, maybe it’s not the best idea.
So in actual fact, you’re not fooling anyone when you pick up that chocolate bar filled with salted peanuts. Just do the right thing and get some trail mix!
What Other Foods Are Anti-Inflammatory?
If nuts aren’t your favourite thing, worry not! There are other sources where you can get your anti-inflammatory foods from, including:
- Leafy green veg such as kale, spinach and broccoli
- Certain fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines
- Sage and rosemary (learn more about their anti-inflammatory properties here.)
These are some of the top foods that can increase inflammation quite drastically:
- Processed meats
- Fried foods that are drenched in trans-fats
- Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta