What Are the Best Nuts for Your Health?

What Are the Best Nuts for Your Health?
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This is part 1 of 2 in a 2-part mini-series about the best and worst nuts for your health. The common consensus floating around is that “nuts are good for you.” So, I’m going to separate the good from the bad to make sure you’re only giving your body the best treatment possible. Have you seen part 2 about which nuts you should be avoiding?

It’s undeniable that nuts are a great, being packed full of valuable vitamins, minerals, fats, and protein that benefit our bodies and mind. They’re a solid addition to just about any balanced meal, and they even do a great job controlling active appetites come snack time (a handful of nuts can pretty much silence the cravings that lead to overeating).

But even then, some are better than others – and in some cases, some are even better left untouched.

So, before you go nuts on a package of Planter’s, make sure you know what you’re getting into. The following are the nuts that are best for your health:

1. Almonds, Cashews, and Pistachios

Regardless of whether or not any of these items are actually seeds, one thing is for certain – they are great for controlling your diet. They’re all packed full of protein, fiber, and omega-3s, which actively work together to get a grasp on your appetite and keep you feeling full.

Almonds, cashews, and pistachios can all be eaten raw. At the same time, raw eating also brings with it the added benefit of no valuable nutrients being cooked away in high heat environments.

2. Walnuts

When it comes to heart health, most nuts actually do a fantastic job keeping it in good shape. But even then, walnuts seem to trump the others in that category. Being packed full of alpha linoleic acid (ALA), this nut has been researched extensively for its effects on the cardiovascular system.

The research suggests that the ALA content in the walnuts may actually be useful in preventing heart arrhythmias and reducing oxidation and inflammation in the arteries. It is recommended that you eat about eight walnuts a day to get the full heart-healthy benefits that the nuts provide.

3. Brazil Nuts & Pecans

Both of these nuts are packed full of a mineral called selenium, which can protect against prostate cancer and a few other diseases that are problematic for men. So, to put simply, these nuts are great for guys!

At the same time, it’s important to eat brazil nuts and pecans sparingly – too much can be a lot worse than too little. Recent research is showing that too much selenium can actually be linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So eat an ounce or two (6-12 nuts) every few days and you should be golden.

Again, keep in mind that although these nuts may not directly cure certain diseases, they can put your body into a good position to fight against their development. Prevention is easily the best cure, and that’s where the above list comes in handy. Part 2 of this series will go into detail about which nuts you should be avoiding – whether it’s through their nutritional content or the packages they come from. Are you buying the right ones?

Sources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/19/7-walnuts-benefits.aspx

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition/0406/why-you-should-go-nuts-for-nuts.aspx

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=99

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/06/18/can-selenium-cause-diabetes.aspx

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Michelle Toole