We know that nuts are considered to be a super food i.e. food that is rich in nutrients and beneficial for our health and well being. In addition to nuts, seeds also have tremendous health benefits. Rich in energy, protein, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and the all important omega-3 fatty acids, nuts and seeds almost seem to be complete foods.
Just 1 ounce a day of nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and peanuts can diminish inflammation and provide satiating fiber, protein and immune-boosting minerals.
Nuts and seeds contain healthful mono- and polyunsaturated fats. These fats are essential to health by managing inflammation and maintaining the normal structure of every cell in our bodies.
Nuts and seeds provide our bodies with fiber, key to the digestion process. The "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" published research that found an additional 25 percent reduction in cholesterol levels after nut consumption that could not be explained from the composition of healthy fat alone. Researchers speculated that fiber and mineral content in nuts were responsible.
Nuts and seeds contain minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and phosphorus needed for bone development, immunity and energy production. One ounce of sunflower seed kernels contains 100 mg of magnesium. Calcium is a mineral needed for bone development, but it is also needed to send signals to cells and produce energy.
Including nuts and seeds in your diet promotes a healthy and balanced mind and body. A healthy body and a healthy mind are in co-existent. When either one is off balance we need to realign them to restore the balance. We need to ensure that all the food groups are adequately represented in our diet with nuts and seeds being an integral part.
Read more for a specific details on the benefits of different nuts and seeds (source: Joy Bauer)
Nuts are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, a crucial nutrient for improving cardiovascular health and reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes.
Containing fiber, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, and protein, almonds help you feel full longer, so add them to oatmeal or nonfat yogurt or eat them as a snack — in moderation, since they’re high in calories. One ounce of almonds provides 75 milligrams of calcium.
Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium, a mineral with antioxidant properties that may help prevent and manage arthritis and protect skin from sun damage. But take note: Brazil nuts are so high in selenium that it’s best to limit your intake to no more than one or two per day.
Magnesium in cashews may help to improve PMS symptoms. Because cashews contain the mineral zinc, they can also help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Like other nuts, cashews should be eaten in moderation since they're rich in calories
Hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that may prevent cataracts and macular degeneration as well as maintain healthy skin. Like other nuts, hazelnuts should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-rich.
Peanuts provide vitamin E, which can help reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration and maintain healthy skin, as well as magnesium, which may help lower blood pressure and improve PMS symptoms. Like other nuts, peanuts should be eaten in moderation since there are high in calories. One handful of nuts per day are adequate.
Among nuts, pecans are one of the richest sources of antioxidants. They also provide zinc, a mineral that maintains healthy hair and skin and may help prevent and manage macular degeneration. The manganese in pecans may reduce PMS symptoms.
Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pinecones nd contain vitamin E and zinc, nutrients involved in maintaining the health of your eyes, skin, and hair.
Pistachios in the shell are a terrific nut choice for individuals who are trying to lose or manage their weight, since removing the shell on each nut will slow down your eating. Because all nuts are calorie-dense, you’ll want to keep portions in check (25 pistachios provides about 100 calories). Pistachio nuts are also an excellent source of vitamin B6, which may help improve PM symptoms
Walnuts prevent and manage arthritis, and maintain healthy eyes and skin. Manganese in walnuts may reduce PMS symptoms.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that may help lower blood pressure promote bone health, and improve PMS symptoms. Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc and vitamin E, nutrients that help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Because pumpkin seeds are low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fat, they make a healthy and delicious snack for people with type 2 diabetes looking to manage their blood sugar.
Sesame seeds are often added to breads and crackers and sprinkled on a variety of Asian dishes. Sesame seeds are rich in magnesium, a mineral that may help lower blood pressure, promote bone health, and improve PMS symptoms. Like other seeds, sesame seeds may trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive to nuts and seeds.
Sunflower seeds are a good source of heart-healthy fats and fiber. They also contain zinc and vitamin E, nutrients that help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Sunflower seeds in the shell are a smart snack option for people who are trying to lose or manage their weight, since removing the shell on each seed will slow down your eating.
Flaxseeds are dark amber-brown seeds that are a terrific source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that may reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Flaxseeds also contain magnesium, which may help to improve PMS symptoms. To get the most nutrients from flaxseeds, grind them before use. Ground flaxseeds should be refrigerated or frozen to maintain freshness.