The Healthiest Nuts

February 26, 2019

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Let's talk about nuts, shall we? By now you've learned that they are part of a healthy diet, unless you are allergic to them, packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein. These nutrients that battle hunger and heart disease, help you live longer, and may even make you smarter. But not all nuts are created equal, so here are the top five nuts you should incorporate into your diet. Walnuts are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids as well as a good source of protein. Walnuts also may help protect your brain.  A recent study found that depression scores among people who regularly ate walnuts were 26 percent lower than those on nut-free diet. Pistachios are packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including beta carotene, phosphorus, vitamin B6, thiamine, potassium, magnesium and fiber. Compared to other nuts, they are also high in carotenoids, a type of antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of chronic disease and improves heart health, and are the lowest in calories and highest in fiber with one serving containing 6 grams of protein. You can also eat a lot of them in just one serving, which is one ounce, or 49 pistachios compared to 14 walnut halves. Pecans contain the lowest in carbs (four grams per ounce compared to 6 for almonds and 9 for cashews). They’re also one of the best natural sources of a compound called beta-sitosterol, which may help lower cholesterol and has been studied for its effectiveness in treating enlarged prostate, a gland that is normally, appropriately enough, pecan-sized. Almonds are also rich in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, and zinc, which has been linked to fertility. Research shows men who ate almonds as part of their regular diet were 16% more fertile than men who did not eat almonds. Although peanuts are technically legumes, they are tops in protein (7 grams per ounce) and plant sterols, the naturally occurring compounds that may block cholesterol from being absorbed into the blood and have been linked in helping control blood sugar in diabetics.

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SOURCE: Men's Health

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