Know Your Nuts
by Purple Carrot
Nuts aren’t just tasty, they’re extremely nutritious. Here’s a rundown of some of our favorite nuts and all the impressive health benefits that go with them.
Arguably the most popular nut for snacking, almonds are low in saturated fat and have lots of vitamin E—an antioxidant that promotes healthy skin, nails, and hair, and some research shows it can help with wrinkle prevention, too. As if that weren’t enough, almonds can also help combat inflammation and reduce harmful (LDL) cholesterol levels.
Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and research shows they have the greatest amount of polyphenols—plant compounds that may play a beneficial role in a variety of diseases. Walnuts also contain prebiotics, a type of indigestible fiber that positively impacts gut bacteria, and melatonin, a plant compound that helps maintain healthy circadian rhythms and helps promote quality sleep.
Macadamia nuts are a great source of monounsaturated fat, and many of their benefits are related to heart health. Research shows that diets rich in macadamia nuts can lower both total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol in people with high cholesterol levels, plus macadamia nuts may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation—risk factors for heart disease.
Pistachios are packed with protein, plus they contain a lot of essential amino acids. Pistachios have a lot of fiber, too, and contain mono- and polyunsaturated fats. In addition, if you opt for in-shell pistachios, removing them from the shell may help you slow down and eat more mindfully.