Integrating a healthy amount of nuts and seeds into your diet is one of the healthiest things you can do for your overall well-being. Nutritionally rich, they are amazing sources of protein, vitamins, and unsaturated fats. In order to have a healthful and balanced diet, you should look into the wonders of nuts and seeds.
What are nuts?
What we call nuts are actually a dry type of fruit that comes in a shell. Almonds, brazil nuts, pecans, and walnuts are some of the many types of nuts. However, peanuts are often thought of as nuts because of the way they look but are actually legumes. You may wonder what are the healthiest nuts to eat, but the truth is that they have very similar nutritional values so you are free to eat those you personally like most and are most easily available to you.
What are seeds?
Seeds are very similar to nuts and are in colloquial speech often mixed up with them. Common seeds are flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds.
What are the benefits of eating nuts and seeds?
Eating 30 grams of nuts or seeds every day has been said to reduce the risks of falling ill with diabetes and other chronic diseases, especially coronary ones. They also may help in reducing your body weight, but be careful with the amount of nuts you eat. They are very calorically dense, for example, 100 grams of almonds is almost 600 calories, being more than a quarter of daily recommended calorie consumption. If you eat a lot of nuts on a daily basis, you risk gaining weight.
Nutritional value of nuts
Most of the nuts and seeds are quite similar in the amount of energy they contain, but the micronutrients, that is the amount of fats, protein, and vitamins, can be quite different. For example, one of the most popular nuts, almonds, are high in monounsaturated fats so they can be great for people who want to lower their bad cholesterol levels. Brazil nuts are rich in a vitamin called selenium which is an antioxidant that is great for your thyroid gland. Though, be careful, two brazil nuts a day is enough.
Nutritional value of seeds
When it comes to seeds, flax seeds are a great way to intake omega-3 fats. Chia seeds are high in fiber and in calcium, making them an excellent way to improve your gut and bone health. Sesame seeds are great if you’d like to lower your cholesterol levels.
Nuts and heart disease
It is common knowledge that having nuts in your diet helps you combat coronary disease. This may be because of their micronutrients. Nuts are fatty food, but they are high in what we call “healthy fats”, or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and low in unhealthy saturated fats. These healthy fats reduce the levels of so-called “bad”, or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Keeping this type of cholesterol low in your body will ensure you have a healthy heart.
Recommended daily servings of nuts and seeds
It is recommended to consume around 30 grams of nuts and seeds a day. If you don’t own a kitchen scale, we’re here to help you estimate the recommended servings. Thirty grams equals around 30 almonds, 15 macadamia nuts, 15 cashew nuts, 30 pistachios, 20 hazelnuts, or 10 walnuts. Since they have similar nutritional values, you can mix and match and come up with your perfect combination of nuts.
How to integrate nuts and seeds into your diet
The easiest way to get the recommended amount of nuts is to have them as a snack. They are also a great addition to oatmeal or homemade baked cookies. You can also have them in a butter form as a spread.