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Health Benefits of Nuts

By Amy Silva

Nuts are one of the foods that come in such a variety that most people enjoy at least a few kinds of them. They're versatile and can be used in a number of ways, whether eaten raw as a snack or incorporated into food dishes. They're perfect when you're on the go and want to avoid unhealthy gas station food options, and it's good to keep some at your desk for when afternoon hunger strikes. Unless someone (or someone in the household) has a nut sensitivity or allergy, it's a good idea to have nuts be a part of a healthy diet.

Health Benefits of Nuts

One quick fact about peanuts is they aren't nuts at all, they're legumes, but since they're commonly enjoyed similarly to the way nuts are, they'll be included here. Nuts in general may be high in calories, but studies show they can aid in weight loss and that not all the calories are absorbed by the body. Nuts are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, including copper, fiber, Vitamin E and magnesium, among others. They also contain all three macronutrients, which are carbs, protein and fat. 

Studies show that the risk of stroke and heart disease may be lowered if nuts are a regular part of your diet. They may even reduce inflammation and lower the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It's possible nuts can raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol as well.

Here are some common varieties of nuts

  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pecans

How to Add More Nuts to Your Diet

In case you need a little help adding nuts to your diet.

  • Salads - Add nuts, such as walnuts, to salad to give it an extra crunch and add healthy fat, carbs, and protein
  • Breakfast - Nuts can be added as a topping on many breakfast foods such as cereal, pancakes, muffins, granola or oatmeal
  • Sweet treats - Sprinkling peanuts on top of yogurt or ice cream is a popular go-to
  • Dinner - Different nuts can be added to some meat or vegetable dishes for a fun crunch, extra nutrients and an elevated flavor
  • Nut butters - There are far more varieties of nut butters than just peanut butter, and they can be enjoyed on bread, used in baking or even eaten by the spoonful -- in moderation

No matter what type of nuts you choose to eat, you'll be making a good choice by incorporating them into your diet. Enjoy them in moderation, taking into account the calorie content, but snacking on a bit daily or adding them to foods here and there can provide wonderful benefits to your health.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Universal City, Tex.

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