Nuts are one of the most nutritious snacks out there. Not only are they delicious, but they are packed with antioxidants, fiber and magnesium. They also contain monounsaturated fats which can lower your bad cholesterol to help prevent the buildup of arterial plaque. Otherwise stated, they are great for your heart! Nuts are also a wonderful source of protein that can be added to any vegetarian or vegan diet. So next time your stomach starts growling, grab a handful of nuts instead of processed snacks like chips and candy that are loaded with sugar, fat and sodium. Learn about the benefits of different nuts below and then head to the store to stock up on your favorites!
- High level of omega-3 fatty acids (1oz of walnuts contains nearly 100% of the daily value for omega-3s)
- Vitamin E in the gamma-tocopherol form which has been shown to provide significant protection to the heart
- Contains rare antioxidants that aren’t found in many other commonly eaten foods which have shown to protect against metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (quinone juglone, tannin tellimagrandin, flavonol morin)
- Do not remove the skin when preparing nuts as it contains 90% of the phenols found in walnuts
- Homemade walnut granola: Mix together ½ cup of honey, 3 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses, a tablespoon of vanilla, a dash of salt, and a teaspoon each of your favorite spices, such as cinnamon, ginger and/or nutmeg. Place 6-8 cups of rolled oats in a large bowl and toss to coat with the honey-blackstrap mixture. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 275°F (135°C) for 45 minutes. Cool and mix in 1/2 to 1 cup of walnuts
- Full of healthy monounsaturated fats. Studies show when more traditional fats coming from meat and dairy were replaced with almonds, LDL (bad cholesterol) dropped 8-12%
- High in magnesium (62mg in ¼ cup). When there is enough magnesium in the system, veins and arteries relax which decreases blood pressure
- High in potassium (162mg in ¼ cup). Potassium is involved in nerve transmission and contraction of the heart. Potassium is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function.
- Multiple studies show that eating almonds with a high glycemic (sugary/starchy) food can lower the glycemic level of t