Food & Nutrition

Nuts: Top Health Benefits and Amazing Virtues

Nuts are distinguished from other tree nuts and oilseeds by its particularly high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, mainly in the form of omega-3, whose benefits on cardiovascular health are well documented. Knowing the content in the nuts, lipids and other active ingredients, it provides a lot of health benefits, the more we hesitate not to integrate our regular diet. Nuts are not only delicious but full of nutrients. Discover their powerful benefits and virtues to your health.

Nuts Benefits: Active ingredients and properties

  • Tree nuts and oilseeds in general

Several epidemiological and clinical studies link regular consumption of tree nuts and oilseeds to various health benefits, such as hypercholesterolemia effect, a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, decreased risk calculations, and ablation of the bladder, and a decreased risk of colon cancer in the females. The number of tree nuts and oilseeds connected to these benefits mostly equivalent to a weekly consumption of about five portions of an ounce (30g).

  • Nuts (walnut fruit)

Polyunsaturated fatty acids. The walnut has a particularly high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (over 70% of total lipids), nearly one-fifth is in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, a fatty acid omega-3 essential. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids are considered good fats for heart health, given their positive impact on blood lipid levels. The nut contains the ideal ratio of omega-3 fatty acids (compared to omega-6 fatty acids) to have in our diet (see our profile omega 3).

Nuts are awarded beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, mainly because of its ability to improve blood lipid profile and elasticity of vessels. It is well established scientifically that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat in the diet causes a decrease in blood cholesterol, which provides a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. But the lipids alone can not fully produce this protective effect, suggesting that other components contained in the nuts could cause earnings on cardiovascular health.


Nuts Benefits

1. For blood lipids

A large number of studies have assessed the impact of nut consumption on blood lipids. In healthy subjects, the consumption of 44 grams of 84 grams of nuts a day for four weeks lowered total cholesterol by 4% to 12% and LDL cholesterol ( “bad” cholesterol) by 9% to 16% and compared to the consumption of a diet without nuts. It is important to mention that in these studies, nuts were not added, but consumed in replacing other fats in the diet.

Other similar studies have also seen an improvement in blood lipids when Walnut integration in subjects with hypercholesterolemia. Indeed, consumption of 41g of 56g of nuts per day for six weeks resulted in a decrease in total cholesterol levels of 4% and LDL-C 6% 11. The daily integration of nuts has also led to a decrease of cholesterol in certain particles carrying lipids and considered atherogenic. In most of the studies, nut consumption does not really affect the concentration of HDL cholesterol ( “good”) cholesterol and blood triglycerides.

In summary, the daily consumption of 40 g of 84 g of nuts has a significant impact on blood lipids, both in healthy people than in those who already have an impaired lipid profile. Alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) contained in the nuts would be an important compound associated with this effect.

2. Elasticity of blood vessels

In a study in people with moderately high cholesterol, the substitution of part of dietary fat by walnuts resulted in improved elasticity (ability to expand and contract) to the vessel wall blood, a critical point in the prevention of coronary heart disease. Until now, the precise mechanism is not completely discovered, but alpha-linolenic acid, as well as arginine (an amino acid), could be two related compounds for this purpose.

3. Antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that reduce the damage caused by free radicals in the body. These are highly reactive molecules that are involved in the onset of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and other diseases related to aging. The nut is second among several other plants (fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, seeds, and grains) as to its antioxidant content.

4. Reduce breast cancer risk

According to the results of a study conducted at the Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia, it would suffice to consume daily 28 walnut halves to reduce its risk of suffering from breast cancer. We attribute these health benefits and virtues to the richness of this tree nut in omega-3 acids, antioxidants, and phytosterols. In this study, the researchers gave mice the equivalent, for humans, 60 g of walnuts. Compared to control mice, they had significantly fewer tumors and in the development of the past was slower.

5. Reduce the risk of diabetes

According to the Harvard School of Public Health researchers, the risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes decreased by 30% among women who reported consuming at least 30 grams of nuts at a rate of five times a week or more compared to those who never drank. These data are from the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing study ever conducted among more than 200,000 US nurses. The women, who were aged 34 to 59, had no history of diabetes. Note that mono- and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts play a positive role in insulin sensitivity.

 6. Help reduce stress

Researchers at Tufts University in Boston found that levels of two biomarkers of oxidative stress decreased in volunteers making cholesterol and who consumed 73 g (a handful) of almonds a day. Recall that oxidative stress results from damage caused by excess free radicals or antioxidant deficiency. To start the day with a good supply of antioxidants, so feel free to add chopped almonds to cereal to enjoy their benefits and virtues to your health.

7. Reduce the risk of bladder cancer

In a recent study at the medical school of Dartmouth (New Hampshire), researchers compared selenium levels in 767 subjects with bladder cancer than in the general population. They found that the incidence of breast cancer was lower in subgroups whose rate of this trace element was high. These subgroups were composed, among others, women (34%) and moderate smokers (39%). A single Brazil nut provides the recommended daily intake of selenium.

8. Walnuts promote heart health

Nuts, as well as the seeds, are rich in phytosterols, phytochemicals deemed to promote heart health. According to analyses conducted by researchers, pistachios and sunflower seeds are those that contain the most.

9. Nuts can help you lose weight

Nuts are a good source of protein and fiber. You can choose 30 pistachios. If possible, go for these delicious fruits unsalted hull.

You can also swallow 15 dry roasted peanuts (84 calories). Peanuts are equally satisfying and rich in protein, fiber, and good fats.

10. Brazil nuts help prevent the occurrence of acne

This hull fruit is rich in selenium, a powerful antioxidant that appears to exert a preventive effect on acne. Is that Brazil nuts may help cells protect it against inflammatory damage and preserve the elasticity of the skin. It is especially effective in combination with vitamins E and A; Therefore, consume your Brazil nuts along with almonds and, perhaps, a little red pepper.

11. Lower cholesterol

Eating nuts every day can help lower cholesterol, according to the Archives of Internal Medicine.

12. Improve fertility

To boost your fertility, consume foods rich in omega-3, such as nuts. The body uses these fats to produce hormones called eicosanoids that increase blood flow to the uterus. This, in turn, increases the chances of pregnancy and facilitates the development of the fetus.

13. Cashew nuts can prevent tooth decay

The oil contained cashew has antimicrobial properties and properties and acts against the bacteria responsible for tooth decay.

14. Chestnuts to stabilize the energy level

Chestnuts are rich in complex carbohydrates, roasted chestnuts keep the stable energy levels while maintaining a healthy nervous system.

15. Nuts for a healthy heart

It was discovered that nuts are full of good monounsaturated fat for heart health, the same type that is found in olive oil. They are also rich in manganese, a trace mineral antioxidant, and anti-aging properties.

16. Peanuts, an excellent source of protein

If technically peanuts are legumes, they are hard to ignore. More protein than other nuts, peanuts have a low glycemic index that can help manage type 2 diabetes.

17. Pistachios are rich in potassium

One ounce of pistachios has as much potassium than an orange. Potassium helps the digestive and muscular functions. Pistachio naturally gets its green color from chlorophyll. And red you see on store shelves? They are dyed.

18. Walnuts are sources of alpha-linolenic acid

Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 that helps maintain brain health and reduce inflammation.

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