Nuts!

Has 2020 been driving you nuts? 

That may not be a bad thing. In fact, there’s good news. Nuts are good for us. Not only are they a tasty and delicious snack, but they are healthy as well. Making raw mixed nuts such as almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, and hazelnuts a part of your diet is a fantastic way to up your vitamin and mineral intake. 

Nuts are one of the primary sources of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, offering a range of health benefits from reducing rheumatoid arthritis to protecting against Alzheimer’s and dementia. Not to mention that nuts can aid in weight loss because the fat in them is almost entirely unsaturated, which means you will feel more satisfied after snacking on them. Studies have found that people who eat nuts are less likely to gain weight than those who don’t. 

Regular nut consumption has been linked to a way of managing diabetes. In a controlled study conducted by scientists from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, they found that people with type 2 diabetes who ate more than five servings of nuts per week lowered their risk of heart disease by as much as 17%. 

Eating nuts can help prevent heart disease. Studies have shown that consuming nuts at least four times per week is correlated with fewer coronary heart disease cases and myocardial infarctions. Nut consumption also plays a significant role in regulating cholesterol. Researchers have found a direct link between eating nuts a few times a week and reducing LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body. They are also a good source of a host of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, all of which help prevent certain cancers

Not all nuts are created equally. Some pack more of a nutritional punch than others. Of course, raw is always the best option. And stay away from those covered in sugar, large amounts of salt, or other flavorings. Those can quickly make this healthy option not much better than a chips or cookies. Keep it raw!

Grabbing a handful or two of mixed nuts is always an easy way to go, but if you’re looking for more creative ways to add nuts to your diet, try:

  • Adding chopped walnuts to make an excellent addition to a yogurt parfait.
  • Grinding your own almonds into almond butter, a popular alternative to peanut butter.
  • Making your own banana nut bread.
  • Sprinkling pecans over a salad.
  • Using cashew nuts when you’re making vegetable stir fry. 
  • Adding almonds to a protein shake with a banana and some milk. 
  • Adding chopped almonds with feta cheese and olives in a Mediterranean style salad.
  • Grinding walnuts with herbs into a paste to garnish grilled chicken.

If 2020 has driven you nuts, it may just be time to turn those nuts into a healthy snack! You may want to throw some dark chocolate in there to go with it. Then you can show 2020 who is boss in a tasty and nutritious way!

Sources:

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353648
https://www.alz.org/alzheimer_s_dementia
https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/understanding-the-unsaturated-fats
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4144111/
https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.314316
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4807707/
https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/hdl-good-ldl-bad-cholesterol-and-triglycerides
https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/29/3/565#

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