Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and fibre. They’re also packed with nutrients. Nuts are one of the best sources of protein if you follow a plant-based diet. They can help reduce the risk of certain conditions, like inflammation and high blood sugar. Different nuts will offer different types of health benefits. Discover which are the best nuts for good health as Bloom, together with medical partner, Momentum Health4Me, unpacks the nutritional value of these healthy nuts.
Health benefits of nuts
- Packed with nutrients. Nuts are a high source of monounsaturated fat and are low in carbohydrates. While the exact nutritional composition will differ between the nut varieties, you can expect to find them loaded with essential nutrients, like:
- Vitamin E
- Contain antioxidants. Antioxidants, like polyphenols, neutralise free radicals from body cells and prevent or reduce the cell damage caused by oxidative stress. The good news is that nuts contain loads of antioxidants.
- Lower cholesterol. Nuts are believed to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Studies have found that the high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in nuts, like pistachios, can raise the “good” HDL cholesterol and lower the “bad” LD cholesterol.
- Helps with weight loss. While nuts are a high-calorie food source, they can still assist with a weight loss programme. It’s believed that the body doesn’t absorb all the calories found in nuts, and they’re an excellent snack item to add to your diet.
- Reduces inflammation of the body. Inflammation is a biological process where your body’s immune system protects you from infections like viruses or bacteria. However, in some cases, especially autoimmune diseases like arthritis, your body’s defence system attacks regular tissue, causing damage and painful swelling. Fortunately, most nuts have good anti-inflammatory properties.
- Helps manage Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes is a common metabolic syndrome that affects millions of people. Managing the condition is an important aspect of maintaining one’s sugar levels and overall health. Nuts are a great way to do so as they are low in carbohydrates and don’t raise one’s blood sugar to an unhealthy level.
- High in fibre. Fibre is the indigestible part of plant-based food. It’s an important prebiotic that keeps the gut healthy, prevents constipation and reduces the risk of other health problems, like heart disease. Nuts are a great source of soluble fibre, which means that they absorb water which can, in turn, support regular bowel movements. Soluble fibre also assists in lowering one’s cholesterol and sugar levels.
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Nuts are a heart-healthy choice of food. They can lower one’s risk of heart disease or stroke because of their cholesterol and anti-inflammatory benefits.
What are the best nuts for your health? Top nuts revealed
- Almonds. Almonds are actually seeds but are considered nuts. They are an excellent source of Vitamin E, Vitamin B2, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium and manganese. They have excellent health benefits and can assist in keeping your bones strong and your heart healthy.
The nutritional profile of 100g of almonds
- Peanuts. Peanuts are actually legumes but are also commonly considered to be nuts. They contain healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These nuts are a great protein boost for your body. They contain a rich amount of antioxidants, flavonoids and amino acids. They’re also packed with nutrients like iron, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium.
The nutritional profile of 100g of peanuts
- Pistachios. These are classified as seeds but are also considered to be nuts. These nuts are a great source of healthy fatty acids and antioxidants. Pistachios are packed with potassium, and also contain calcium, iron, phosphorous and magnesium.
The nutritional profile of 100g of pistachios.
- Walnuts. These nuts have a high fat content, which means they have a high-calorie count compared to other nuts. While the fat content is high, they are lower in carbohydrates than most other nuts and a good source of flavonoids. They also contain calcium, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium.
The nutritional value of 100g of walnuts.
- Cashews. These nuts are packed with protein and can assist with weight loss, heart health and blood sugar control. Cashews contain unsaturated fats, are low in sugar and contain a healthy amount of fibre. They are also rich in nutrients, containing zinc, iron, selenium, phosphorous and vitamin B6. They contain a significant amount of copper, which is required for maintaining a healthy immune system and brain functioning.
The nutritional value of 100g of cashews.
- Hazelnuts. These nuts contain many nutrients and minerals, along with healthy fats, protein and antioxidants. They can assist in reducing inflammation, maintaining blood sugar levels and regulating blood pressure. Some of the nutrients contained in hazelnuts include Vitamin E, magnesium, copper and thiamin.
The nutritional value of 100g of hazelnuts.
Which nuts are unhealthy?
Nuts are generally good for your health. However, it is possible to eat too many nuts. It’s good to remember that most nuts are high in calories, which could lead to weight gain if one had to consume more than the recommended daily allowance. In addition, choose raw or dry-roasted nuts over roasted or salted nuts. Salted nuts are high in sodium and the roasting process can reduce the nutritional value of the nut as they are likely to become oxidized. This leads to the formation of harmful free radicals.
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A healthy diet is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Nuts are an excellent food source to add to your diet. Bloom encourages members to adopt healthy living by making smart lifestyle choices. Now that you’re aware of the healthiest nuts available, you can start using these more in your daily diet. Get health insurance cover for you and your family. Contact our offices to make an appointment with a trained consultant and select the best health insurance plan for your needs.
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