We know nuts are good for us. But we also know they have a decent amount of fat and are dense in calories. This causes many people to shy away from eating nuts on the reg. Despite the high calorie content, frequent nut consumption is correlated with lower body weight and various other health benefits.
My top 5 reasons to incorporate 1 oz of nuts into each day:
1. Nutrition - 1 oz mixed nuts provides about:
- 5 grams of plant-based protein (almonds with the highest protein content)
- Blend of unsaturated fat (poly and mono) that can help lower bad cholesterol, improve good cholesterol
- 10% of vitamin E- an antioxidant that plays an important role in our immune system, fights against inflammation, and prevents blood clotting which helps our heart (Hazelnut comes in highest)
- 15% DV of magnesium (Brazils nuts take the win!)
2. Heart Health - nuts play a role in lowering total cholesterol (walnuts especially!) and improving vasodilation, which means the blood vessels are nicely expanded, making it easier for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.
3. Blood Sugars - frequent nut consumption helps regulate blood sugars and may improve insulin sensitivity, which protects against type II diabetes.
4. BMI - Studies have demonstrated nut consumption was not found to increase daily caloric intake, and does not lead to increased body weight. A handful of nuts provides a nice combo of protein, fat and fiber--which may help to fill you up and keep you satisfied a bit longer. This leads to less cravings and less snacking later in the day.
5. Brain health - “Increasing evidence suggests that Cardiovascular disease…hypertension [high blood pressure] obesity and type 2 diabetes are associated with diminished cognitive functioning and an increase in all types of dementia”(1).
The brain relies on a constant supply of blood to function properly. Blood vessel constriction and high blood pressure hinders the ability of blood to flow to the brain, which can impair cognition, memory, and overall brain health. Glucose (sugar) is the brain's primary source of energy. Therefore, insulin resistance and lack of blood sugar control also negatively impacts brain function.
If you are interested in even more science and exciting research, check out the review :)