You are what you eat right? That may be true for some of us when it comes to nuts!
All joking aside though, these little bounties of nature make terrific additions to your cereal bowl, salads, stir fries and daily meal plans.
Why should you include nuts in your diet?
I’m sure by now you’ve been told many times by lots of people how to add more nuts to your diet, but really didn’t know why, other than the fact they taste good.
After reading this piece, you will finally know the “why” and I’m sure you’ll run right down to the nearest market to purchase a whole sack of nuts.
The heart is the strongest and most important muscle in your body. It is tasked with the job of pumping blood to the farthest reaching areas of your anatomy every single nanosecond of the day and night.
If you think it’s a good idea to eat nuts to improve your heart’s health, then you thought right!
The reason is because all forms of nuts are high in fat.
But don’t be alarmed, the fat I’m referring to is unsaturated, which will not clog your arteries and make your heart stop working. In fact it will do the complete opposite.
Unsaturated fat has a similar function as drain-cleaning solvents. They are used to free gunk from pipes, while unsaturated fat helps free gunk from your arteries.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a regular intake of nuts helps lower LDL levels of cholesterol, which is the bad kind, plus they improve arterial lining health and reduce the risk of blood clots.
Nuts have a good balance of protein and fiber and are low in carbs. Foods high in protein, fiber and fat combined help fill you up.
The main benefit here is this will control your appetite and prevent you from overeating. You just have to keep your intake under control.
Although nuts are healthy, they are also calorie dense. Use a respectable amount when adding them to meals and especially when using them solely as snacks.
A ¼ c serving of nuts, such as almonds, contains about 225 calories. The worst thing you can ever do is sit down in front of the TV with a huge bowl of nuts on your lap before a box set marathon.
Blood sugar stabilization
Stable blood sugar levels translate to higher energy levels, and here’s why:-
When you eat foods high in simple carbs like white bread, chips, cookies, pastries and white rice, your blood sugar levels rise quickly. In turn, this causes a surge of energy that is short lived and followed by a crash.
You are then left standing or sitting there with drool coming down your chin and your head bobbing up and down as you fight to keep your eyes open.
This is typically referred to as the dreaded carb coma.
Nuts have approximately zero effect on your blood sugar levels so they won’t give you energy fluctuations.
At the very least, add them to your existing snacks to make them more balanced. For example, instead of eating an apple on its own, have about 10 nuts with it.
Feel free to also use nut butters as long as there are no added ingredients like sugar, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. Nut butters pair well with fruits like apples and bananas because they can be easily smeared across them for pleasurable afternoon delights.
Boosted immune system
A handful of nuts – figuratively and literally – can help boost your immunity because they are high in antioxidants.
A higher immunity means less chance of getting a life-threatening illness or common cold.
And just for the record, antioxidants are substances that soak up free radicals in the body, which are the root of all evil. These unsightly critters join forces to break down your immunity and make you less resistant to disease.
I hope by now I’ve sold you on why you should add nuts to your diet. If you’ve already been eating them, then keep up the great work. As always, give me a holler if there’s anything else I can help you with.
Connect with Expert Kevin Rail.