Nuts are a great snack. Full of protein, fibre and healthy fat, they keep you full and give you energy. However, not all nuts are created equal. Some nuts have a better nutritional value and lower calories than others. We take a look at what nuts to add to your snack pack.
Walnuts are a great source of the omega-3 fat ALA and also help lower bad cholesterol levels, greatly reducing your chance of having a heart attack. They are known to have the most antioxidants out of any nut you can eat and will help reduce inflammation.
Pecans are also full of antioxidants. Regular consumption of pecans will increase the number of antioxidants in your blood, which is important for fighting the damage caused by free radicals. Pecans also increase your heart health by lowering cholesterol. Pecans are especially helpful for men because they improve prostate health.
Pistachios are loaded with potassium, so you can swap the banana for a serving of pistachios instead. They also help regulate your blood sugar, which means they reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Pistachios are lower in calories than other nuts, so you can eat a lot of them, which makes them a great snack for weight loss.
Brazil nuts grow on trees that can only grow in the wild, so you are helping keep parts of the rainforest alive when you purchase Brazil nuts. Health wise, Brazil nuts are a great source of protein and fat and are lower in carbs than other nuts. They are also a great source of selenium, an important antioxidant.
Hazelnuts are a great source of fibre, which helps regulate your blood sugar levels, keeping you from developing type 2 diabetes. Hazelnuts are also a good source of Vitamins A and B. They also help your heart by raising your good cholesterol and lowering your bad cholesterol.
Almonds help promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut and reduce inflammation in those with type 2 diabetes. Almonds can also lower your blood pressure and blood sugar. They’re the perfect choice if you are trying to lose weight as they’re very filling and low in carbs.
Cashews are packed with protein and antioxidants. They have a higher carb count than other nuts, so if you are watching your carbs, make sure you carefully measure your servings. Cashews can help lower your blood pressure and increase your good cholesterol levels. They are also a good source of magnesium.
Always look for raw, unsalted nuts. Anything that has been roasted or has added salt will not be as good for you.