A handful of nuts a day can do wonders to a human’s body. Regular intake can help you stay full and increase metabolism. As per Piet Van denBrandt, Professor of Epidemiology, eating nuts on a daily basis protects the health of both men and women. About 10 grams a day is good enough to get the required nutrients for the body.
Nuts contain natural plant proteins. They are rich in energy, contain a lot of fiber, and are health friendly monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) which in moderation lowers the risks of strokes and heart diseases. They are void of sugar and contain minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc, selenium and iron. Studies show that people who eat nuts daily tend to live longer than those who do not eat much if any of these foods.
Including nuts in your diet cuts down the risk of developing allergies by 80 percent. Nuts and whole grain seeds contain Vitamin B6 and folic acid which helps in conception and increase the chance of fertility.
Below is the list of different nuts with their health benefits and nutrition facts.
Scientific name: Prunus dulcis
Almonds need the help of bumblebees to grow and pollinate. During the autumn season, pinkish-white flowers develop into fruits.
Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds, a less fatty nut is considered to be a superfood due to its longer shelf life. Store almonds in a refrigerator for up to two years. They are an excellent source of vitamin E, calcium, minerals, potassium, iron, and selenium. It is believed that in ancient times, almonds served as a symbol of prosperity and fertility, Romans used to shower newly wed couples with them, a custom similar to our throwing rice.
Scientific name: Bertholletia excels
Brazil nut trees can grow to massive heights and may live up to 1,000 years. It needs a specific bee to pollinate its flowers, and they take about 14 months to mature. Also known as Bolivia nuts, mostly found in northern regions, seeds are inside a capsule or pod, which falls apart upon maturity.
Health benefits of Brazil nuts
Due to high amount of Selenium present in Brazil, the nut helps in the prevention of breast cancer. Also, an excellent source of Vitamin E. A serving can give flowing hair and glowing skin.
Scientific name: Anacardium occidentale
The botanical name, Anacardium, it refers to the bean shape of fruit, an inverted heart (ana-Upward, cardian-heart). Its shell is toxic and can’t be eaten which leaves one to wonder how we ever started consuming this food. It even belongs to the same plant family as poison ivy.
Health Benefits of Cashews
Cashews are an excellent source of protein, and hence good for vegetarians and vegans. They have an abundant source of minerals, including magnesium which increases memory.
Scientific name: macadamia intergrifolia
Macadamia nuts, the king of all nuts, are never picked. On plantations, the Macadamias grow, and once they fall off the tree, they are harvested. A delicious food, but also the hardest one to crack as it takes around 300 PS to break the shell.
Health Benefits of Macadamia
Macadamia nuts have highest calorific value. 100 gram of nuts gives you 718 calories which means they have to be enjoyed in moderation. They are an excellent source of essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, selenium and manganese.
Another thing to keep in mind is that these nuts are toxic to dogs, and cause severe abdominal pain and in some cases even paralysis.
Scientific name: Carya illinoinensis
Pecan trees only produce pecans every two years. The fruits are usually fully developed by autumn. Pecans are not real nuts but fruits (dark brown), oval/oblong shape, generally harvested from Oct- Dec.
Health Benefits of Pecans
High on calories (About 690 calories/100g), so these are also to be consumed in moderation. In addition, they are incredibly rich in antioxidants
Scientific name: Pinus
Pine nuts are found inside mature pine cones. It takes about two to three years to develop. Cone size may reach from as small as 3 cm to 35 cm.
Health Benefits of Pine Nuts
Fatty acids derived from pine nuts releases a high amount of cholecystokinin, a hormone that is also known as an appetite suppressant which means pine nuts help to reduce one’s weight.
Scientific name: Anacardia ceae
It is also known as “smiling nut” in Iran and a “happy nut” in China. They grow in clusters, of fruits like a bunch of grapes. Pistachios are green because of the chlorophyll pigment in them.
Health Benefits of Pistachios
Pistachios are the richest source of energy (100 gram/557cal).
Excellent source of Vitamin E which helps to keep one’s skin well protected from dryness. They contain significant amounts of antioxidants which aid in removing toxins from the body and protect from infections and cancer.
So if you need energy on the go and add nutritional benefits as well; then just go nuts!