Besides being an excellent grab-and-go snack, a great addition to any lunch, and an easy way to curb those cravings between meals, nuts are nutrient-packed wonders. They contain a wide variety of health benefits that make them the perfect addition to your daily menu. Even if you are trying to cut calories or watch your fat intake, you should definitely try to sneak in a handful of nuts every day! They can help you work towards your weight loss goals and keep your heart healthy in no time at all! We've compiled some of the benefits of nuts for you to check out below.
Nuts are a great source of protein. It can be a daily challenge to consume enough protein, especially if you are a vegetarian. Luckily for you, nuts are an excellent source of protein! Plus, they pair well with nearly any meal. If you are looking for a great way to incorporate these protein-packed wonders into your diet, check out our 12 Healthier Trail Mix Ideas by clicking here!
Nuts can reduce stress. We're not saying that nuts will give you the motivation to do those chores, but they can definitely help alleviate a lot of the symptoms of stress. Nuts can protect your body against the effects of being stressed. Almonds are also known to protect your immune system when you're feeling anxious as well!
Nuts promote heart health. Studies have proven that most nuts can actually reduce your risk of heart disease! By consuming a handful of nuts a day, these little troopers may decrease your body's LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in order to protect your heart. Nuts also contain plant sterols that work to lower your blood pressure and keep you safe from harm. They can also protect you against developing blood clots, which could spare you a fatal heart attack!
>> Read more: Eating for a Healthy Heart: Top 10 Heart Healthy Foods
Nuts are key to weight maintenance. Contrary to popular belief, nuts don't even come close to causing weight gain. In fact, researchers suspect the opposite! Studies have revealed that consuming nuts on a daily basis can actually aid you in your weight loss goals by keeping you fuller longer and eliminating excess snacking. Since they are nutrient-dense, and a great source of protein and fiber, they are much more satisfying than, say, a handful of chips!
Nuts are a "brain food." If you are looking to stay sharp, then nuts are the perfect snack for you! Thanks to a healthy dose of vitamin E in nuts, especially peanuts, you can actually improve your working memory, reference memories, problem-solving and motor function! Just one serving a day can keep cognitive decline away! For more information on "brain food" check out Brain Power: 10 Foods to Eat Today for a Smarter Tomorrow.
Nuts may protect against cancer. With all the steroids and processed ingredients that are pumped into our foods today, it can often be a challenge to find one that doesn't contain some sort of cancer-causing element. Luckily, nuts (pistachios in particular), may be the way to protect yourself against some forms of cancer. Researchers believe that nuts' richness in a type of vitamin E may be the key to cancer protection.
Nuts have more to offer than a mere calorie and fat count. If you are serious about your health, it may be time to start upping your intake of your favorite nut. With just a handful or two a day, you can treat your body and mind the way it deserves to be treated! For more of our favorite foods, check out 6 Snacks You Should Always Keep On Hand.
Sources: Huffington Post, Mayo Clinic, Harvard School of Public Health, Everyday Health