Health & Fitness

Are nuts the best superfood to reduce the risk of diabetes & high cholesterol ? Which nut should be taken a day for sustained weight loss?

Nuts are an excellent snack option during your weight loss journey. Taking them between meals can prevent you from binge eating and choosing unhealthy food items. However, going overboard may add to weight gain as well. This is because nuts are dense in calories and eating more than the recommended serving size can sabotage your weight loss goal.

They can be healthy only if consumed within prescribed limits or 30-40 grams of nuts per day. The mentioned quantity is about the total number of nuts that fits in the palm of your hand. This can be a mixture of nuts or a handful of one kind of nuts, like almonds. Now you can add this quantity either to your smoothie, cake and desserts, or simply have them as in-between munchies. You could even use these as flavouring agents to your normal dishes.

Nuts have been seen as heart protectors, but a recent study has even suggested that people who eat nuts daily have better health and longer lives than their counterparts who never eat nuts. The nutrients present in nuts like healthy fats, omega 3, fibre, good plant phenols and compounds help with better health of brain, skin, nails and hair.

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Almonds: Although almonds are very healthy, they’re also high in fat and calories. If you’re munching on them at every meal, you might want to reconsider because 30 gm has 163 calories and 14 g of fat. But if had within limits, almonds can enrich your system with Vitamin E, which protects our cell walls from oxidative stress and damage. Recommended for promoting gut health, protecting the heart, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.

Cashews: These are deliciously creamy, which makes them great sauce substitutes but the same also makes them very addictive. We should only be eating up to five cashews a day. It’s recommended not to go over that amount as some people might be sensitive to the amino acids tyramine and phenylethylamine present in the nut, which can cause a headache. Cashews are a good source of protein, fibre, magnesium, manganese and vitamins.

Walnuts: These have a million health benefits as they are rich in antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids, the last being the reason for reducing heart disease, according to a study, by ten per cent. They have proven to be beneficial in treating Type 2 diabetes and reducing the risk of cancer. Seven whole-shelled nuts are the recommended quantity of walnuts per day for an adult. Eating too many walnuts than the recommended quantity may result in bloating or loosened stool, both of which don’t sound very pleasant so it’s best to limit yourself.

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Pistachios: It’s recommended that you eat a handful a day because otherwise you would pile up the calories. Always be careful about how the pistachios are served, or any nut for that matter. Pistachios by themselves do not contain very much sodium but if you’re eating a couple of handfuls of salted nuts, your sodium intake will shoot way up. So be choosy about which kind you want to eat. Pistachios can reduce your appetite and may help you tackle obesity. They are rich in carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin as well as flavonoids, which lend these nuts significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Pecans: These help fight heart disease and cancer as well as boost your immune system. Following the one ounce of nuts per day rule, you should be eating about 15 pecan halves. They are great for vegetarians because they make an excellent substitute for meat. Packed with protein and cholesterol-free, these nuts are a good idea for non-vegetarians too.

Brazil nuts: One should not be having more than two per day and some people even recommend just eating one. Brazil nuts are very high in selenium, and too much selenium can cause brittle hair and nails. They’re also full of potassium which can lead to a better night’s sleep. These aren’t definitely meant for snacking but it’s beneficial to have one a day to help you snooze.

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