Nuts and seeds are great snacks. Convenient to pack, long-lasting and delicious, it’s no wonder they’re so popular. As an added bonus, more and more research is showing that they support health and wellness.
The Many Benefits of Nuts
You may have heard nuts being described as “heart healthy.” This is because they are packed to the brim with a number of nutrients that improve cardiovascular health. Typically, they contain Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, unsaturated fats, plant sterols, and L-arginine. These compounds each contribute to heart health in their own ways, doing things like lowering your cholesterol, enhancing the flexibility of your artery walls, and preventing plaque build-up. Almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans seem to be especially beneficial when it comes to promoting a healthy heart.
It’s not just your heart that will profit from more nuts in your diet. Since their calories come from a mixture of protein and unsaturated fats, you’ll feel satisfied for a while after eating just a handful. This makes them an ideal diet snack, especially if you’re looking to cut back on carbs. Almonds again were found to be particularly in weight loss studies.
Other varieties offer additional benefits. Cashews, for example, are magnesium-rich. Pistachios are good sources of phytonutrients, which improve eye health. In short: nuts are a great option for those looking to make healthy changes to their eating habits.
The many benefits of seeds?
Like nuts, seeds also contain a variety of healthy vitamins and nutrients. They’re are high in fiber and vitamin E, and also contain monounsaturated fats, which are fatty acids that may protect you from heart disease. They’re also believed to help inhibit weight gain and high cholesterol.
In particular, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are seen to be among the most beneficial. Sunflower seeds are rich in phytochemicals, which aid digestion. They’re also high in selenium, copper, and folate–particularly important for women. Pumpkin seeds are chock-full of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. They’re believed to help improve your skeletal system’s health, enhance your immune system and possibly help prevent cancer in male prostate cells.
Nuts and seeds are amazing natural sources of compounds that can help you stay fit and healthy. Tossing them in salads or packing them as a snack is an easy way to improve your health while enjoying a tasty snack!