Nuts have long been frowned upon for their high fat content. However, new studies show that certain varieties can prolong life, lower cholesterol levels and even help people lose weight!

They have a rather bad reputation, especially among diet-conscious people who care about slimming. The fact that nuts are high in fat and contain roughly 500 calories per 100 grams of food has led some to believe they are more or less comparable to chocolate, which is also high in energy.

Why nuts don’t make you fat!

Nuts can help you lose weight and make you less fat than before. Studies show that eating nuts reduces the risk of obesity significantly. Researchers found out in their 5-year study that nut eaters had a lower risk of becoming obese compared to people who didn’t consume nuts at all.

It may be possible that our body can only use two thirds of the calories from nuts. Because when you chew, they are not completely ground up like other foods and enter the digestion in small pieces. This means that fat is not fully absorbed or digested and does not contribute to your calorie count for this meal.

They might be one of the healthiest foods in the world

Walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds are high-quality foods that provide you with fewer calories than expected. Besides fiber, they hold valuable vital substances like easily digestible protein and healthy unsaturated fatty acids. They also contain important B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium magnesium phosphorus iron zinc selenium in high doses.

Consuming nut products in the right amount is perhaps one of the healthiest things you can do. Studies have shown that this kind of healthy food has many benefits, including their ability to help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Experts recommend eating around 20 grams per day which corresponds to about four walnut kernels

Replace meat with nuts more often

Nuts are more than just a snack. Eating them in place of red meat and eggs, for example, significantly reduces the risk of inflammation.

Daily consumption of nuts and less meat and eggs in a diet helped with inflammation levels for subjects. It is not only important for people who have chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, but it can also help prevent cardiovascular diseases like arteriosclerosis.

Veins- the parts of blood vessels – which are associated with a loss in elasticity and narrowing is considered one of the most important risk factors for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Daily nut consumption on the other hand has been shown to protect against arteriosclerosis (which also protects from heart attacks and strokes). Tip: Add chopped nuts instead of beef strips or eggs as a topping on your salad; it’s just as filling!

Nuts protect the heart and brain, reduce cancer risks and prolong life

A current analysis of 29 studies with a total of 820,000 participants provides some great facts. A few nuts were associated with these effects:
  • 30 percent less coronary artery disease
  • 22 percent reduction in risk of premature death
  • 15 percent less cancer

For every type of nut, this effect was shown. From cashew nuts to peanuts and almonds to walnuts, the results were consistent across all types.

They also promote concentration and memory. They are, so to speak, a natural brain doping.

The subjects were given the opportunity to eat almonds, cashews, peanuts or walnuts. Above all else nuts had a positive effect on the brain. However pistachios performed outstandingly as an important helper for improving cognitive perception and information retention – learning in particular!

Nuts against the sperm crisis

Nuts could also be helpful, especially for couples who want to have children. It is often due to poor sperm quality and an insufficient number of semen if the woman does not get pregnant as expected. It has been proven that the sperm count in men in western countries has fallen by more than half within one generation. More and more couples are therefore denied offspring.

These deficiencies could be ameliorated by consuming 60 grams of nuts a day – and after just two weeks, according to a Spanish study presented at the annual congress of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

The results:

  • 14% higher sperm count
  • 6% better mobility
  • 4% more live, healthy sperm

The researchers do not yet want to say whether these positive changes are the result of nuts alone. But there is mounting evidence in the literature that a healthy lifestyle, like a Mediterranean diet, could help conception – and of course nuts are an important part of such a life style.

Nuts are best enjoyed pure

But what is the best way to consume nuts? Roasted nuts taste particularly good, but some of the vital substances are not heat-resistant, such as certain B vitamins. Salted nuts are also not optimal for health; 100 grams of salted peanuts can contain more than three grams of salt.

However, the daily amount of salt should only be five grams- which is usually achieved through normal nutrition alone. But bread, cheese and sausage contain a high amount of salt. Too much sodium chloride increases blood pressure, leads to water retention and acidifies the body.

Nuts are best eaten when they’re freshly cracked, and with the fine brown skin. This is because it contains a special number of valuable antioxidants. Nut butter- such as almond or cashew butter- can be an alternative for everyone who doesn’t want to (or cannot) chew nuts themselves. However, nuts usually have been roasted and lose vitamins in the process of being ground down so finely for these types of spreads which provide around 130 kilocalories per tablespoon – all that can be used up without really thinking about it!

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Jolene Hughes

Jolene Hughes

food & health expert, passionate for cooking, vitamin junkie

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