Nuts are useful food product, ranging from peanuts to walnuts and coconuts, among others. They are appetising and satisfying to eat and also enhance the flavour of many snacks and foods.
For many years “diet conscious”, people were avoiding nuts for fear of increasing weight. But since the past decade or so, many studies have proven the overall beneficial effects of nuts on human health.
It has been observed that people who live around the Mediterranean Sea have a low prevalence of coronary artery disease as compared to other parts of the world. When the diet of this area was studied it was found that people, regularly consumed nuts.
Studies have shown that those who consumed nuts regularly had a 60% less incidence of having heart attacks as compared to those who did not take nuts or took them sparingly. Nuts are high in beneficial polyunsaturated fats and have a low content of harmful saturated fat. This is beneficial to prevent coronary artery disease. They reduce risk of stroke and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolic syndrome is known to be reversed by consuming nuts regularly. Blockade of blood vessels by clots is known to reduce by eating nuts regularly.
Nuts also have antioxidant properties which help to build the body’s strength to fight against cancer and infections. They are a rich source of proteins in the diet which helps in repairing tissues against wear and tear and providing energy against infection. They are also high in fiber. This aids in digestion and is useful in preventing constipation and digestive troubles.
Apart from these benefits, nuts also provide vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, copper, and the amino acid arginine. Each of these nutrients is useful for various functions of the body and is also healthy for the heart. Pistachios are said to improve erectile function in men.
Current studies show that nuts do not cause obesity. In fact those eating nuts regularly were found to be thinner. Nuts are filling. Thus when one eats them, appetite for other foods is reduced, thus decreasing the total calories consumed.
Eating a handful of nuts provides 160-200 calories. This is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats hence beneficial for the heart and body. All are useful in different ways. One may pick his choice from the wide variety of nuts available, i.e. Peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, macademia, e.t.c. Coconut is said to have a high cholesterol content. But it is healthy cholesterol and is not harmful in any way. It is a rich source of protein and is useful for those desiring to put on weight and build up muscles as in body builders. It also contains lauric acid which is useful in fending off infections due to its antibacterial and anti-infective properties.
Coconut is also useful in treating pancreatic disorders; hence indirectly it helps in better control of diabetes. It contains iodine, hence helps combat goiter which occurs due to disorder of thyroid gland.
It is said that eating 30-60 gram of nuts everyday is useful for the body and also the heart. They are useful and can be used as tea time snacks instead of the harmful junk food snacks. There is no study to say that eating them in greater quantity confers any additional benefit. Of course eating anything in excess is bad and so would be for nuts. Therefore include nuts in your daily diet in various ways. That would definitely boost health.