Nuts: A Nutritional Powerhouse

It’s been a busy day at work, and your mid-day craving for a snack hits. You head out to buy something to ease that hunger but you get tempted to reach for that chocolate candy bar or bag of crunchy potato chips. Instead of going  for those snacks, choose to have a small bag of mixed nuts to satisfy the craving!

Nuts are great to include as part of your diet for their many nutritional benefits. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and heart-healthy fats. However, they are also high in calories, which explains why they are often given a bad reputation. An ounce of nuts amounts to around 120-200 calories, depending on what kind.  It is recommended to have an ounce or 28 grams of nuts per day. This is about the amount that fits in the palm of your hand.

Almonds are considered the most nutritionally dense nut, meaning it offers the most overall nutrients per calorie and ounce. They are high in vitamin E and magnesium, which are natural antioxidants and help with heart health and skin healing. One ounce is 23 nuts, including 6g of protein.

Walnuts are packed with antioxidants, phytosterols and other compounds helping prevent breast cancer. The high levels of omega 3s help with brain health and blood pressure control. One ounce is 14 halves, including 7g of protein.

 

Cashews are a source of magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Phosphorus helps with building strong bones and teeth. Iron keeps your skin, hair, and nails healthy. One ounce is 18 nuts, including 4.5g of protein.

 

Macadamia Nuts contain monounsaturated fats helping lower cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease. They contain magnesium and potassium to aid in muscle building, heart function and boosting energy levels. One ounce is 11 nuts.

 

Pistachios are high in monosaturated fats, which keep your heart healthy! They are great sources of copper, magnesium, and b-vitamins which all help strengthen  your immune system. One ounce is 49 nuts, including 6g of protein.

 

Peanuts can help maintain healthy skin, hair, and muscles. They are a great source of protein, niacin, vitamin e and folate. One ounce is 28 nuts, including 6.5g of protein.

Consume nuts in small serving sizes as a snack between meals, sprinkled on salads or on top of your breakfast oatmeal. It is best to buy plain nuts without added sugar or salt. Raw or roasted, are both great choices. You can also easily make your own trail mix by purchasing plain nuts without the added sugars and preservatives. If you do choose to buy pre-made trail mixes, choose those that are mainly nuts with minimal chocolates or dried fruit.

http://momwithaprep.com/awww-nuts-guide-nuts-long-term-storage-benefits/

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20585485,00.html#best-nuts-for-your-diet-0

http://globalnews.ca/news/1003078/why-are-nuts-good-for-us-and-how-much-should-we-be-eating-daily/

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