Eating Tree Nuts For Health

From Brazil nuts to almonds, from cashews to pecans, tree nuts bestow a tasty and nutritionally rich bounty.

What are tree nuts? Tree nuts are nutritionally dense morsels that come in compact packages. These nuts are so nutritious, in fact, that they make an ideal food.

Studies have shown promising results in relation to consumption of tree nuts and reduced risk factors for diabetes, cancer, heart disease, gallstones, and weight control.

Researchers point to a plant-based diet as one that supports human health. Consuming a diet that includes mixed nuts is a step in the right direction.

Tree Nut Information

Tree nuts contain bioactive nutrients that affect cardiovascular and metabolic health significantly. Regular use of nuts can help regulate body weight. Diets that include whole unprocessed foods such as organic nuts can be an important step in protecting against the disease process.

Edible Tree Nuts

Almonds: Almond research points to the role that almonds play in relation to colon cancer. Antioxidant polyphenols, vitamin E, and dietary fiber found in almonds may help in prevention of colon cancer. Nine clinical trials have demonstrated that almonds can lower cholesterol. The National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute has suggested replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat, such as monounsaturated fat found in almonds.

Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are a superior source of selenium, a mineral and antioxidant that may prevent heart disease. Brazil nut protein contains all the amino acids that are required, making them particularly suitable for vegetarian diets. Just a couple of Brazil nuts can provide the body with the daily requirement.

Cashews: Cashews provide magnesium, which is important for strong bones. Cashews contain copper that can protect against osteoporosis and joint problems.

Hazelnuts: Hazelnuts are one of the most nutritious nuts, with high levels of B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, and foods.

Macadamia Nuts: Daily consumption of macadamias may render a beneficial effect in reducing cholesterol and decreasing risk of heart disease (according to results from research conducted at University of Newcastle, Australia, and published by the American Society for Nutritional Sciences).

Pecans: Pecans contain over 19 vitamins and minerals and are loaded with antioxidants.

Pine Nuts: Pine nuts are a good source of potassium and provide zinc, manganese, niacin, and arginine.

Pistachios: Pistachios are high in vitamin E and are a rich source of phytosterols.

Walnuts: Walnuts contain heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in relation to high blood pressure, heart health, and for improving the cholesterol profile for people with type II diabetes.

Benefits Of Eating Tree Nuts

Phytochemicals

  • Nuts contain important phytochemicals: carotonoids, flavonoids, phytosterols, and proanthocyanidins. Phenolic compounds and phytosterols are some of the plant constituents that may protect against cancer development in humans. Choosing an assortment or consuming mixed nuts ensures that you are giving your body substances that are beneficial to health.

Antioxidants

  • Epidemiological studies have established nuts as a potential source of antioxidants, reducing risk factors for a variety of severe diseases.

Phytosterols

  • Nut-derived phytosterols mimic cholesterol, blocking cholesterol (derived from food sources) from being absorbed into the blood stream, thereby lowering LDL cholesterol. Consuming organic nuts may help to target undesirable cholesterol levels.

Nut trees offer a tempting variety of edible nuts. The nutrient content of tree nuts makes them a good dietary choice, while their potential in relation to disease reduction shows promise.

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