Do you know about the health benefits found in almonds, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts? Nuts are packed with B-vitamins, calcium, fiber, minerals, protein and vitamin E. Nuts can be added to muffins, salads, casseroles and other dishes or eaten alone.
Almonds – A lady-sized handful of almonds contains approximately 75 milligrams of calcium, 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, 6.7 milligrams vitamin E, along with B-vitamins, iron, zinc, folic acid and selenium for only 150 calories. Almonds are a great source for folic acid for expectant moms. Phytochemicals are also found in almonds, which are believed to protect the body against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- Dr. Gary Beecher with the USDA, while discussing the health benefits of almonds stated, "I have never seen this diversity of phytochemicals in a single food source."
- Dr. Gene Spiller, Health Research and Studies Center, proved in a clinical study that almonds had a positive effect on cholesterol levels.
Chestnuts – The nut made famous by the Christmas song is very good for you. Chestnuts are packed with B-complex vitamins, calcium, fiber, folic acid, iron, magnesium, niacin, oleic acid, palmitoleic acid, potassium, protein, phyto-nutrients, protein, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin C and zinc. Chestnuts are an excellent food source for people on gluten sensitive diets.
- Fiber removes excess cholesterol from the intestines.
- Vitamin C is essential for the formation of blood vessels, bones and teeth., offers protection from free radicals and assists the immune system.
- Folic acid helps with DNA synthesis and protects against neural tube defects in unborn children.
- Oleic acid and palmitoleic acid lowers the bad LDL cholesterol and improves levels of the good HDL cholesterol.
The Nut Challenge:
- First: Research the available online nutritional information for your favorite nut.
- Second: Add one serving of nuts to your diet each day for 5 days each week from now until your next physical.
I believe that you will be pleased with the new healthier you!
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.