Nutritionally speaking, nuts are amazing. They are tasty, easy to eat and fit into every kind of diets. Most importantly, they are very healthy and good for your overall fitness and weight. You probably know most of them: almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. Peanuts are not in in that list because, technically, peanuts are legumes like peas and beans. But they do fit the list of nuts based on their characteristics and nutritients. How can you improve your fitness with nuts? Check out these 7 benefits of eating nuts.
Full of Nutrients
Nuts are extremely nutritious. Some are higher in nutrients than others. But generally, they are rich in proteins, the right kind of fats, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and selenium. Brazil nuts especially have a high amount of selenium. Afraid of carbs? The carb content of nuts varies but is not high. Hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and Brazil nuts have less than 2 grams of carbs per serving. And cashews have about 8 grams. So either way, nuts fit well in a low-carb diet.
Full of Antioxidants
Nuts are very high in antioxidants. Antioxidants in nuts, polyphenols for example, fight oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. This reduces cell damage and disease risk. Walnuts have even more antioxidants than fish. Research shows that the antioxidants in walnuts and almonds can protect delicate fats in your cells from being damaged by oxidation. In one study, 2 to 8 hours after having pecans, participants experienced a drop of up to 33% in their levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol. so nuts help prevent heart disease.
Help You Lose Weight
Nuts can help increase your fitness and lose weight. In one large study, people who ate nuts as a regular part of their diet lost an average of 5 cm off their waists, a lot more than people in control groups without nuts in their diet. Almonds and pistachios particularly promote weight loss. What aren’t nuts high in calories? Kind of. But these calories are mainly inside the fat trapped inside the nut’s fibrous walls. They are not released in your digestive system. So no need to hold back because of the number of calories.
Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Nuts improve your fitness too with an impressive effect on cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Pistachios lower triglycerides in people who are obese or have diabetes. This cholesterol-lowering power is attritbuted to the high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Almonds and hazelnuts raise “good” HDL cholesterol and reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol. In one study, people eating a mix of just 30 grams of walnuts, peanuts, and pine nuts a day for six weeks significantly lowered all types of cholesterol except the good HDL. Macadamia nuts has a similar affect.
Great at Fighting Disease
Nuts may be one of the best foods for people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. This is because they are low in carbs and do not raise blood sugar levels much. Substituting nuts for higher-carb foods leads to reduced blood sugar levels. In addition, eating nuts lowers oxidative stress, blood pressure, and other health markers in people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Nuts are also really good for your heart. Eating nuts lowers risk of heart disease and stroke due to their benefits for cholesterol levels and inflammation. To put it simple, nuts reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol and improve artery function.
Nuts have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is your body’s way of defending itself from injury, bacteria and other harmful pathogens. But chronic inflammation causes damage to organs and increases the risk of disease. Eating nuts can reduce inflammation and promotes healthy aging. Eating nuts greatly decreases levels of inflammatory markers . This is especially the case with pistachios, Brazil nuts, walnuts and almonds.
Improve Your Fitness with the Fiber in Nuts
Nuts are very rich in fiber. Fiber provides many health benefits. Many types of fiber are prebiotics and good for healthy gut bacteria. Your gut bacteria turn fiber into beneficial fatty acids. In turn, these acids improve gut health and reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity. Fiber also helps you feel full. That prevents you from eating too much and imrpoves your fitness and health. Eating foods rich in fiber helps you lose weight.
Why You Should Eat Nuts
As you can see, regularly eating nuts will improve your fitness in many ways. And because they are high in fiber content, nuts will help you lose weight more easily. So if you did not include nuts in your daily diet already, this is the time to start.
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