Nuts

Nuts are power packed sources of nutrition that are available naturally without any processing required. They are easy to carry wherever you go. There are many nuts that are very important for health. They are full of calories and fat, hence the quantity you eat matters a lot.

Few pieces of nuts can give you the energy and calories to go on for a full day without food. So when you are not careful with the quantity, you may gain too much weight.

Almonds

Almonds are rich in calcium that can help you build your bones stronger. People who avoid or do not like dairy products, can go for almonds. Almonds are also rich in a compound called Flavanoids, which is important for your heart. Flavanoids are present mainly in the skin of almonds. So make sure you don’t peel off the skin. Almonds are rich in Vitamin E too. Vitamin E is important to keep your skin glowing. Almonds can be consumed by toddlers and children too. You can soak the nut overnight in water and serve for kids who are not good at chewing.

You can consume 4 – 5 almonds per day.

Almonds

Cashews

Cashews are very tasty and we generally tend to eat more of it. It is myth that you gain more weight when you eat a lot of cashews. They are a rich source of Vitamin E, K and B6. Minerals such as copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium are also present. Since they are low in cholesterol, they don’t harm anyone. It also helps to reduce blood pressure. It protects your eyes from cataract. Cashew contains good fat in it and people who are diabetic can consume them. Cashew when combined with sugar, is not very friendly. It makes you gain unhealthy calories. You can either roast and add salt or eat it raw.

You can consume 5 cashews per day.

Cashew

Chestnuts

Chestnut is the one of the nuts that is low in fat and calories. Chestnuts are high in vitamin C, minerals, such as potassium, copper and magnesium, amino acids and antioxidants. Chestnuts are also low in kidney stone-forming oxalate compounds, with less than 85 mg per 100 g, in comparison to other nuts.  When roasted or fried, chestnut seems to lose Vitamin C property in it. They contain high levels of essential fatty acids, linoleic acid, that is important for cardiovascular health and proper neurological development in infants. Chestnut can be consumed like a snack or used in making cake in the form of flour.

Chestnut

Brazil nut

Brazil nuts are powerful source of Selenium. Selenium acts as an anti-cancer agent. It helps women by preventing breast cancer. As it has the most amounts of selenium in it, it also acts as an anti-oxidant. Brazil nut can help you have good smooth skin. It also seems to reduce infertility in men as it helps to increase the levels of testosterone. The selenium in Brazil nuts helps to reduce the bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol in the body. Other than Selenium, they contain many B vitamins and minerals like copper, magnesium, potassium, calcium and Zinc.

You can consume 2 or 3 nuts a day.

Brazil nut

Walnuts

Walnuts are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. It also contains high amounts of copper, manganese and biotin. When researched, walnuts seemed to reduce the risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer. Amino acid l-arginine, which is an important compound that helps people with heart disease or people who are at high risk of cardiac problems, is available in abundance in Walnuts. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which might prevent the formation of pathological blood clot. Walnuts actively fight free radicals with their powerful anti-oxidants. Like Brazil nut, walnuts also help men to improve their fertility. Shape of the walnut looks like our brain, it not only looks like our brain but also has the important neuro-protective compounds.

You can consume 4 or 5 walnuts per day. Make sure you eat it with its skin, because 90% of the anti-oxidants are present in the skin.

Walnut

Hazelnut

Hazelnut is a very healthy nut which contains healthy mono-saturated fat and very low saturated fat. Hence, people who are interested in losing weight can consume lot of hazel nut. They are a good source of fiber too. The powerful anti-oxidant fights free radicals that causes cancer. They contain Vitamin E, copper and manganese. Hazelnut is also a good source of folate, so pregnant women can happily consume this nut that will help the growing baby in your belly.

You can consume 5 hazelnuts per day.

Hazelnut

Macadamia

Macadamia is not a very popular nut because of their high fat content. However they contain higher proportions of mono-saturated fat than saturated fat. Macadamia is well known for its rarely available palmitoleic acid (a type of monounsaturated fatty acid that fastens fat metabolism, thus reducing the body’s ability to store fat). The oil of macadamia nut is used by chefs for cooking. They say the oil gives better taste and health benefits than olive oil or canola oil. You may try using it and explore!

It is recommended you eat only 1 or 2 nuts per day.

Macadamia nut

Pistachios

Pistachio is a favorite of many because of the taste and varieties. They contain the highest amount of protein and less fat when compared to all other nuts. Pistachios also help to reduce the bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol in your body. They contain traces of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. Pista contains higher amounts of potassium and phosphorous. It has the property to protect your heart, give you good moisturized skin and helps you manage your weight. Pistachios have a unique property that can control and prevent diabetics by reducing the process of glycation.

You can consume 5 or 6 nuts daily.

Pista

Pecans

Pecans are a good source of mono-saturated fat like hazelnuts. Pecans are good source of vitamins A, B, and E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Handful of pecans per day can give you 10 percent of the daily recommended intake of fiber. Pecans can be included in your daily cooking. You can also eat them raw.

You can consume 5 or 6 pecans every day.

Pecan

Let us know how each nut worked for you. Go nuts !

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.