Nuts are dense with healthy fats, vitamins and proteins and experts say you can safety fulfill 20 percent of your daily calorie requirement with a snack of mixed nuts. Foreverfit tells you about the health benefits of nuts.

Feeling peckish? Instead of tearing open a pack of chips, go for a handful of nuts instead. Nuts are a satiating and healthy snacking option.  Chips, cookies, popcorn, and other snack foods pale in comparison.

Though nuts are high in fat, they actually lower cholesterol. Also, they can help you lose weight, if you eat them in moderation. Read on, to discover the goodness in these tiny foods.

Health benefits of eating nuts

#1  Nuts can bring down the blood sugar and reduce your risk for all kinds of cancers and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson’s.

Contrary to the popular belief that they are fattening, nuts can in fact even help you lose weight!

#2 Nuts are an effective remedy for metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is problem that Indians are pre-disposed to.  In the first study of its kind in South Asia, the positive impact of eating pistachios on the metabolism was proven. Pistachios aside, almonds and walnuts are also laden with vitamins, anti-oxidants, and healthy fats that help regulate cholesterol and improve heart health.

“Adding nuts to the diet can decrease the incidence and prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease in Asian Indians, a group that’s prone to these problems,” says Dr. Anoop Misra, Director, National Diabetes Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation and Chairman, Fortis CDOC Hospital, New Delhi.

#3 Nuts have a high “anti-oxidative” value

Various studies have shown that walnuts, peanuts and pistachios can counter the damage caused by “oxidative stress”, which speeds up the disease and ageing process. Though our bodies produce anti-oxidants to counter the damage caused by oxidative stress, increasing the dietary intake of antioxidants also helps.

Eat them right 

#1 Don’t soak and peel almonds the way your grandmothers used to. Almond skins have nutritive benefits and shouldn’t be discarded. Soaking nuts overnight doesn’t make them more digestible either, so eat them dry and whole.

#2 When it comes to salted pistachios, you can simply soak the nuts for 10 minutes before consumption to wash the salt off. Add them to curries, salads, and breakfast cereal for a crunch. They also make a perfect workplace snack, since they are high in protein and provide a perk.

#3 Nuts taste great roasted, smoked, salted or even sprinkled with a tiny bit of cane sugar and cinnamon. Mix your nuts and eat about a handful a day.

For maximum benefit, you need to replace 20 percent of your daily calories with nuts, which amounts to just about one ounce.

Recommended serving sizes

Nut Type Number of Nuts
Almonds 23
Pistachio (unshelled) 45
Walnut (halved and shelled) 14
Cashew 16
Peanuts 28
Seeds 3 tbsp

Nutritional benefits

Almonds: Rich in calcium, and  Vitamin E, they are an ideal food for young children. Almonds contain beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol which blocks the absorption of cholesterol, making them a great choice for adults too.

Pistachios: Also contain heart-friendly plant sterols, like almonds. Besides, they are also rich in potassium, beta-carotene and proteins. Watch out for excess salt in the roasted and salted variety.

Walnuts: Are known for being ‘brain food’ because they contain Omega-3s, but are also beneficial for your heart health. They contain ALA or Alpha Linolenic Acid, which keeps your blood flowing freely.

Cashew nuts: Often considered unhealthy for their fat content, cashews are actually the richest plant source of iron and zinc. Add to curries to make them thick and creamy, but don’t go overboard!