Nuts are a great source for many of the micronutrients that we need, such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. They are also awesome for inducing satiety and regulating blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that eating a handful of nuts a day can help prevent cardiovascular disease and keep blood pressure down. They are also a great anti-inflammatory for the body because they are filled with healthy fats.
Some of the problems with nuts usually result from over consumption. Though small in size, they are packed with fats, carbs, and protein and can easily be over-eaten. The average serving size of nuts is about ¼ cup, or a small handful. It is never a good idea to head to your couch with a big bowl of trail mix as this could easily lead to a 500 calorie snack, and may even cause some GI upset.
Try instead to add some nuts to other healthy foods. They can be paired with almost anything, but they are especially great on salads, with fruit, or even cooked into certain dishes. The biggest thing to remember is not to over eat these foods, and that they are best paired with other foods to help you feel full.
There are many health benefits that come from eating a variety of nuts, but which nuts are the best? Almonds, walnuts, brazil, pistachios, and cashews are going to be your best contenders for getting the most nutritional bang for your buck, so to speak. Even though small, they are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals and have higher ratios of protein to fat. Other nuts that might be a little more on the fatty side would be nuts like peanuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, or pecans. They are still great options, but you have to watch out for those added calories.
To give you an idea of the macronutrients you will find in some common nut choices see the chart below. These numbers are for a serving size of about ¼ cup.
Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.