(WXYZ) – Nuts are often touted to be good for your health but exactly how do they help?
Nuts are very healthy and a ton of research backs this up. Last year scientists analyzed 29 studies with over 800,000 participants. They found nuts can cut the risk of heart disease by almost 30%, the risk of cancer by 15% and the risk of premature death by 22 percent.
Nuts have protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals like folate, vitamin E, potassium and magnesium. They contain unsaturated fatty acids which may lower your bad LDL cholesterol levels. Nuts are full of phytosterols, a substance that helps lower blood cholesterol and nuts have also been linked to lower levels of inflammation that can lead to heart disease. If you’d like to include nuts in your diet, here are my prescriptions:
1. Nuts are high in calories so limit how much you eat. One serving is a small handful or 1 ounce or ¼ of a cup.
2. To reduce calories and the amount of sodium you’d eat, avoid oil-roasted nuts. Instead choose nuts that are raw or dry-roasted.
3. Nuts are perfect for a snack but you can also add them to recipes. Or sprinkle them on your salad, cereal or yogurt for an additional nutritional boost.
4. Be aware if you chose to eat nuts covered in chocolate, you could cancel out the heart-healthy benefits because of the added sugar or salt.
All nuts are healthy and they’re similar in protein, fiber and fat content. But one nut does have more heart-healthy nutrients and that’s the walnut. Walnuts have more antioxidants than other nuts and they have high levels of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
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