Monday, February 22, 2010

Being "nutty" can keep you healthy

Nuts have tremendous health benefits for your heart and overall well being. Nuts vary in nutritional value based on the type of nut. Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or cashews are great healthy snacks that can be easily packed in your purse, car, or lunch. Nuts can be stored for weeks or months if stored at the right temperatures and they are relatively inexpensive.
Don't mistake the nuts I am talking about though for those Planters candy coated sugary peanut. Although the varieties are tasty, the most nutritional way you can eat a nut is in the rawest form possible and available to you.
So what's really in a nut that can be better your health? Here are just a few of the extra benefits you get from an average nut.

Fiber-Fiber helps lower your cholesterol and helps keep your colon healthy.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids- Omega 3 is a fatty acid that is good for your heart health, most of the time Omega 3 is found in fish, but nuts are a great way to also provide this for your body.

Vitamin E- Vitamin E plays a huge role in your immune system and how your body fights disease.

Nuts do have large amount of calories, the fat is good fat that your body needs, but should be eaten in small amounts and usually as a snack or substitute for an unhealthy snack.

Here's some nutrition information on common types of nuts. All calorie and fat content measurements are for 1 ounce, or 28.4 grams (g), of unsalted nuts.

Type of nutCaloriesTotal fat (Saturated/Unsaturated fat)*
Almonds, raw16314 g (1.1 g/12.2 g)
Almonds, dry roasted16915 g (1.1 g/13.1 g)
Brazil nuts, raw18619 g (4.3 g/12.8 g)
Cashews, dry roasted16313.1 g (2.6 g/10 g)
Chestnuts, roasted690.6 g (1 g/5 g)
Hazelnuts (filberts), raw17817 g (1.3 g/15.2 g)
Hazelnuts (filberts), dry roasted18317.7 g (1.3 g/15.6 g)
Macadamia nuts, raw20421.5 g (3.4 g/17.1 g)
Macadamia nuts, dry roasted20421.6 g (3.4 g/17.2 g)
Peanuts, dry roasted16614 g (2g/11.4 g)
Pecans, dry roasted20121 g (1.8 g/18.3 g)
Pistachios, dry roasted16213 g (1.6 g/10.8 g)
Walnuts, halved18518.5 g (1.7 g/15.9 g)
This information is taken from "June 5, 2009 ,1998-2010 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "," "EmbodyHealth," "Enhance your life," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research."
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