How healthy are nuts?



The number of studies that demonstrate the incredible positive effects of unsaturated fatty acids to our health, in recent years is increasing. You have probably already heard of the “Mediterranean diet” – eating, which is based on cereals, vegetables, fruits, fish and vegetable sources of fat, particularly in the olive oil, nuts and seeds, which are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. Such a diet contains an average of 40% of all calories eaten per day of unsaturated fatty acids. Therefore, do not exclude certain fatty foods, only due to the fact that they contain much fat, but rather to check the fatty acids the food contains. Choose food that has less saturated and as more unsaturated fatty acids. American Society of Health heart disease speaks in big favor of such eating habits.

What lies in the interior

Although the wide variety of nuts are quite similar to some extent in the calorific value by the ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat, however, they can differ each other and some have even certain peculiarities that are of the stand.

I guess I did not need to write to the fat that which occurs in the nuts to a large extent. On average, contain from 50 up to 75 percent (mainly for mono-and polyunsaturates). At least they contain pistachios, Indian nuts, peanuts and almonds (50%), followed by hazelnuts, and pine nuts, the absolute record of the macadamia nuts with a 76 g/100 g.

Moreover, we can classify the nuts in groups according to how their content omega 9 ( monounsaturated fatty acids) and omega 6 (polyunsaturates) fatty acids. In this group, which contains a maximum of monounsaturated acids (which are almost entirely represented in olive oil), are in first place again, Macadamia nut, followed by hazelnuts and Indian nuts. Brazil nuts and pine have mononenasičene and polyunsaturates distributed in the ratio of approximately 1:1, peanuts and pistachios in a ratio of 2:1 in favor of monounsaturated.

Unique exception is the well known walnut that is the only nut containing alpha linoleic acid (LNA), which belongs to the family of omega 3 fatty acids. While the other nuts contain only trace (less than 1%), the walnut contains 6.8%. At the same time, it also provides a maximum of linoleic fatty acid (LA). Alpha linolenic linoeic and fatty acid are essential fatty acids – because the the human body is not capable of producing and are therefore essential in food intake. LNA and LA are taking part in the production of physical energy and hemoglobin, also cooperate in the transfer of oxygen, are an important structural component of cell membranes and promote the metabolism and regeneration after physical activity. Among other things, improving the quality of hair, nails and skin, helps to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol, reduces the possibility of stroke and heart attack, … It is good to relly to the study ( “Lyon Heart Study”), showing that essential fatty acids LA and LNA decrease the formation of blood clots, greatly reduces the risk of heart attack and blocked arteries. The study showed that the addition of 2 g daily LNA reduced mortality rate of 70%.

In addition to unsaturated fatty acids nuts contain a small amount of saturated, ranging from 4 to 16%. At least it is in the hazelnuts and almonds, more than in Brazil nuts.

On average, nuts contain about 15-20% carbohydrate, of which the majority of more than half the fiber, the remainder being various sugars. They mostly contain little starch, with the exception of the Indian nut, in which most carbohydrate is starch.

Nuts are also an important source of vitamins and minerals. There is much vitamin E and B, and also a lot of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, selenium (a large majority of Brazilian walnut) and calcium (even the gorgeous tone source).


Make your diet even more various and interesting with a handful of nuts.

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Ales Maticic

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