There are so many unhealthy snacks on the market and nuts have been included in this group. Recently the thinking on nuts has begun to change. Here is why.
The number one benefit of walnuts, particularly black walnuts, is the ability to lower cholesterol! They lower LDL (aka bad) cholesterol and are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. There are a number of studies related to the benefits of walnuts on cholesterol levels. Alpha-linolenic acid which is one of the Omega 3’s, assists with the reduction of cholesterol.
The other benefit of walnuts on the cardiovascular system is that they assist in keeping the blood vessels healthy and flexible. This allows the blood to flow properly.
In herbalism there is a belief that, “like cures like” so since the walnut looks exactly like a small brain, it has been used for centuries as a healing agent for brain issues. Again it is the Omega-3’s and specifically the Alpha-linolenic acid which help with cognitive function.
Some other things that walnuts assist with are:
- Breast Cancer
The recommendation is approximately 10 nuts per day. Salted or sugar coated nuts are not considered healthy.
Studies are currently being done on almonds. They assist with cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and increasing vitamin E levels in the plasma and red blood cells. Vitamin E is an antioxidant which protects cells against oxidative damage. Plaque, is the buildup of oxidized cholesterol, calcium, fat and other items in your blood.
Almonds can assist with weight loss. They are filled with fibre and protein and they reduce hunger.
Before you rush out and start binging on almonds keep in mind that the studies show that a handful of nuts assists. That is approximately 10 nuts.
No one in the western world can avoid pistachios. They are in advertisements, movies and are place in prominent positions in grocery stores. They are touted as the “Low calorie nut”.
As with other nuts, pistachios help lower LDL cholesterol. The antioxidants also help reduce oxidative damage to the cardiovascular system.
One additional health benefit of pistachios is their ability to help in Age related macular disease. This ability comes from the carotenoid antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
Some other health benefits of pistachios are:
- Moisturizing skin
- Controlling diabetes
- Increase iron absorption
Of course my favourite benefit that seems to apply to practically every herb is that pistachios are aphrodisiacs.
Adding nuts to your diet is a good thing provided you are not allergic to them. However if you have health issues please talk to your doctor before self medicating.
THIS BLOG IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR.