Go Nuts This Summer!
Nuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. They are rich in fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and selenium. Nuts are also high in plant sterols and fat - but mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 - the good fats) that have all been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.
In 2003, the FDA approved the following health claim for 7 kinds of nuts. Researchers found that people who eat nuts regularly have lower risks of heart disease. In 1996, the Iowa Women's Healthy Study found that women who ate nuts 4 times a week were 40% less likely to die of heart disease. Furthermore, potential heart health benefits of nuts were also found among men. In 2002, the Physician's Health Study found that men who consumed nuts 2 or more times per week had reduced risks of sudden cardiac death.
Almonds are considered to be the healthiest and most nutritious nuts of all. Owing to the fact that almond contains a great deal of nutritional value; it is termed as the source of well-balanced food. It has profound health benefits, which prove vital in stabilizing the health state of a human being. Almonds help in the prevention of cancer; they assist in the strengthening of bones, protect against cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Almonds also considerably reduce the risk of heart attack among other things.
Cashews are a delicious snack that is good for you. They contain healthy mono-unsaturated fats, magnesium, and copper, which help prevent heart disease, promote strong bones, and give you energy. Eating cashews may also reduce your risk of getting Colon Cancer. Olympic Gold runner Kelly Holmes revealed to the BBC that cashews were the secret to her success. Learn how you can improve your health by eating cashews.
Macadamia nuts Dietary trials in Australia and Hawaii demonstrated that macadamia nut consumption lowered risk indicators for heart disease. Reductions where seen in total blood serum cholesterol, total blood triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol. Improvement was seen in markers for oxidative stress, inflammation, and clotting tendencies. Additional studies demonstrated that macadamia nut consumption benefited 17 hypercholesterolemia men. Over a 4-week period, the men were given 40/90 g/d of macadamia nuts. At the end of the study, their total and LDL cholesterol levels had decreased.
Pecans are particularly good for you because they contain more antioxidants than any other nut, according to a recent report published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Antioxidants are substances found in foods that protect against cell damage and, studies have shown, can help fight diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and cancer.
Just a handful of pecans contain vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and fiber, as well as antioxidants. And because pecans are so rich in heart- healthy fat, it doesn't take too many to feel full. In fact, studies have shown that eating nuts has a beneficial effect on the waistline.
Pistachios can lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risks for heart disease: Pistachio amounts of 1.5 ounces and 3 ounces (one to two handfuls) reduced risk for cardiovascular disease by significantly reducing LDL cholesterol levels and the higher dose significantly reduced lipoprotein ratios. Pistachios reduce your body’s response to the stress, thus reducing your risks for hypertension.
Pumpkin seeds support the function of the immune system, assists prostate health and helps lower cholesterol levels. They are also a useful source of omega 3 fatty acids and zinc. Pumpkin seeds are best eaten as fresh as possible.
Sunflower seeds are naturally rich in folate (perfect from pregnant women!) and antioxidant Vitamin E, there are also packed with mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, which help keep the bad cholesterol away. Sunflower seeds are also high in selenium and copper, which, together with Vit. E. prevents cellular damage that may lead to cancer, heart disease, and other health problems.