A quick guide to nuts and their health benefits for women like you!
Did you know that peanuts aren’t actually nuts at all? They’re legumes. Or that the best nut for your gut is almonds? Oh and pistachios, they’re actually a fruit. Nuts are like special little nutrient packages for our bodies and including them in your diet can help in so many ways— from getting omega-3 fatty acids to helping reduce blood sugar in diabetics and helping reduce heart attacks.
Here’s a quick guide to nuts and the amazing ways they can affect your health. And they don’t have to be seasonable either.
Almonds: They’re a power house of benefits. Easy to digest and packed full of fibre (not the slivered or peeled ones, but the unpeeled ones) and magnesium. Magnesium is important to our bodies as it’s the chemical that helps carry messages around our body. Almonds help reduce cholesterol and can help prevent diabetes and helps diabetics manage their blood sugar. Almonds are also known to foster the growth of good gut bacteria and they make for a great snack too.
Walnuts: They’re awesome in a salad, adding a nice texture. They’re also the only nut with omega-3’s in them. Some studies indicate they help your body fight alzheimers and also reduce blood sugars. This is another important nut for diabetics.
Hazelnuts: Often considered a seasonal nut for the holidays, these nuts should be eaten all year round. And no, Nutella, despite having hazelnuts, is not part of including “nuts” in your diet. These nuts are good for heart health and preventing cancers.
Cashews: Maybe this nut should be called the “beauty nut” since they contain a lot of copper and are very good for your skin and hair. They’re also good for your bones and heart. Cashews, too, are technically a fruit. The shell is deadly to humans, but the nut is highly nutritious and delicious! There’s even a company that makes vegan “cheese” from cashews!
Peanuts: Yes, they’re technically a legume, but they contain high levels of folates, which are very good for your brain. Eat more peanuts, and you’ll get smarter (well, maybe they’ll help!)
Pistachios: They’re an awesome snack nut! And are best when not salted or seasoned. Research shows they can help reduce cholesterol and may even help reduce blood pressure. They’re full of good fats, too.
Macadamia nuts: Another excellent nut for women’s heart health. They’re very high in monounsaturated fat (the kind that’s good for you) and can also help with inflammation in the body.
In some cultures, certain nuts are only consumed during select parts of the year, while in others, nuts play an important role in the daily diet. As with any food, it’s all about moderation and mixing nuts into different foods. And while pecans and Brazil nuts are also excellent to eat for women, they have the biggest benefit for men, helping with prostate health.
More inspiration: Check out this article on lentils, another great source of nutrients for women!
Author: Giles Crouch. Giles is a part of the Optimyz team and writes mostly on the intersection of technology and society. He’s been interviewed nationally by Canadian news media. Occasionally he writes on nutrition as well and other topics.