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Discover the Health Benefits of Nuts and Seeds

There are incredible health benefits to eating nuts and seeds, whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or omnivore. Nuts and seeds are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, all of which can help improve your overall health. Plus, they’re delicious and easy to add to your diet. Here’s a look at some of the top health benefits of nuts and seeds.

Nuts and seeds are some of the most accessible plant-based foods you can include in your everyday meals for a little added spice plus nutrients to your dishes. Despite their small size, they pack a heavy dose of nutrition. In this article we’ll outline the health benefits of nuts and seeds and help you discover some incredible ways to use them in your daily meals.

Indeed, nuts and seed not only host delicious textures and flavors. Studies show the fantastic health benefits they provide, too. Which indeed your body will thank you for! Nuts and seeds contain excellent minerals and nutrients, such as protein, vitamins, fiber, good fats, etc. With this tandem, you get the best of both worlds!

This article showcases the essential health benefits of nuts and seeds. Truthfully, you need these nutrients. And adding them to your diet proves quite easy, when you understand them. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

First, let’s look at why they contain so much nutrition

In fact, most nutritionists consider nuts the same as seeds, in terms of what they do. Nuts are, in fact, a seed for a tree or, in the case of groundnuts, for a plant. And that brings us to the “why”.

That small seed contains nutrients and the beginnings of a new plant. That walnut, for instance, if planted, grows to be quite a large tree. While it does require more nutrition as it grows, it contains all it needs to start within that shell. In fact, most seeds contain enough for the first few weeks of growth with no additional matter added.

Yes, that offers quite a boost to that new plant. And, as such, those packed in nutrients also provide us with powerful nutritional benefits in a small bit of food.

You might think of it as eating enough nutrients to start a tree! 

And that explains the reason for the health benefits of nuts and seeds-they provide nutrition enough to start a tree.

First on our list of the health benefits of nuts and seeds…

All About Nuts

I’m sure that everyone here knows what nuts are. Nuts are everyone’s favorite snacks or toppings for desserts! These fruits are usually hard and small and are often used in more than one – as snacks, like cosmetic or cooking oils, or even as butter. 

For this article, however, we’re only focusing on viewing nuts from a culinary perspective. Here, we will tackle the best kinds of nuts that you can eat and the health benefits you can derive from doing so.

Why You Need to Start Eating Nuts

Indeed, think of the health benefits of nuts and seeds!

It’s not news that nuts provide a healthy plant-based oil content. While we try to reduce overall added oil, nuts contain excellent energy sources for humans. However, what nuts have in oil content, they certainly make up for in nutrient content. Nutritionists list some nuts as superfoods due to the vastness of the health benefits they provide.

In general, some of the nutrients you can get from eating nuts include protein, dietary minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Studies indicate nuts provide important assistance in reducing various cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, heart diseases, and other severe chronic illnesses. Moreover, a new study in 2016 suggests that a higher intake of nuts can reduce total cancer and all-cause mortality.

Of course, their nutritional contents vary with each type of nut. Thus, we have prepared a list of the healthiest nuts you can eat so you don’t have to flip the internet upside down for answers. Read on!

List of Nuts We Recommend You Include in Your Meal Planning

Almonds

Cashews

Pistachios

Walnuts

Pine nuts

Hazelnuts

Chestnuts

Brazil nuts

Macadamia nuts

Peanuts

Pecan

The Healthiest Nuts You Can Eat

You’re about to read the information that will change how you view certain types or all nuts in general. From a tasty addition to your meals or desserts, you’re going to start looking at nuts as an excellent everyday source of nutrients. These nuts will bring you many great health benefits that I’m sure you don’t want to miss out on.

  • Walnuts

You can easily place walnuts in the list of some of the healthiest nuts because it is popularly known to be nutritious and beneficial for the body. Walnuts are significant plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acids (ALA), which are healthy for your body. A single ounce of walnut serving has about 2.5 grams of ALA.

This is extremely important because ALA is necessary for good health, but our body can’t produce it, so we must consume it. For adults, our body needs about 1.1 to 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day. Thus, we see that an ounce of a serving of walnuts does the job for us.

Walnuts also contain other nutrients such as protein (4 grams per ounce), good carbs (4 grams per ounce), fiber (2 grams per ounce), magnesium (11% of the RDI per ounce), and vitamin E (1% of the RDI). They also contain a good amount of monounsaturated (8.9% per 100 grams) and polyunsaturated (47.2% per 100 grams) fats.

 

What do these nutrients do for your health?

Thanks to its ALA content, walnuts can reduce the risks of getting heart diseases by 50% if you regularly have at least five servings of it every week. Research revealed that walnuts could relieve the inflammation that is commonly associated with heart diseases. They can also help to avoid blood clots that can lead to heart attacks.

Moreover, walnuts are linked to healthy blood pressure maintenance. New studies suggest reduced cancer risks, thanks to its ellagic acid content converted into antioxidants in the stomach. Walnuts are also found to improve inferential reasoning among humans, which opens the possibility of walnuts having positive effects on the human brain.

  • Almonds

One of the most popular and delicious nuts in the world is almonds. These nuts are known for their nutrient contents. An ounce of serving of almonds contains 3.5 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein, 20%, 32%, and 37% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium, manganese, and vitamin E, respectively. It also contains copper, riboflavin, and phosphorus.

Moreover, almonds have phytic acid in them. Some consider this a healthy antioxidant. Phytic Acid holds together certain minerals, which prevents them from being merely absorbed. In doing so, these minerals become less available and thus we don’t reap as many of the benefits. To prevent this loss, some experts recommend soaking the almonds for 12-24 hours before consuming them. However, this only slightly reduces the phytic acid. 

 

What do these nutrients do for your health?

The load of antioxidants that almonds have is excellent to prevent oxidative stress, which is associated with chronic diseases (e.g., cancer), aging, inflammation, and cell damage. The antioxidant properties of almonds are in their skin, so don’t forget to enjoy your almonds with the skin.

Their other health benefits are reduced blood pressure, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, healthier weight loss, and lower calorie intake. 

  • Pistachios

Pistachios are not just known for their impeccable flavor, but they are also popular sources of fiber for people who are undertaking a weight loss journey. An ounce of pistachio serving has about 5.72 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. They also contain other nutrients, which are great in making sure you get to maintain good health.

Pistachios are good sources of minerals and vitamins, including phosphorus, copper, manganese, vitamin B6, and a lot of potassium! By eating a single ounce serving of pistachios, you get 3% and 8% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E and magnesium, respectively. Pistachios are also great at improving cholesterol levels.

 What do these nutrients do for your health?

Pistachios have been proven to reduce the risks of having cardiovascular diseases and lower glycemic index in the blood. Other than that, these nuts are also excellent at maintaining your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, thanks to its high fiber and protein contents, you get to enjoy being full for more extended periods, helping you lose weight.

  • Macadamia Nuts

Ah, macadamia nuts – one of the popular favorites. The creamy texture and smooth flavor of macadamia nuts are not the only reason for their popularity. Macadamia nuts are highly packed with essential nutrients that your body will love. These nuts are especially rich in monounsaturated fats, which are good fats beneficial for your heart health and cholesterol levels.

Eating an ounce of macadamia nuts will give you 3 grams of fiber and 58% of the daily value of manganese. You also get thiamine at 22%, copper at 11%, vitamin B6 at 5%, iron at 6%, and magnesium at 9% of the daily value for adults. Macadamia nuts contain low carbs and a good amount of dietary fiber.

What do these nutrients do for your health?

Macadamia nuts are packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, and tocotrienols. Which can help in neutralizing free radicals or damaged molecules that result in cell damage and increased risk of chronic diseases. They also help improve cardiovascular health, gut health, and metabolic syndrome. Macadamia nuts are great additions to your diet if you’re trying to lose some weight.

  • Pecans

They are popular dessert additions all over the globe, but not many pecan eaters know that these nuts are nutritious snacks that can give your body some tender loving care. In addition, pecans are rich in protein and fiber, having about 3 grams and 2.5 grams of such nutrients per ounce of pecans. They also offer 8% and 2% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium and vitamin E.

On the other hand, like any other nuts mentioned in this article, pecans are rich in antioxidants due to their polyphenol content. In addition, pecans also contain vitamin A, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and monounsaturated fats.

What do these nutrients do for your health?

The antioxidants in pecans can guard our cells against damage, which typically results in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. These nuts can also help improve or maintain heart health, relieve arthritis (thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties), and prevent various diseases. If you’re looking for something to help keep your cholesterol levels and diabetes, you can count on pecans.

Summary

In a nutshell, here are some of the best nutritional contents you can get from nuts and which nuts you should consume to obtain them:

  • First, best source of protein: Pistachio nuts (5.72 grams per ounce)
  • Next, the best source of fiber: Almonds (3.5 grams per ounce)
  • Third, is the best source of antioxidants: is the pecans
  • Moreover, the best source of healthy fats: Walnuts (47.2% per 100 grams)
  • Finally, the best for overall nutrition: While many consider Almonds the best, we recommend you consume a variety for the best overall nutrition.

All About Seeds

 

This time, we’ll talk about seeds – not in the botanical sense, but from a culinary perspective. The texture and taste of some seeds can be primarily associated with nuts as they can be similar in some ways. Seeds are incredibly versatile as you can use them as ingredients for your foods, toppings, or individual snacks.

This section of the article will discuss why you need to start including seeds in your daily diet, what health benefits they offer, and the best kinds of seeds you can enjoy.

 

Why You Need to Start Eating Seeds

 

While seeds sometimes look like nuts, I’m here to remind you that they’re two entirely different things; however both delicious, versatile, and nutritious. Most seeds are considered superfoods because of the fantastic benefits eating they can give you. You might as well consider them as your multivitamin supplements!

Generally, most seeds are rich in protein, dietary fibers, healthy fats for the heart, and essential minerals and vitamins. Seeds can be great for your heart health, cholesterol levels, cells, etc. They can do all of those while being tiny pieces of food that you can incorporate into anything.

Just like nuts, not all seeds are the same. Each type of seed offers different nutritional contents, and to save you time looking up each of them, we’re going to give you a list of the healthiest seeds you can eat.

health benefits of nuts and seeds

List of Seeds to Include in Your Meal Planning

  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds (aka linseeds)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Hemp seeds
health benefits of nuts and seeds
  • Poppy seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

The Healthiest Seeds You Can Eat

If you’re looking for an alternative source of nutrition without wanting to worry about how to prepare them, you’re just in the right place. Seeds are incredibly healthy, easy to get, and easy to prepare. Here are some of the most nutritious seeds that you can top your favorite dishes with.

  • Chia seeds

For those of you who need lots of fiber and omega-3 in your bodies, chia seeds might just be the perfect food for you. They contain about 5 grams of omega-3 (almost five times the recommended daily intake for both adult men and women) and 10.6 grams of fiber per ounce of chia seeds. Impressive, right?

It doesn’t stop there. An ounce of chia seeds serving contains 4.4 grams of proteins, 0.6 grams of monounsaturated fats, and 1.6 grams of omega-6 fatty acids. Eating chia seeds will help you fulfill your recommended daily magnesium intake by 30%, manganese by 30%, and thiamine by 15%.

Moreover, these tiny superfoods contain a load of antioxidants which the cells in your body will love.

What do these nutrients do for your health?

They are known for reducing the risks of severe chronic diseases like heart diseases and chronic inflammation. Their high fiber content is also great for losing weight. Furthermore, chia seeds’ high antioxidant contents protect your cells from getting damaged and causing serious illnesses like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease.

Some studies provide proof that chia seeds are also able to regulate or reduce sugar in the blood.

  • Flax seeds

Flax seeds and chia seeds are somewhat similar in that their best features are their high fiber and omega-3 fatty acid content. However, flax seeds contain more omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Each ounce of flax seeds contains about 6.5 grams of ALA and 7.8 grams of fiber.

Flax seeds contain 5.2 grams of protein and 1.7 grams of omega-6 fatty acids per ounce of serving. For the same amount, you also get to satisfy your recommended daily intake of magnesium by 28%, manganese by 35%. And also thiamine by 31%. In addition, flax seeds are packed and loaded with various kinds of polyphenols, which are antioxidants.

What do these nutrients do for your health?

Several studies claim that flax seeds can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cancer risks, and other chronic illnesses. The antioxidant properties of flax seeds ensure that body cells are in great shape to avoid cell damage that causes severe diseases. Because of the high omega-3 content of flax seeds, they are also great for your heart health.

  • Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds are the go-to seeds of plant-based eaters due to their significantly high protein content to replace meat-derived ones. Why is this important? Proteins are crucial for your health because they give your body all its needed amino acids. Which it can’t produce by itself.

Per ounce of hemp seeds, you get roughly 8.8 grams of proteins, which is a lot! Additionally, hemp seeds also contain fiber (1.1 grams per ounce), monounsaturated fats (0.6 grams per ounce), polyunsaturated fats (10.7 grams per ounce). It also helps fulfill your recommended daily intake of zinc by 21%, thiamine by 31%, and magnesium by 45%.

What do these nutrients do for your health?

Studies have found that hemp seeds can significantly improve heart health by supplying omega-3 fatty acids in the blood. These omega-3 fatty acids also provide anti-inflammatory properties for hemp seeds. Thus, people often use hemp seeds for the skin as using them has shown great improvements in eczema cases.

If that’s not enough to convince you that you need hemp seeds, you can check out their effectiveness in reducing menopausal symptoms. And also premenstrual syndrome (PMS) among women. The credit goes to its omega-6 content, specifically its significant levels of gamma-linolenic acids (GLA). These acids lower the effects of prolactin, resulting in a more comfortable menopausal or PMS experience.

  • Quinoa

These seeds are one of the most popular foods in the area of nutrition. Having high levels of proteins that contain all crucial amino acids. Each ounce of quinoa contains about 8 grams of proteins. Which is a lot more than what most plant-based protein sources offer. Aside from loads of proteins, quinoa offers many other nutrients for your body.

An ounce of cooked quinoa seed contains 5 grams of fiber, potassium (9% of the RDA), zinc (13% of the RDA), iron (15% of the RDA), copper (18% of the RDA), folate (19% of the RDA), phosphorus (28% of the RDA), manganese (58% of the RDA), magnesium (30% of the RDA), vitamins B1, B2, and B6 (10% of the RDA).

They also contain small ounces of calcium, vitamin B3, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids.

 

What do these nutrients do for your health?

The soluble fiber content of quinoa seeds allows for the reduction of blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the body when eaten. The low glycemic index of quinoa also helps in maintaining blood sugar levels. These fibers also help with weight loss, which makes it a great addition to your meal plans if you’re working out to lose weight.

Additionally, quinoa seeds contain significant amounts of antioxidants. This helps battle aging, severe chronic illnesses and neutralize free radicals in the body. The anti-inflammatory properties of quinoa also help in reducing the risks of cancer, viruses, and depression in some studies.

  • Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are popular additions or toppings to Asian cuisines. But more than their fantastic texture and flavor, they are also incredibly nutritious. It contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, which are excellent for the overall health of humans.

For an ounce of sesame seeds, you get about 6 grams of omega-6 fatty acids, 5.3 unsaturated fats, 3.3 grams of fiber. And also, 5 grams of protein. You also get to fulfill a portion of the recommended daily intake for manganese by 34%, magnesium by 25%m and copper by 57%. Sesame seeds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

What do these nutrients do for your health?

These seeds are among the most beneficial foods for our bodies and health. Sesame seeds are known for their contribution to gut health improvement, thanks to their enterolactone content. Enterolactone is also linked to decreased risk of heart disease and breast cancer. 

Consuming sesame seeds is associated with lower blood cholesterol, enhanced sex life among menopausal women, and reduced oxidative stress and inflammation. Their anti-inflammatory properties are known to aid in easing osteoarthritis among older people and muscle damage and increasing aerobic capacity for semi-professional athletes.

Tiny seeds, bursting with nutrition

With these facts, the health benefits of nuts and seeds shine quite brightly. In fact, some of the best nutrition we find comes from these small foods. Which do nutritionists consider the best?

  • The best source of protein: Hemp Seeds (8.8 grams per ounce)
  • Next, the source of fiber: Chia Seeds (10.6 grams per ounce)
  • Third, best source of antioxidants: Chia Seeds and Flax Seeds
  • Moreover, the best source of healthy fats: Flax Seeds (6.5 grams per ounce)
  • lastly, the best for overall nutrition: Again, we recommend enjoying a variety of seeds in your meal plans for maximum nutrition.

 

Did this article convince you that you need nuts and seeds in your daily diet? By now, you should be able to tell what kind of nuts and seeds you exactly need in your pantry. And based on the list of the healthiest nuts and seeds that I showed you today. 

In the pursuit to attain good health and nutrition, remind yourselves to eat nuts and seeds in moderation. Too much of everything may bring more harm than good to your health. Learn how many nuts and seeds you need in a day, and stick to experts’ recommendations.

In a nutshell, the health benefits of nuts and seeds bring incredible nutrition to you

So, go ahead and give nuts and seeds a try in your everyday diet. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the health benefits nuts and seeds offer, not to mention the great taste! Be sure to check out our recipes for some ideas on how to use them, and don’t forget to leave comments letting us know your favorites. Happy eating!

Recipes to help you enjoy the health benefits of nuts and seeds

While we add recipes each week, these help you get started trying to incorporate more nuts and seeds into your meals. 

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