Nuts: Benefits and Dangers
We often overlook important topics such as the effect of eating nuts on the human body. What nuts should we include in our diet? Walnuts, peanuts, pistachios? The fact is that there’s much more to understand about nuts. Every nut is unique in its content. The pros and cons of nuts isn’t a widely discussed topic, so we’ll tell you a little bit more about it here.
An overview of the benefits and dangers of nuts
People love nuts for their saturated natural taste. We seldom think about the benefits just a handful of nuts can provide to our body.
It’s important to note that nuts are a natural and biologically rich product. They provide us with a beneficial and nourishing snack. Nuts can be a great supplement to any dish and they’re still widely used in folk medicine. Every type of nuts has its own unique properties and we detail these below, but all of them are a source of almost the entire range of vitamins (especially vitamin E), iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Nuts are packed with polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids and they were previously considered harmful because of this. Then scientists discovered that omega is the most useful group of fats for maintaining normal brain function and as a prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases. Omega-3 lowers the level of harmful cholesterol in the blood and can rejuvenate the body. Since there aren’t many products that contain omega-3 (only nuts, seeds, natural vegetable oils and seawater fish), you should try to make nuts an essential component of your daily diet.
The pros and cons of eating nuts have been scrupulously investigated and compared. It turns out that the negative effects of nuts boil down to individual intolerances, while the list of positive effects goes on and on. Nuts can help:
- lower the level of arterial pressure and normalize blood flow, thanks to their dilation of blood vessels;
- transform carbohydrates and lipids into energy produced by the body (thanks to their high magnesium content);
- normalize bodyweight;
- improve functioning of the cardiovascular system, neutralize “bad” cholesterol, and contribute to the prophylaxis of heart attacks, atherosclerosis and angina pectoris;
- lower glucose levels in the blood;
- improve pleasure for women during orgasm;
- destroy free radicals and aid the prophylaxis of pre-term ageing;
- restore beauty and health to the skin, hair, and nails (thanks to their high content of vitamin E);
- restore strength after illnesses or excess stress;
- strengthen your immune system;
- improve brain function;
- normalize sexual function;
- prevent various types of cancer.
Indeed, nuts should be consumed in moderation. If you abuse them — as with any product regardless of whether it’s natural and healthy — it can be dangerous for your health. Eat no more than a handful of nuts each day, change the type of nut regularly, and stay healthy!
More information on different types of nuts
Every type of nut has a wealth of useful elements, vitamins and minerals. Here we detail more about the most popular nuts available:
Almonds are, first and foremost, an excellent source of cellular tissue, vitamin E and arginine, as well as a broad spectrum of other vitamins and minerals.
Among the benefits of eating almonds are:
- purification of the blood, liver and bile ducts;
- bile-excreting action;
- excretion of sand from the kidneys;
- lowering glucose levels in the blood (good for diabetes mellitus);
- weight loss;
- the improvement of attention, concentration and memory;
- lowering of nervousness and irritability;
- improved sleep;
- improved sexual function.
Peanuts are a great source of vitamins B1, B2, C, and the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium and phosphorus.
Among the benefits of eating peanuts are:
- improved coagulability of the blood (turning the blood to gore);
- reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases;
- improved immunity;
- reduced risk of cancerous transformation of cells;
- prevention of premature ageing.
The hazelnut is a source of vitamin B6, E, as well as anti-cholesterol fats, salts of cuprum, zinc, potassium and cobalt. Each nut contains around 15-20 percent protein.
Eating hazelnuts can help to:
- augment the prophylaxis of cardiovascular diseases;
- activate your body’s immune system;
- calm your nerves and fight stress;
- improve potency;
- treat varicose dilation of veins and other capillary diseases.
Pistachios are rich in phytosterol (a hormone of vegetative origin), as well as vitamins B6, E, cuprum, manganese, and phosphorus.
Pistachios are highly recommended for:
- prostate diseases;
- weakened libido in men and women;
- tachycardia (irregular heart rate);
- respiratory diseases and tuberculosis;
- hepatic colic and clogging of the bile duct.
Pistachios differ in their allergenic function to other nuts. You should be cautious with them if you have any allergies.
Cashews are a great source of iron and have a relatively small amount of fat and extra calories. They also contain the full spectrum of B vitamins, as well as calcium, potassium, sodium, zinc, manganese and selenium.
Cashews are helpful for:
- pregnant women
- excessive menstruation excretions in women;
- oral cavity and tooth decay;
- cardiovascular diseases;
- low cholesterol.
They also have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Brazil nuts are one of the richest sources of selenium among all nuts. They also contain zinc, calcium, potassium and iron.
Brazil nuts can also:
- work as a powerful antioxidant;
- free the body from products of half-life, toxins, and germs;
- contain anti-cancer properties;
- prevent premature ageing of the body;
- normalize blood glucose levels;
- improve your mood and provide additional energy, due to its high content of serotonin – the “happiness hormone”.
You don’t need to overeat with brazil nuts. Just 3-4 nuts per day can provide myriad benefits. Moreover, brazil nuts are a potent allergen and can contain radium. If you eat just a few nuts a day you’ll be safe, but don’t take the of risk eating more than that.
Also known as “pine nuts”, they differ from other nuts in their high content of minerals, including phosphorus, iodine, manganese, cobalt and zinc, as well as vitamin groups B and E.
Cedar nuts can help to:
- strengthen your entire body;
- normalize your blood and nervous system;
- prevent diseases affecting the gallbladder and kidneys;
- boost health among children and pregnant women;
- combat immune system deficiencies and other allergies.
Walnuts are a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, cobalt, phosphorus, iron, iodine, zinc, and provitamin A, vitamins E, K, and the B group.
Walnuts help to:
- prevent disease involving the small vessels of the heart, brain, kidneys, liver, musculoskeletal system and thyroid gland;
- improve memory;
- normalize the function of your nervous system.
How to eat nuts correctly?
What could be better than eating as many nuts as you want? Pistachios with beer? Freshly roasted peanuts? Or if you live in a climate where nuts grow, why not eat them all?!
Unfortunately, there are a few common mistakes people make when eating nuts…
Briefly, the benefits and dangers of eating nuts are not comparable across the different types of nut, but mistake number one is to eat them raw or processed. Is it better to consume nuts roasted or raw? With added salt? What foods are often combined with nuts and in what quantity you should eat them?
- Avoid roasted nuts. Nuts can be preserved for a much shorter time after roasting and they also lose many of their health benefits. Treat yourself to the taste of unroasted nuts. It’s easier to find them at local food markets than in supermarkets.
- Don’t eat more than a handful of nuts a day. All nuts are packed with nutrients and so it takes a lot of work from the stomach to digest them. Furthermore, they can provoke allergic reactions, discomfort, and heaviness in the stomach. The benefits and dangers of nuts are interrelated and sometimes it’s easy to shift from one to another. The recommended daily dose of nuts is one handful — two as an occasional maximum.
- The best combinations with nuts are dried fruits, fresh vegetables and greenery, apples, bananas and pears. Don’t mix nuts with other “heavy” products. It’s also not a good idea to add nuts to your morning oatmeal.
- Nuts in the morning are heavy on the stomach, but they do make a good brunch. It’s better to eat nuts in a vegetable salad for lunch. This way you won’t overload your body in the morning, nor will you give it additional work in the latter half of the day. If you choose nuts for dessert it should follow a light vegetable salad, not a heavy and nutritious lunch.
- It’s important to chew nuts well and eat them very moderately in the first half of the day, ideally before 4:00 pm.