From walnuts to almonds, passing through the more exotic Pecans or macadamias, what are the richest nuts and dried fruit varieties from a nutritional point of view?
From walnuts to almonds, passing through the more exotic pecans or macadamias, which are the most nutritionally rich varieties of nuts?
Le nights and dried fruit (or oil fruit) has long enjoyed a bad reputation as it was thought to make you fat. In reality, if properly consumed (obviously without exaggerating) this fruit, which includes many variations, is a truly precious complement to our daily diet.
It is true that dried fruit contains fats, but these are the so-called good fats including those called “essential” as our body is unable to synthesize them by itself but must inevitably take them through food.
Over the years, various scientific researches have shown how dried fruit is beneficial for our body, in particular:
Walnuts are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid or Omega 3. In addition to helping protect against heart disease, these fatty acids have been shown to offer protection against a wide range of inflammatory and non-inflammatory diseases. Among other things, this dried fruit contains ellagic acid, an antioxidant beneficial for the immune system which also appears to have anti-carcinogenic properties. Also present in walnuts is melatonin, a substance produced by the pineal gland that helps regulate the sleep-wake rhythm and has antioxidant properties. Finally, walnuts are precious sources of mineral salts such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, etc. and vitamins, especially vitamin E. (Also read: Nuts: Nuts are valuable for heart health)
Almonds are an excellent source of protein and monounsaturated fat. They also offer a very important advantage: they help stabilize blood sugars avoiding glycemic peaks, therefore excellent for the prevention of diseases such as diabetes and to keep the sense of hunger at bay. Rich in antioxidants, almonds are also a valuable source of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, which is why they contribute to good bone health at all ages. Also useful for controlling cholesterol, it has been shown that those who regularly eat almonds have lower cholesterol levels. (Read more: Almonds: What Happens to the Body by Eating 30 Grams a Day)
Pistachios are also useful for those with blood fat problems, particularly because they have been shown to not only reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, but also increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Also in this case the fats present in these small fruits are particularly beneficial and in addition, to make the pistachios as well as tasty as well as very healthy, the presence of mineral salts (including iron), vitamins (especially of the B and E group contributes) ) and antioxidants that fight free radicals. Attention only to the fact that, often, those that are commonly found are very salty, therefore not recommended for those suffering from hypertension. (For further information: Pistachio: properties, nutritional values, CALORIES, uses and contraindications
Pecans, slightly different in shape than the variety of nuts we usually consume, are more caloric than the rest of the oil fruit because they have a higher percentage of fat. At the same time, however, they are among the dried fruit with the highest levels of antioxidants, including vitamin E, this means they can help reduce free radicals and heart disease risks. These nuts also contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin A, folic acid and magnesium making them a great choice for a tasty and healthy snack. Again, a handful a day helps lower cholesterol levels.
Unlike pecans, the cashews have a decidedly lower fat content and are a more “lean” dried fruit which still maintains some interesting properties. About 75% of a cashew nut is made up of oleic acid, the same heart-healthy fat found in olive oil. This dried fruit is a good source of magnesium, a nutrient that plays a fundamental role in over 300 biochemical reactions in our body, including muscle and nerve functions. A handful of cashews (but as we have seen before also almonds) can help replenish some of this mineral that we are generally deficient in. But be careful if you are allergic to nickel: Cashews contain 5,1 micrograms of nickel per gram. (Read More: Are Cashews Really Good For You? Benefits, Calories, and Disadvantages
Macadamia nuts are native to Australia and contain 78% monounsaturated fat, the highest percentage found in dried fruit. Studies show that these nuts, despite their high fat content, help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Among other things, they are also one of the few foods to contain palmitoleic acid, that some research suggests it may play a role in the metabolism of fats by helping to reduce them and may also ensure greater longevity of the organism. They also contain vitamins, mineral salts and antioxidant substances. However, they have recently been included in the IUCN List as a species threatened with extinction (Read also: Walnuts: 5 bizarre varieties that (maybe) you don't know)
Peanuts are also a tasty and healthy snack to munch on as long as they are whole ones to be shelled without adding salt. Excellent source of protein, they do not fail to provide our body with various mineral salts such as magnesium, forsphorus, potassium and zinc, but also fiber and good fats. Particularly rich in antioxidants, they reduce the risk of death especially from cardiovascular diseases. To enjoy the beneficial effects of peanuts, a quantity of 20-25 grams per day is generally recommended, strictly in the unsalted variant. (To learn more read also: Peanuts: properties, calories and contraindications)
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