When it comes to considering which are the best healthy snacks, nuts often come out on top as the favourite choice of many! Some people often forego including nuts in their diet because they believe the high fat content to be damaging to overall health. However, when you take a closer look at nuts you can see that this fat is actually of the heart healthy variety and can be very beneficial for health when included in moderation.

Today we want to look at some of the healthiest nuts available that you can easily choose to consume regularly. Doing so can help you to improve your diet and enhance your health.

Almonds

Almonds are absolutely bursting with nutrients and are considered to be among the healthiest of the nuts. These nuts are an amazing source of antioxidants, which can contribute to overall health in many ways by fighting free radicals. A large amount of the antioxidants in almonds can be found just under the brown skin layer. You should therefore always aim to eat those which have not had the skin removed. 

Just one ounce of almonds will deliver 3.5 grams of fibre, 6 grams of protein and 9 grams of monounsaturated fat. This amount of almonds will usually contain around 160 calories. 

Monounsaturated fats are essential for a healthy body, and they aren’t produced by the body itself - meaning it is key that we get an adequate amount from dietary sources.

Cashews

Cashew nuts have one of the lowest fibre counts of all of the nuts, but this doesn’t mean that you should not get excited about including them in your diet!

What the cashew nut lacks in fibre it certainly makes up for when it comes to vitamins and minerals. They are bursting with vitamins E, K and B6 - not to mention a selection of all important minerals, such as iron, selenium, zinc, magnesium and copper.

A one ounce portion of cashew nuts contains approximately 160 calories, 5 grams of protein, 1 gram of fibre and 10 grams of heart healthy fats!

Pistachios

Pistachios are a super satiating nut that will help to fill you up with just a few handfuls!

A one ounce serving of this delicious nut will provide you with 3 grams of fibre, 6 grams of protein and 8 grams of carbohydrates. This one ounce serving also includes 7 grams of monounsaturated fat - and just 160 calories!

Being an excellent source of vitamin B6 is one of the most exciting things about pistachios. This vitamin is beneficial for the production of healthy red blood cells. If you are deficient in this essential vitamin then it is possible that you could become anaemic. Vitamin B6 is also pivotal for serotonin production, which is very important for regulating your mood and your sleep cycle.

Walnuts

Consuming walnuts regularly is a great way to up your omega-3 intake. Omega-3 is a fatty acid that works to reduce inflammation in the body and helps to protect against certain degenerative diseases.

A one ounce serving of walnuts contains roughly 185 calories. It also contains approximately 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fibre and 3 grams of monounsaturated fat. 

Folate is one of the most readily available vitamins found within walnuts, which is a key component of blood cell synthesis.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are one of the larger types of nuts and are amazing for supporting the digestive process as well as boosting heart health and balancing hormone production.

Brazil nuts can also help the immune system to function better as well as aiding weight loss efforts. The weight loss benefits of Brazil nuts are due to the impressive amount of fibre contained within combined with the nutritional make-up. 

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts make for a very tasty and nutrient rich snack. This type of nut contains compounds that are beneficial for helping to keep heart disease and certain types of cancer at bay. There are also studies to show that hazelnuts can help to boost cognitive function and support weight loss. 

A one ounce serving of hazelnuts will contain close to 180 calories. This same serving will also provide approximately 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fibre and 5 grams of carbohydrates. Hazelnuts contain beneficial amounts of heart healthy fats, as well as oleic acid, which helps to manage cholesterol levels. 

Nuts for Nuts

Including a handful of nuts in your diet every day is a great way to enhance your health. As you can see from the aforementioned information, each type of nut offers varying health benefits. By eating different nuts each day you can make sure you enjoy the benefits of each and also keep things interesting for your taste buds! 

As with most things dietary related, eating nuts in moderation is the best idea and enjoying a simple handful on a daily basis is a god way to do so! 

References

1) http://www.livestrong.com