By genki-do on 02nd Aug 2012
Nuts and seeds are a great snack idea! They’re portable, packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats to give you that natural ‘pick me up’ without the ensuing crash that a sugary alternative would proide. However, they also carry many other nutritional benefits which can sometimes be overlooked. To help you decide on the best type of nuts / seeds to incorporate into your diet, see the following list for some ideas about the health benefits that each can offer. Happy choosing
- Almonds: Contain Vitamin E, Selenium, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper, B Vitamins (particularly Folic Acid). Monounsaturated fats help improve heart health
- Walnuts: Are high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids which improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation within the body.
- Pecans: Are packed to the brim with over 19 vitamins / minerals including B Vitamins, Vitamin A, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, Potassium, Phospherous, Manganese & Zinc. The fats in Pecans are similarly ‘heart healthy’.
- Cashews: Rich in Magnesium, Copper, Iron, Zinc & Biotin. They are high in Omega-9 EFA’s (the same type found in avocado and olive oil).
- Brazil Nuts: Contain Selenium, Copper, Niacin, Magnesium, Vitamin E. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that helps neutralize many harmful free-radicals.
- Peanuts: The richest source of nut-protein. Are also high in B Vitamins, Niacin, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Zinc. Instead of drinking wine at night - try peanuts: they are a better source of resveratrol than grapes. Resveratrol is an antioxidant associated with anti-aging and the reduction of heart disease / cancer risk.
- Sunflower Seeds: A source of Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorous, Selenium, Calcium and Zinc. Note: They are also high in Omega-6 fatty acids (which may lead to inflammation by unbalancing the Omega 3-6 ratio if consumed in excess).
- Pumpkin Seeds: Are rich in amino acids including glycin, glutamic acid and alanin. Pumpkin seeds are also a source of Zinc & Omega-3’s as well as Iron, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin C & Potassium.
- Sesame Seeds: Full of Calcium, Vitamin E, Copper, Manganese, Tryptophan, Magnesium, Zinc and B1. The sesamin (which is a component of sesame seeds) not only protects the liver from oxidative damage but may have a role in weight loss.
- Flax Seeds: One of my favourites; Flax Seeds are high in B Vitamins, Magnesium, Manganese, Omega-3 EFA’s and ALA. Flax Seeds are a great addition to fish oil to boost EPA & DHA, but don’t exclude the EFA’s from fish as not everyone is able to properly convert flax-based fatty acids to EPA / DHA.
NOTE: 1oz is equivalent to 28g