Nuts, like other plant foods, are rich in dietary fiber and a range of nutrients, including a group of B vitamins such as folate (also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid), vitamin E, and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Nuts also provide antioxidant minerals (like copper, manganese, and selenium) and phytochemicals (such as flavonoids, resveratrol, and plant sterols). Nuts contain large amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, plus a good amount of protein.
Protein in Nuts
One ounce of nuts, depending on the variety, gives from three to six grams of protein. Pair nuts with legumes which provide important amino acids and get a full range of protein to help in building up muscles and stamina. Eating nuts after a workout is good for muscle recovery. Be warned, though, that nuts are rich in fat and calories and eating too many may lead to weight gain.
Health Benefits of Nuts
Medical studies have shown that several varieties of nuts may help lower the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol levels. The lower your LDL level is, the lower your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Nuts also contain L-arginine which maintains the flexibility of artery walls. The folate content of nuts may help improve brain function, prevent depression, and delay the onset of cognitive decline among senior citizens. It is believed that the addition of nuts to the diet in place of less healthy snacks may also help lower a person’s body weight and blood sugar level.
Eating a variety of nuts helps maintain youthful-looking and healthy skin. Nuts have a calming effect on the muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, resulting in an increase of blood flow to the skin. The fatty acids in nuts may help prevent skin swelling and redness. Vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium in nuts can help provide a glow to the skin and prevent the growth of bacteria responsible for skin breakouts. Vitamin C (found in some nuts) makes the skin both firm and elastic. Be good to your body by adding healthy portions of nuts to your daily diet.