The Healing Power of Nuts
"Nuts and seeds are the vehicles of plant reproduction. Locked inside them is the genetic material for an entire plant." The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods
Did you know that there are more than 300 types of nuts?
Nuts, like seeds and other plant foods, are rich not only in their nutrient content but also in their phytochemical content. In addition to fiber components, important phytochemical in nuts and seeds include protease inhibitors, ellagic acid, and other polyphenols. Nuts are also the best source of arginine, an amino acid that plays an important role in wound healing, detoxification reactions, immune functions, and promotion of the secretion of several hormones, including insulin and growth hormone.
We've all heard about the heart-healthy power of nuts, but these snacks offer loads of other health benefits:
Walnuts (serving size: 14 halves; calories: 185)
They are a good source of protein, fiber and magnesium. They have a high level of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of brain-boosting omega 3 fatty acid.
Almonds (serving size: 23 nuts; calories 163)
Almonds help lower cholesterol, they have a high fiber and calcium content, and are lower in calories than most other varieties. They are also an excellent source of vitamin E.
Macadamia Nuts (serving size: 10 nuts; calories: 204)
While they contain more fat than other nuts, macadamia nuts also have the highest percentage of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. They are also a good source of thiamine.
Pistachios (serving size: 45 nuts; calories: 162)
Pistachios are rich in lutein, an antioxidant that's also found in leafy greens and is important for healthy vision and skin. One serving of pistachios has as much potassium as a small banana.
Cashews (serving size: 18 nuts; calories: 163)
A single serving of cashews provides nearly 10 percent of our daily value of iron! Compared with other nuts, they are also a good source of folate and vitamin K, which helps keep bones strong and blood clotting normally.
Brazil Nuts (serving size: 6 nuts; calories: 186)
They are rich in selenium, a mineral necessary for thyroid health. One Brazil nut contains more than a day's worth (a big health boost for around 30 calories).
(All minerals and vitamins need to be in balance, so don't overeat them).
Pecans (serving size: 19 halves; calories: 196)
These nuts are rich in beta-sitosterol, a compound helpful in lowering cholesterol and contributing to prostate health.
Pine Nuts (serving size: 167 nuts; calories: 190)
Pine nuts are loaded with manganese, a trace mineral that helps maintain proper blood sugar levels and metabolize carbohydrates and protein.
Always purchase raw nuts. Store them in the refrigerator and eat raw or soaked and sprouted.