3 nuts that will revolutionise your diet

With Christmas fast approaching, if you are worried about gaining weight during the holidays, consider nuts as a healthier alternative to chocolates filled with refined sugar.

Almonds

We can find them everywhere: as snacks, in cakes, in salads, with all types of seasonings – they even have their own milk. And here is why: Almonds rank among the highest-protein nuts, but at a fraction of the price of some higher-end nuts like walnuts. Almonds are also high in magnesium and vitamin E, they contain high levels of healthy unsaturated fatty acids along with high levels of bioactive molecules, such as fiber, phytosterols, vitamins, other minerals, and antioxidants.

Consumption of almonds on a regular basis lowers the risk for developing heart disease. A study even found they help lower elevated cholesterol. Other benefits include improving bone health, strengthening the immune system, enhancing the skin, reducing inflammation, increasing energy production and preventing cancer. Almonds are even known to support a healthy pregnancy, promote weight loss, help control blood sugar levels, prevent constipation, and improve brain health.

What are you waiting for? Add them to your protein shake, top your salad with a few slivered almonds, bake your cake using almond flour or consume them as a snack – the daily recommended intake of nuts for an adult is estimated at 20 – 50g.

Pistachios

Pistachios contribute to your daily protein needs, at around 6g of protein per 30g serving. Protein accounts for approximately 21% of the total weight of the nut, making it also a suitable source for vegetarians and vegans. Pistachios show a high ratio of essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, when compared with other nuts, including hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts.

Due to their popular taste, and often served with added salt, pistachios are often dismissed as diet busters, as it can be easy to overindulge. However, when consumed in moderate quantities, these nuts provide clear health benefits. Pistachios are lower per-nut in calories than other nuts but are relatively high in protein and fiber. They also shine in vitamin B6 content, providing 18% of daily requirements, whereas most other nuts fall below 5% of that metric.

What can you take away from this? Eating slowly and mindfully can help you stick to caloric restrictions and get more satisfaction through less food. Your mother always told you that eating slowly was better for you, and here’s the proof. So take your time and enjoy this healthy comfort food!

Cashews

Contrary to the popular belief that it can make you gain fat, a good amount of unsalted, raw cashews in your diet can provide you with many health benefits. Cashews are one of the most nutrient-rich nuts in the orchard, with plenty of iron, zinc, and trace minerals. A 30g serving of cashews provides nearly 25% of your daily phosphorus requirements!

The calories add up quickly when snacking on cashews, but it’s worth noting that weight-loss diets that allow cashew nuts have greater compliance among dieters, and better results, than diets that don’t! The Journal of Nutrition actually states that consumers of all sorts of nuts have a lower BMI than non-consumers.

Fear not – cashews are packed with Omega 3 fatty acids that contribute to giving a boost to the metabolic process to burn excess fat. A delicious way to prepare cashews is a part of a curry, or roast them in honey for a treat.

So remember, consuming a moderate amount of nuts as part of a healthy diet will help you to keep your list of new years’ resolutions shorter!

 

The Author: Julia Rahmani

Julia is one of the partners at Mani and is a healthy food enthusiast. She encourages you to dig deeper and understand what it means to eat a healthy diet and live a balanced lifestyle.