Articles on nut

Go Nuts With Nuts! – an Exhaustive Guide to Why Nuts Are Awesome

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Nuts are the underdogs of food world. They are vilified for no fault of theirs and are generally in bad light for being fattening, despite being super tasty and nutritious.Therefore, we decided to take it upon ourselves to dispel each and every myth associated with nutritional value of nuts.What do we know about nuts?That they are harmful for the heartOn the contrary, a study conducted by the Harvard Medical School concluded that those who include nuts as a part of their daily diet are less susceptible to heart diseases.Nuts are indeed full of healthy fibres, vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids and other substances that help in more efficient functioning of the body processes.That they make you gain weightAnother study busted this myth. In fact, the study observed that individuals who consumed nuts on a regular basis were more likely to maintain a normal BMI than individuals who did not.That they are unhealthy, fattening and merely a tongue tuckGuess what? Another study confirmed that regular consumption of nuts extends the number of days one gets to enjoy this beautiful world.S0, which diseases are nuts beneficial against?According to various studies, nuts prevent a number of diseases and their symptoms when consumed on a regular basis; a concise list of them is given below:Cardiovascular diseasesInflammationCoronary problemsVisceral adiposityOxidative stressInsulin resistanceHyperglycaemiaEndothelial dysfunctionDiabetes mellitus type 2Metabolic syndromeColon cancerHypertensionGallstone diseaseDiverticulitisBut, then why are so many people allergic to nuts?The faith in the health benefits of nuts is increasing to the extent that extensive research is being done on nut allergies and how they can be countered right from the early years of development.Whether it is nuts as a whole or their butters, they provide great health benefits, which can be reaped throughout one’s life.Some delicious ways of enjoying nuts are:Peanut butter sandwiches ­– They have high caloric content, ensure you lead an active lifestyle to enjoy this without gaining weight.Salad dressing – If you are not big on high caloric foods then simply sprinkle a few nuts on your salad.A trail mix of nuts – Mix and match different kinds of nuts and other confectionaries in a bowl for an evening snack. Watch the portion though.Roasted and salted – Roast a few nuts and sprinkle salt-to-taste to enjoy this anytime munch.Sweetened – Nuts and chocolates go great together. Dark chocolate is a great accompaniment for a flavourful snack.At this point in the article, we hope that we have managed to help you see the nutritious side of nuts. However, do remember that this article refers to almonds and tree nuts with the exception of cashews and macadamia nuts, which contain too much saturated fat to help with these health benefits.

Almonds vs Cashew Nuts: Which Nut Should You Go With?

Dr. Shreya, Dietitian/Nutritionist
We have always heard that including nuts in your diet is the best option to lead a healthy lifestyle. This is accepted scientifically as well. Also, a research states that eating 42.52 grams of nuts per day as part of a healthy diet may reduce your risk of heart disease. Almonds and cashews both contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats, but almonds have a better fat profile. Cashews provide more vitamin K and zinc, but almonds make a better choice for fibers, vitamin E and calcium. Both cashews and almonds have their own health benefits but still they are a lot different.Almonds- Good for your gut!Almonds are regarded good for your guts as Almonds contain the most fiber — about three grams per ounce — compared to other nuts, and are richest in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. A test-tube study (funded by the Almond Board of California) found that the nuts raised levels of good bacteria that bolster the body’s immune system. So, we can say that Almonds may even help you slip into those skinny jeans which you are unable to fit in after your college days! Almonds are high in magnesium, and experimental studies have suggested that dietary magnesium intake may reduce a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.CALORIE COUNT: 23 NUTS equals 170 CALORIESCashews: Booster for your brainOn the other hand cashews are regarded as Brainpower Boosters. Cashews are particularly rich in iron and zinc. Iron helps deliver oxygen to all of your cells, which can prevent anaemia, and zinc is critical to immune health and healthy vision. Cashews are also a good source of magnesium which acts as memory booster.CALORIE COUNT: 23 NUTS equals 200 CALORIESBowl of unsalted nutsSo far, no nut is a hands-down winner. But there is always the non-competitive approach: mixed nuts. Unsalted, of course! However, if you still wish to fit into those skinny jeans and maintain your weight loss program, almonds definitely have an upper hand over cashews.

Which Is the Healthiest Nut

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
It might seem strange that how can a food item rich in fats be considered good for health. The fact is that studies and clinical trials suggest that consuming about 30-50 gms (a small handful) of nuts per day provides protection against heart disease & diabetes and may reduce the risk of obesity.Nuts are a good source of protein and healthy fats.They also wonder which nut is the best to have? Let’s compare the nutrition for each type of nut and tell you which one is the healthiest, a good source of dietary fiber & provide a wide range of essential nutrients including B vitamins, Vitamin E, iron, zinc, potassium and antioxidants.AlmondsThis delicately flavored nut is available throughout the year. Almonds have been an important part of our daily diet in most of Indian households especially as a growing child as it is believed to improve brain health. Studies support the fact too. Almonds contain two vital brain nutrients, riboflavin and L-carnitine which have been shown to increase brain activity and reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Almonds are nutritive for the overall health and functioning of our nervous system. Monounsaturated fats, potassium, protein and fiber present in almonds all make a perfect combination to ensure heart health. It helps in increasing the good cholesterol (HDL). Eating about 15-20 almonds on daily basis is an easy way to get a dose of many vital nutrients. A small handful of almonds (about 23 kernels) provide 163 Kcals, 14g fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 3.5g fiber & 6g protein.WalnutsThese are packed with omega-3-fatty acids. Studies indicate that omega-3’s are anti-inflammatory and help people with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies also suggest that eating about 28 walnut halves provide daily dose of antioxidants and phytosterols which can help reduce risk of breast cancer. They provide protection against heart diseases and help in maintain blood vessel health. Eating walnuts have also been found to be helpful in dealing stress. A small handful of walnuts (about 28gms) provide 175Kcals, 17g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 1.9g fiber & 7g protein.PistachiosPistachios are a rich source of Vitamin B6, copper and manganese which are important for a healthy body. They are one of the best sources of Vitamin E, important to fight free radicals and for good skin health. They are the only nut with substantial amounts of two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin which are helpful in reducing risk of age related blindness disorder in old people. Pistachios help in reducing Blood LDL cholesterol levels and hence support healthy heart health. A small handful of pistachios (about 28gms) provide 159Kcals, 13g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 2.9g fiber & 6g protein.PeanutsThey are a good source of protein which makes them an important part of vegetarian and bodybuilding diets. Peanuts have higher concentration of anti-oxidants than many fruits and roasting increases its anti-oxidant content by 22%. Peanuts are also a good source of folate and iron, which is important for expecting women. Studies show that adding even small amounts of peanut products can LDL cholesterol by 14%. A small handful of dry roasted peanuts (about 28gms) provide 166Kcals, 14g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 2mg sodium, 2.3g fiber & 7g protein.Cashews75% of fat in cashews contains unsaturated fatty acids and most of it comprises of oleic acid, which is known to boost cardiovascular health. Overall cashews contain more than 80 nutrients comprising of essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. It is free from cholesterol. Magnesium found in cashew nuts can help promote healthy bone structure. However one should avoid salted and roasted forms as these can elevate blood pressure due to high sodium content. A small handful of cashews (about 28gms) provide 157Kcals, 12g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 0.9g fiber & 5g protein.Tips for including more nuts in your day:Sprinkle chopped nuts into your stir fry.Sprinkle chopped nuts into your cereal.Enjoy a slice of multi-grain bread with a thin spread of peanut butter as a snack.Have a mix of raw nuts as a snack instead of other unhealthy options like chips or chocolates.Add some nuts to a salad.Most importantly, do not go overboard with the quantity. Stick to an ounce or about 30gms per day and reap the benefits of good health.

Health Benefits of Nuts & Seeds

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Nuts and seeds are an essential part of our nutrition these days as they contain a whole lot of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and are cholesterol free. Further to define each term, nuts are the hard-shelled fruits plants and characterized by the stony fruit wall that is a composite of the fruit and the seed. Seeds, on the other hand, are the small plant enclosed in the seed coat. Nuts and seeds have become a crucial part of our diet because these are the great sources of important nutrients. Here is a list of some of the Nuts and Seeds:Almonds  Almonds are considered to be the healthiest and most nutritious nuts of all. Almonds contain a lot of nutritional value; and are also a great source of minerals required for a balanced diet.Above all, it is a complete package comprised of healthy fat, protein, fiber, magnesium and vitamin E.The health benefits of almonds includes low blood sugar levels, manages your weight, reduces blood pressure and also helps in reducing hunger pangs.Read to know about healthy office snacks.Cashew nuts Cashew nuts, a richly sweet product of the cashew tree, known for their succulent flavor as well as numerous health benefits.These are one of the lowest fiber nut but contain a good amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These include vitamins such as E, K, and B6 along with minerals like copper, magnesium, zinc, iron and selenium. Eating cashew in moderation can do wonders to your health. Lower the heart-related health problems such as blood pressure and cholesterol. Moreover, having cashews will definitely show positivity in eye health and helps in preventing blood-related problems too.Pistachios  Pistachios are enriched with many health benefiting nutrients that are essential for optimum health.Picture Credit:www.organicfacts.net">Picture Credit:www.organicfacts.netWalnuts  Walnuts are rich in Omega 3 and help in fighting heart disease.Walnuts contain more of neuroprotective compounds as compared to other nuts. These are vitamin E, folate, and antioxidants.One of the research shows that walnut consumption may support brain health.Get to know more about antioxidant rich foods.Peanut Peanuts contain high-quality plant protein and are filled with nutrients and anti-oxidants.Chestnuts  Chestnuts, unlike other nuts and seeds, are relatively low in calories; contain less fat but are rich in minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients.Brazil Nuts Brazil nuts are high in calories, contains good quantities of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.Pecans Pecans are an excellent source of over 19 vitamins and minerals and are rich in protein, heart-healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals.Hazel Nut Hazelnuts are one of the highest natural sources of antioxidants among “super foods” and are one of the most antioxidant-rich nuts.Pumpkin Seed Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of beneficial nutrients such as carbohydrates, amino acids, and unsaturated fatty acids. They contain most of the vitamins and minerals.Lotus Seed Lotus seeds have high nutritional value. they are rich in protein, fat, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus and are a good source of potassium content.Macadamia Nuts Macadamias are a high energy food and contain no cholesterol and are also a good source of protein, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber and are very low in sodium.Poppy Seeds Poppy seeds are considered to be an excellent source of vital minerals like magnesium, zinc, calcium, etc. that are needed for the smooth functioning of all human organs.Sunflower Seeds Sunflower seeds are high in calories, fiber, and fat, the seeds contain mostly unsaturated fat. In addition, they are a rich source of nutrients, including folic acid, niacin, potassium, and zinc.Flax Seed Flax seeds or linseed are packed with nutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals that are essential for optimum health.Sesame Seed Sesame seeds are high in copper, manganese, calcium and magnesium. The minerals found in sesame seeds play a crucial role in health. Researchers found that people who include nuts in their diet have lower risks of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. You can increase the intake of protein, fiber, and good fats by just adding nuts and seeds to your nutrition. Nuts and seeds can be eaten raw and can be carried easily for snacks and daily nutrition. They are packed with health and nutrition benefits, thus, you must include them in your diet. They contain cholesterol-free polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-6, omega-3, etc. These fatty acids are therapeutic, and unlike saturated fatty acids, they can fight against heart diseases and can also fight bipolar disorder due to the presence of omega-6 fatty acid. Nuts and seeds should be consumed moderately to avoid weight problems.

Turn Yourself Into a Super Healthy Human Just by Eating Nuts!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
According to a study conducted by the Harvard medical school, people who included nuts as a part of their daily diets were less susceptible to heart diseases and various chronic diseases. Read about the other effective tips for a healthy heart.Nuts are indeed full of healthy fibers, vitamins, minerals, unsaturated fatty acids and many other substances which helps in a more efficient functioning of the body processes. Busting the popular myth that they make you gain weight another study saw that individuals who did in fact consume nuts on a regular basis were more likely to maintain a normal BMI than individuals who did not consume nuts.If you go by these studies nuts are nothing short of superhero of foods as they can literally help you live longer. Since nuts are such powerhouses of health and nutrition another study came with the results that consuming nuts regularly can actually help you live longer.  The study observed a group of individuals who had nuts daily against a group of individuals who did not and they saw that people who belonged to the nut consumption group ended up living longer than the people in the group who did not provided they did not suffer from any other illness.Such huge analysis on the effect of nuts on the human body are being done so as to get a clear picture on whether having nuts can actually have great benefits for our health in a consistent manner. The results are unanimously showing that they do!According to these studies, nuts can help us prevent a number of diseases and their symptom when consumed on a regular basis; a concise list of them is given below:Cardiovascular diseasesInflammationCoronary problemsVisceral adiposityOxidative stressInsulin resistanceHyperglycaemiaEndothelial dysfunctionDiabetes mellitus type 2Metabolic syndromeColon cancerHypertensionGallstone diseaseDiverticulitisNuts have been seen to aid in losing weight as well due to its property of giving a feeling of satiety upon consumption and you feel fuller for longer periods of time. What was seen as a result of all these scientific studies showing more and more health benefits owing to nut nutrition was an upsurge in the public concern over gaining weight as nuts are generally high in their fat content. Subsequently the study performed to see the effect of nuts on weight gain came out to be somewhat surprising as when two different groups pf people were observed over a period of time, one who were given a regular diet of nuts to those who were not, it was seen that people who had a regular supply of nuts through their diet were more likely to maintain their body mass index than those who did not include nuts in their diet.So much research in the area of nut nutrition only goes on prove that the biological scientist are being more and more surprised by its effects on the health of people when administered for a respectable period of time.The faith in the health benefits of nuts is increasing to the rate that now research is going into the field of studying nut allergies and how they can be countered starting from the early years of development in an infant. It seems the result that has been observed till date inclines more towards the ability of an allergic baby to have differing rates of allergic reactions after been given nuts between 4 to 11 nuts in a powdered form to avoid the risk of choking from being cured to very low rate of allergy. In some cases some expecting mothers who had a high risk of having allergic babies were advised to include nuts in their diets so that their babies would have less chances of having the nut allergy.Clearly when so many great minds are consistently working towards studying the effect of nuts on our health, it shows that nuts are nothing short of amazing when it comes to building our health. Whether it is nuts as a whole or their butters, they will provide you with some great health benefits which you can reap throughout your life. Whether it is maintaining a good internal organ health or giving you glowing exterior skin and hair, nuts can actually give it all!Some delicious ways of enjoying nuts in your daily diet is given below:Peanut butter sandwich- has high caloric content, ensure you lead an active lifestyle to enjoy this without gaining weight.Include in your salad dressing- If you are not big on high caloric foods,  just sprinkle a few nuts on your salad.A trail mix of nuts- Mix and match different kinds of nuts and other confectionaries in a bowl for an evening snack- again has a high caloric content check the portions in order to keep your weight in check. Read about other kinds of trail mixes.Roasted and salted- Just roast a few nuts and sprinkle salt to taste to enjoy this anytime munchie.Sweetened- Just dip your nuts in some molten chocolate (preferably dark) and enjoy the sweet flavourful nothings.Add to your meals- when you are cooking some dish which can absorb the nuttiness of different nuts just go ahead and add them.Peanut butter and fruit- Just spread some peanut butter on some fruit like banana or apple and enjoy the goodness of two great foods which together are extremely palatable.After going through this article, we are sure that you have been favourably pushed towards the side of nuts and are now more than eager to include these delicious gifts of nature to your diet. Just remember when we talk about nuts we mean almonds and most of the tree nuts with exception of cashews and macadamia nuts which contain too much saturated fat to help with these health benefits.

Low Calorie Breakfast Options

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Make your breakfast options healthier and satisfying. Start eating breakfast which offer low calories and helps you lose weight. Eating breakfast will keep you active and full helping you avoid munching in between. If you skip breakfast you could be slowing your metabolism which would affect your weight loss process.You could make breakfast options simpler and easily available to not skip it and eat healthy and stay fit. Here are some breakfast options that would keep you active and keep you full to avoid mid-meal munching.Curd and a fruit: If you are the one who doesn't like eating breakfast and are always in a hurry to run to the office then this the easiest breakfast option. You don't have to prepare anything or cook it either. Just carry it or even buy it on your way. A good combination of carbohydrate and protein providing approximately 250 calories. Curd (Yogurt)provides satiety which helps to keep hunger away till its time for next meal.Brown Bread and Egg: Eggs are possibly the most versatile as well as being the most nutritious breakfast protein. They can be poached, scrambled, fried, soft-boiled, hard-boiled or made into an omelette. Egg is low in calories and saturated fat yet is full of vitamins A, B,D, E and minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, selenium and magnesium. Brown bread is rich in nutrients providing a feeling of fullness, thereby reducing the risk of overeating. Egg with 2 slices of bread provides approx 220 calories.Sprouts with buttermilk:Sprouted seeds, legumes and grains are a cheap and easy way of increasing your intake of vitamins and minerals. Germinating seeds and grains increase their nutritional value. The vitamin C content of wheat increases sixty percent during sprouting. Sprouts are filled with antioxidants, they are full of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Buttermilk is lower in fat than regular milk, because the fat has been removed to make butter. It is also high in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin as well as a good source of phosphorus. Approx calories 270 calories.Oats in low fat milk: Oats, like other cereal grains, are valued primarily as a source of carbohydrates which provide calories for energy needs. It contain soluble fibre beta glucan which help to control your sugar and cholesterol levels. Oats have a higher concentration of well-balanced protein than other cereals. It also helps in keeping bowel movements regular. Approx calories 240 calories.Nuts and Fruit:Nuts are a Super source of Non-animal, digestible protein Breakfast options does not have to be the one which has to pass through the oven. Eat some nuts and a fruit at breakfast with a glass of milk. When eaten first in the morning, nuts help start proper digestion for the rest of your day. A fist of nut along with a fruit provide approx 200 calories.Whatever you prepare for yourself, choose a healthy option to keep you full and meet the nutrition requirement.

Your Mouth Is Not a Trash Can

Dr. Abdul Gaffar Mahkri, Dentist
Last month, a young man walked into my clinic. A frail looking man, appearing much older than his actual age. He was a 27 year old guy with the looks of a distressed 40 year old person. His eyes kept telling me that he has had sleepless nights. His skin was pale, hair were frail, and his gait was not matching his age. The worry on his face indicated that he feared something disastrous was about to happen in his life in recent times.Upon conversing, I learnt about the cause of his worry. He had been a Gutkha chewer and smoker since 13 years of age. He got married at an early age and was fathering 3 daughters. Today his worries stood at the question of his life and death, Yes! Life and death! Whatever little research he could do on his own he had learnt that his body was showing signs of cancer.This young man was suffering from all the early symptoms of first grade oral cancer. He narrated to me his problems. He could not eat hot or spicy food, his taste sensation was almost lost rendering him unable to relish the taste of anything he eats, he couldn’t open his mouth to more than a centimeter. He had pain in the neck region below his jaw. Upon intra-oral examination I could see multiple ulcers on his tongue and cheek mucosa (intra-oral skin of cheek). There was whitish discoloration of his tongue surface and also the cheek mucosa. Severe gum recession was resulting in compromised teeth support. Extra-oral examination revealed swollen lymph nodes, limited mouth opening and mild swelling on both the sides of the jaw. All these symptoms and signs are suggestive of early stage oral cancer.Now I could imagine the cause of distress that I could see on his face since he met me, and the cause of the frail body despite being young. The fear of cancer had eaten him up internally, and the symptoms that we noted above had caused his body to become weak due to altered diet and hormonal changes.This person today was seeing death in front of his eyes, and all he could think of was his wife, and three daughters. Who would look after them after him, who would love them and care for them? These are natural questions any dying person would have about his parents, siblings, spouse and children.We carried out some further laboratory investigations, and it was the Almighty’s will that the final diagnosis was not cancer. He was suffering from what we call a pre-cancerous condition. His habit of smoking and Gutkha-chewing had led to this condition. Now, if he continued the habit, then it could led to fatal oral cancer within next few months.It was a great relief for the patient, and also the doctor. But imagine the distress that one has to go through because of these debilitating oral habits of smoking, chewing Gutkha and tobacco.Every year thousands of young men lose their lives to cancers caused by cigarette smoking, Gutkha and tobacco. These habits cause fatal oral cancers in addition to lung cancer which is additionally caused by cigarette smoking.The growing use of tobacco and its derivatives by men of all ages, shockingly less than 15 years old suggests that they treat their mouth like a trash can. When they open their mouth to a dentist for treatment, the dentist can’t go any further before making them rinse their mouth with a strong antiseptic mouthwash. Same stands true for friends and family they meet on a daily basis. Yes! Gutkha, pan, tobacco, betel nut, is nothing but trash! They have zero nutritional value and they seriously destroy your teeth, gums, taste buds and lungs.Innumerable men, adolescents and women are addicted to the debilitating drug called ‘Nicotine’. Nicotine is found primarily in tobacco. Hence, tobacco, in smokeless and smoke forms, is the staple choice of nicotine addicts.Smoking is usually taken up by youngsters in response to social peer pressure, provided by either friends, siblings or even parents, who smoke in front of kids, leading to development of curiosity in the kids’ minds as to what happens upon smoking or how Gutkha tastes, and how ‘pleasing’ it is. All this acts as a positive reinforcement in initial stages that results in adolescents taking up smoking. Continual use of smoked tobacco then leads to addiction to nicotine which is the active ingredient in tobacco. Thus it becomes a lifetime habit.Another form of smoked tobacco that is catching up the trend among youngsters is “Hookah” or “Sheesha”. Research shows that smoking of tobacco through Hookah is multiple times risky than smoking. There may be non-tobacco Hookah available too, but the smoke that reaches lungs has devastating effects be it from tobacco-based or non-tobacco based “only 5% nicotine” labeled Hookah flavors.These habits of Gutkha-chewing, smoking cigarettes, hookah or direct chewing of tobacco have various consequences. The precancerous conditions are Oral Sub mucous Fibrosis (Mouth opening limitation and fibrosis of cheek), Leukoplakia (whitish discoloration of oral mucosa); both of these conditions lead to fatal oral cancer if left unchecked. The most common cancerous condition is Squamous Cell Carcinoma, which even if treated reduces the life expectancy upto 6 months to 5 years. Another common oral cancer is Carcinoma tongue which is caused by smoking and chewing tobacco and can lead to death. Apart from this there are many other benign and malignant oral cancers. A final mention would be about Lung Cancer which is caused by smoking of tobacco, through cigarettes, cigars or Hookah.Having said all of this, if we stop short of just addressing this issue from the individual aspect then it would be very naive of us. Merely blaming those who are addicted, awareness campaigns to educate them to quit the habits, and merely addressing them to stop the use, all this does not comprise the permanent solution. How can we expect people to leave these habits when the catalysts like Gutkha, cigarettes, etc. are freely available to people of all ages in the market? How can we expect an end to this problem while TV and poster ads glorify the use of tobacco-chewing under the name of “Pan Masala- Pan Parag” or "Oonche log, Oonchi Pasand" etc. Our advice may affect sensible people who may come forward to leave these habits but on a large scale, the solution comprises of additional efforts.The comprehensive solution to this problem must include the following efforts: 1. Educating the people about the harms and dangers. 2. Making parents aware of how their children get affected. 3. Taking serious steps by involving the community, and by mobilizing the people to call for a ban on the sale of such detrimental products openly in the society. Finally, any comprehensive solution will require great efforts by responsible citizens, community elders, doctors and the ruling authority.

Go Nuts to Pep-Up Your Nerves & Boost Your Memory!

Dr. Richa Garg, Ayurveda
Nuts and seeds are an important addition to any health-conscious diet plan. They taste great and make a satisfying snack for both children and adults. Nuts and seeds are good for your overall health as they contain protein, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E and many other minerals and antioxidants. However, as most nuts are high in calories and fats, do not eat them in excess. You can incorporate small amounts of a combination of these nuts and seeds in your diet to enjoy their health benefits.Almonds Many people consider almonds to be nuts, but they are technically the seeds of the almond tree. A small handful of almonds are all you need to eat daily. These oval-shaped nuts contain fiber, protein, calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron and some B vitamins.Brazil NutsBrazil nuts are technically seeds, but people call them nuts due to their brown nut-like outer covering. These nuts help in the prevention of breast and other cancers, cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease and premature aging. They can also improve cardiovascular health, manage Type 2 diabetes, reduce arthritis symptoms, protect skin from sun damage, lower bad cholesterol, and fight anemia.Chia seedsChia seeds are small, oval seeds that are mottle-colored with brown, gray, black and white. They can help reduce joint pain, keep the digestive system healthy, aid weight loss, reduce depression, fight arthritis and protect against diabetes, liver disease and heart disease. The recommended serving size is 1 to 2 tablespoons daily. Do not consume these seeds in dry, raw formPine NutsAlthough used as nuts in the culinary world, in the botanical world, pine nuts (also known as cedar nuts) are the edible seeds of pine trees. The recommended serving is 2 to 3 tablespoons daily. These nuts help improve heart health, reduce bad cholesterol, protect the arteries from damage, suppress appetite, boost energy and improve vision health. They also help increase the blood’s hemoglobin level and relieve fatigue and tension.Pumpkin SeedsPumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are flat and asymmetrically oval. Regular consumption of these seeds helps boost immunity, lower bad cholesterol, control blood sugar, fight anxiety and depression, reduce arthritis pain, increases insulin sensitivity, support prostate health, improve heart health, and reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer.Sesame SeedsSesame seeds are highly valued for their oil, which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity. They can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, protect against liver damage and prevent diseases like arthritis, asthma, migraine headaches, osteoporosis and certain cancers.Note: Excessive consumption of sesame seeds may trigger migraines and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms in people who are sensitive to nuts and seeds.Sunflower SeedsSunflower seeds are the gift of the beautiful sunflowers. They are an excellent source of vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant. Regular consumption of these seeds can help reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, prevent migraine headaches and reduce the risk of heart attacks. The recommended serving size is ¼ cup daily.WalnutsBy eating just 1 ounce of walnuts daily (7 shelled walnuts), you can enjoy many of the health benefits. Regular consumption of walnuts can help reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer, lower high blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, aid in weight control, boost brain health and manage diabetes. They are equally good for your skin and hair.FlaxseedsOmega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s. Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. Fiber-Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types. It reduces Hypertension, Reduces the risk associated with skin cancer, Keeps depression in check, Fight against skin cancer, Reduces Cholesterol, eases the pain associated with arthritis.PeanutsKeep your appetite from going nuts, Crack down on your sodium consumption—without giving up your salty snack fix, Reduce your risk of diabetes and control blood sugar, Keep your heart healthy, Protect yourself from colon cancer.INCLUDE AS A SMALL SMALL SNACK IN BETWEEN MAJOR MEALS.