By Florencia Tagliavini, The NutraMilk Nutritionist
1. Nuts are nutrient dense - This means they offer a lot of nutrients per calorie. They provide a good amount of protein, fiber, healthy fats and are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some nuts are rich in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols and other bioactive compounds. Due to their rich nutrient profile, they have been associated with healthy aging and disease prevention. Incorporating nuts to your diet is an easy way to add important nutrients that promote overall health.
2. They are heart-healthy - Nuts contain good fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and they are low in saturated fats and cholesterol free. Thanks to their healthy fatty acid profile, as well as their healthy nutrient make-up, evidence suggests that the consumption of nuts as part of a healthy diet can help reduce LDL or "bad cholesterol" levels and decrease blood pressure, two of the major risk factors for heart disease. In fact, the American Heart Association has certified many nuts with the sought-after "heart check mark". This includes almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, and pistachios.
3. They promote gut health- Nut's fiber content promotes bowel health and good gut flora. The fiber is a "prebiotic", which is basically nutrition for the ¨good¨ bacteria that live in your gut, by feeding the good bacteria you are promoting their growth and maintenance. Gut health can affect your immune system, digestion, skin health, mental health, and pretty much overall health.
4. They can aid in weight loss- Although many people may associate nuts with a calorie-rich food, different studies show that nuts as part of a healthy diet do not contribute to weight gain, in fact, nuts can be a great fit for a weight loss plan. Due to their fiber, protein and good fat content, they are satiating- they keep you feeling full for a long time and can help you get to your next meal without snacking. They also help maintain blood sugar levels stable which can help you not feel hungry and are a great food for people living with diabetes.
5. They taste amazing! With so many different nuts to choose from you have so many flavors to enjoy, and in my opinion, they are all delicious. Not only that, they are so versatile. They are an easy and convenient snack on their own, they can be used to upgrade any dish and add texture and flavor, sprinkled on salads or a breakfast bowl, used to make nut butter or nut milk, etc. So many possibilities!