If you are like many people, you may try to avoid eating nuts and seeds because you think they are not good for you. Nuts are seen this way because they have a lot of fat in them but they make sore healthy snacks and additions to many meals. Whether you are looking at members of the pecan family, legumes such as peanuts or raw macadamia nuts, there are a number of good things these foods can do for you.
- Adding more nuts and seeks to your diet can help you lose weight. Researchers at Adventist Health looked at the link between nuts and people who develop obesity or some kind of metabolic syndrome. They learned that people who eat different types of nuts were less likely to develop these health problems. Other research has shown that people who eat tree nuts throughout the day are more likely to lose weight than those who do not. One reason that eating nuts and seeds is so good for weight loss is that they have so much protein, which can make you feel full longer and prevent you from eating too much throughout the day. Carry some pecan family snacks can make you less tempted to eat other foods.
- Eating more nuts can cut down on heart disease. For older Americans, eating some nuts in the pecan family or elsewhere can reduce the chance that they will develop heart disease. When people who are over 84 indulge in nuts at least five times every week were much less likely to develop deadly heart disease. In fact, by eating nuts five times each week (or more) they lowered the chances they would suffer from this by about 40%.
- Some nuts can even help lower your cholesterol. Walnuts are often called a “superfood.” If you are looking to lower your cholesterol, you might want to consider adding them to your diet. Scientists have found that eating all types of walnuts can lower the bad kind of cholesterol.
- Flaxseed can lower blood pressure, clear your arteries and lower cholesterol. You may have heard of the benefits to using flaxseed and flaxseed oil. There are a number of reasons that people like to include it in their diet. It has been estimated that when people consume about 30 grams of flaxseed every day, they will see their blood pressure go down. In studies, people who were given this amount of flaxseed or more saw their systolic blood pressure drop by about 10 mg Hg. Their diastolic blood pressure was also lowered by 7 mg Hg. These results were better than what is often seen in prescription medications to treat high blood pressure. Another benefit to adding flaxseeds and flaxseed oil to your diet is that it can clear plaque out of blocked arteries and prevent it from building back up. The last heart benefit to eating more flaxseed and flaxseed is that it can help lower cholesterol levels. These are all the reasons it is a “superfood.”
- Eating chia seeds can boost the EPA in your blood. If you have only heard of EPA being the “Environmental Protection Agency,” you may not know as much about eicosapentaenoic acid. This kind of EPA is an essential fatty acid that can do some wonderful things in your body. It is often found in animal sources such as krill or fish oil but it is also found in abundance in chia seeds. Eating more can boost your EPA blood levels, which is a good thing. It is worth noting that chia seeds are full of fiber. When you eat just one serving, you get about 11 grams of fiber, which is a large amount and most of what you should get every day.
Many nuts and seeds taste great as snacks and as additions to other foods. It is no secret that people across the United States enjoy eating them. Members of the pecan family are popular as is peanut butter. People across the country ate about 120 million pounds of the stuff every year between 2008 and 2012. Whether you like peanut butter or other types of nuts and seeds, adding them to your diet can make you much healthier.