By Deline Tan
Nuts – if you like it, then you are in for a treat. The many varied nuts – macadamia, brazil, cashew, almond, pecan, peanut, pistachio, and walnut are nuts that are packed with good fats of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They are high in dietary fibre and give good digestion and aid in the bulk of passing the tools.
Fats is one of the needed nutrients for our body apart from carbohydrates and proteins, along with vitamins and minerals, and it is important that we have a good fat content in our diet. Nuts help in lowering the bad LDL cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol level. It also contains Vitamin E and works as an antioxidant in the body, and helps in protecting cells and tissues by neutralising free radicals.
There are also many ways to prepare nuts for your meal, like adding them in the salad bowl, or cashews are added when cooking braised chicken, or nuts fried with ikan balis is also a great way to prepare our meals. It’s also a great way to add into self-make pizza, with pistachio, cashew, almond and other kinds of nuts added to it.
Nuts make a great snack when in between meals, as it is healthy and has all the essentials for vitamins and minerals. It is also easy to keep it at home, with containers that are easily reached, and satisfy your sweet tooth. It is also a good treat while watching television or in a movie, as it increases your pleasure in eating it.
Nuts is also a good deterrent against heart disease, as it does not contain trans-fat. Peanut butter is a very good source of good polyunsaturated fats, and when you eat it together with jam over the bread-spread, it is superb. The rich and crunchy creamy taste makes a good breakfast with wholemeal bread as it is a very healthy way of consuming good fats.
Pistachio nuts are excellent source of Vitamin B6; peanuts are high in niacin Vitamin B, as niacin has specific role in maintaining good health. A one ounce serving of almonds provides 35% of the Recommended Daily intake for Vitamin E; while one ounce serving of hazel nuts provides 20%, and an ounce of peanuts provides 10%.
Nuts are an important source of plant protein, rich in energy, protein, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and omega 3-fatty acids. The nuts nutrition are loaded with excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic and palmitoleic acids which help to lower LDL or bad cholesterol, and increase HDL or good cholesterol.
Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids helps to prevent coronary artery disease, strokes, and favouring healthy blood lipid profile. Vitamin B6 is a good protein compound that helps the body to produce red blood cells and antibodies, maintaining it with a strong healthy immune system.
Finally, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin in nuts help the body utilize sugars and fats, aiding it to help release energy from foods. You can see that the benefits of nuts are plentiful, and it adds to the building up of the body, enabling us to keep healthy.
The next time you snack, try the varied nuts and you’ll be glad that you did.