Nuts and Seeds: How Food Affects Health

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Nuts and seeds are healthy snacks, but be sure to moderate portions if you're watching your weight, since they contain a lot of calories.

Most nuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. Although good for you, these fats are high in calories (almost double the calories per gram as carbs and protein), so you'll want to carefully watch how many nuts you eat if you're trying to lose weight.

The good news is that eating the right portion of nuts and seeds (about one handful each day) can help you lose or maintain weight by satiating your appetite. They can also stabilize your blood-sugar levels and improve your cholesterol and triglycerides, which may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Additional nutrients in nuts and seeds, such as fiber, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6, provide added protection against cardiovascular disease.

Walnuts and ground flaxseeds are especially rich in omega-3 fats, which lower inflammation throughout your body. For this reason, walnuts and flaxseeds are particularly good options for people with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

Many nuts and seeds contain magnesium and potassium, which work to prevent osteoporosis. Magnesium also helps protect against type 2 diabetes, and along with manganese and vitamin B6, may improve PMS symptoms.

All nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps keep your skin beautiful and may help protect your eyesight. The omega-3 fats, selenium, and zinc in some nuts and seeds offer similar benefits to the skin. Zinc, in particular, helps maintain collagen, which keeps your skin smooth, supple, and firm, and zinc also keeps your nails strong. Along with vitamin B6 and biotin, zinc contributes to healthy hair.

With the aid of nutrients like omega-3 fats, zinc, and niacin (as well as vitamin E), nuts and seeds can help boost eye health, reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, and slow the progression of vision loss.

While flaxseed, along with some other seeds and nuts that contain omega-3s and magnesium, can help prevent migraines, all nuts and nut butters, as well as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds, can sometimes trigger migraine headaches in people who are sensitive. Whole nuts and seeds may also trigger IBS symptoms in certain people.


Almonds | Brazil Nuts | Butternuts | Cashews | Ground Flaxseed | Ground Psyllium Seeds | Hazelnuts | Macadamia Nuts | Peanut Butter | Peanuts | Pecans | Pine Nuts | Pistachio Nuts | Pumpkin Seeds | Sesame Seeds | Sunflower Seeds | Walnuts

 

Almonds
Almonds are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, a crucial nutrient for improving cardiovascular health and reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes. Containing fiber, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, and protein, almonds help you feel full longer, so add them to oatmeal or nonfat yogurt or eat them as a snack — in moderation, since they’re high in calories.

 

Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. They are also an excellent source of selenium, a mineral with antioxidant properties that may help prevent and manage arthritis and protect skin from sun damage. But take note: Brazil nuts are so high in selenium that it’s best to limit your intake to no more than one or two per day so you don' p < sensitive. are who people in IBS and migraines trigger may nuts Brazil nuts, other Like limit. daily recommended the exceed t>

 

Butternuts
Butternuts, also known as white walnuts, are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated and omega-3 fats, nutrients that can improve cardiovascular health, help to manage type 2 diabetes, prevent and manage arthritis, and maintain healthy eyes and skin. Like other nuts, butternuts should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.

 

Cashews
Cashews are a good source of monounsaturated fat (healthy fat) and magnesium, nutrients that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. In addition, magnesium may help to improve PMS symptoms. Because cashews contain the mineral zinc, they can also help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Like other nuts, cashews should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.

 

Ground Flaxseed
Flaxseeds are dark amber-brown seeds that are a terrific source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber, nutrients that can improve cardiovascular health and mood, manage type 2 diabetes, prevent and manage arthritis, and maintain healthy eyes and skin. Omega-3s may even reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Flaxseeds also contain magnesium, which may help to improve PMS symptoms. To get the most nutrients from flaxseeds, grind them before use. Ground flaxseeds should be refrigerated or frozen to maintain freshness.

 

Ground Psyllium Seeds
Ground psyllium seeds are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which reduces cholesteroland may help to manage type 2 diabetes. The soluble fiber in psyllium may also reduce symptoms of IBS by promoting regularity; however, it is important to add it to your diet slowly to avoid bloating and discomfort. Psyllium is most often found in the pharmacy as an over-the-counter supplement. Talk to your doctor before taking psyllium fiber supplements to make sure they don't interfere with any medications.

 

Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are a good source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. They are also rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that may prevent cataracts and macular degeneration as well as maintain healthy skin. Like other nuts, hazelnuts should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.

 

Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts have a very high amount of monounsaturated fat, a heart-healthy fat that can reduce the risk of heart diseaseand help manage type 2 diabetes. Like other nuts, macadamias should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.

 

Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is made from ground peanuts, and is a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and plant-based protein. Because peanut butter is low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fat, it’s a great food for people with type 2 diabetes looking to manage their blood sugar. Peanut butter also provides vitamin E, which can help reduce risk of cataractsand macular degeneration and maintain healthy skin, as well as magnesium, which may help lower blood pressure and improve PMSsymptoms. Despite its health benefits, peanut butter is calorie-dense and should be enjoyed in moderation (stick to a two-tablespoon serving size). When buying peanut butter, look for natural varieties made without added sugar, salt, and partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats).

 

Peanuts
Peanuts are a good source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. They also provide vitamin E, which can help reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration and maintain healthy skin, as well as magnesium, which may help lower blood pressure and improve PMS symptoms. Like other nuts, peanuts should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.

 

Pecans
Pecans are a good source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. Among nuts, pecans are one of the richest sources of antioxidants. They also provide zinc, a mineral that maintains healthy hair and skin and may help prevent and manage macular degeneration. The manganese in pecans may reduce PMS symptoms. Like other nuts, pecans should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.

 

Pine Nuts
Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pinecones and are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, a nutrient that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. Pine nuts also contain vitamin E and zinc, nutrients involved in maintaining the health of your eyes, skin, and hair. Like other nuts, pine nuts should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.

 

Pistachio Nuts
Pistachios are a good source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. Pistachios in the shell are a terrific nut choice for individuals who are trying to lose or manage their weight, since removing the shell on each nut will slow down your eating. Because all nuts are calorie-dense, you’ll want to keep portions in check (25 pistachios provides about 100 calories). Pistachio nuts are also an excellent source of vitamin B6, which may help improve PMSsymptoms. Nuts may trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.

 

Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that may help lower blood pressure promote bone health, and improve PMS symptoms. Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc and vitamin E, nutrients that help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Because pumpkin seeds are low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fat, they make a healthy and delicious snack for people with type 2 diabetes looking to manage their blood sugar. Like other seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten in moderation since they're high in calories, and look for unsalted seeds to reduce sodium intake. Pumpkin seeds may trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive to nuts and seeds.

 

Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are often added to breads and crackers and sprinkled on a variety of Asian dishes. Sesame seeds are rich in magnesium, a mineral that may help lower blood pressure, promote bone health, and improve PMS symptoms. Like other seeds, sesame seeds may trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive to nuts and seeds.

 

Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are a good source of heart-healthy fats and fiber, nutrients that can improve cardiovascular healthand help manage blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Sunflower seeds also contain zinc and vitamin E, nutrients that help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Sunflower seeds in the shell are a smart snack option for people who are trying to lose or manage their weight, since removing the shell on each seed will slow down your eating. Like other seeds, sunflower seeds may trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive to nuts and seeds.

 

Walnuts
Walnuts are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated and omega-3 fats, nutrients that can improve cardiovascular health, help to manage type 2 diabetes, prevent and manage arthritis, and maintain healthy eyes and skin. Manganese in walnuts may reduce PMS symptoms. Like other nuts, walnuts should be eaten in moderation since they're calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.