Nuts & Health

Enjoying nuts as a part of a healthy diet can benefit your body & brain.

Why are nuts so good for you?

Nuts contain healthy fats

Just because nuts are high in fat doesn’t mean they are unhealthy. Nuts are a great source of the good fats – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – which are essential for regulating blood cholesterol. Nuts high in monounsaturated fats include macadamias, cashews, almonds, pistachios, and pecans. Nuts high in polyunsaturated fats include walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts and Brazil nuts.

Nuts contain many important vitamins & minerals:

Fibre

All nuts contribute fibre to the diet and eating foods rich in fibre, especially soluble fibre, helps to satisfy hunger for longer. Dietary fibre helps to lower blood cholesterol and is essential for healthy bowel function.

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Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect tissues in the body from damage. An average serve (30g) of mixed nuts provides ~20% of the recommended daily requirements.

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Folate

Folate is a B vitamin associated with heart health, cancer protection and a lower risk of birth defects in newborn babies. Hazelnuts, chestnuts, cashews, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts provide some folate.

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Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral essential for good nerve and muscle function and for strong bones. An average serve (30g) of Brazil nuts, almonds and cashews provides more than 75% of the recommended dietary intake for magnesium.

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Zinc

Zinc is needed for many processes in the body and is necessary for a strong immune system, and healing and protecting the skin. A third of a cup of cashews, almonds or pecans provides more than 15% of your recommended daily intake.

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Selenium

Selenium is essential for a well functioning immune system and thyroid gland and it also helps protect cells in the body from damage. Brazil nuts are particularly rich in selenium with just two nuts providing all of your daily requirements!

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Arginine

Arginine is an amino acid or building block of protein that helps keep blood vessels healthy. Sources of arginine include almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts and pistachios.

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Antioxidants

Antioxidants found in nuts include flavonoids and a compound called luteolin. These substances help slow down the ageing process and help protect the body from a range of lifestyle-related diseases.

Plant sterols

Tree nuts contain plant sterols, substances that reduce cholesterol absorption from the gut. Pistachios, cashews, almonds and pecans provide plant sterols.

How to include Nuts in your diet

Try the following to enjoy nuts as part of your healthy eating plan:

  • Munch on pistachios as a pre-dinner appetiser
  • Sprinkle almonds or cashews through a stir fry
  • Roast chestnuts or pine nuts and toss them through a salad
  • Chop walnuts and add them to a dipping sauce
  • Crumble pecans or walnuts into a yoghurt dessert topping and serve with fruit
  • Sprinkle chopped, roasted hazelnuts or slivered almonds onto low-fat ice cream
  • Crumble macadamia nuts or pistachios onto grilled fish
  • Add roasted pine nuts to your favourite pasta dish
  • Make a great pesto by blending pistachios or macadamias with fresh herbs, parmesan and a little olive oil

Where do we get out information from?

We get much of our information and research on nuts & health from Nuts for Life, a health education initiative from the Australian Tree nut Industry, Australia's leading independent authority on the nutrition and health benefits of tree nuts. Their mission is ‘to promote regular nut consumption by collating the latest evidence-based information, and information Australian about the positive impact regular nut consumption can have on their health'.

The Nuts for Life website is regularly updated with current studies and findings regarding nuts and their impact on the human body. Please see the links below for more information…

Health authorities around the world recommend eating more plant foods for good health. This is because plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds provide protection against many of the common lifestyle-related issues seen today. The traditional Mediterranean way of eating, which includes plenty of plant foods, is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world! People of the Mediterranean, include nuts daily in the diet.

References

This information was provided by Nuts For Life. Images & Videos were provided by Nuts For Life.Nuts for LifeFor further information on nuts and health, refer to www.nutsforlife.com.au or phone 02 8295 2300

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