Eat a Handful of Nuts a Day to Help Keep the Doctor Away
Nuts are a vital part of a healthy diet and scientific research is proving why.
A landmark clinical study — the PREDIMED study — has confirmed several compelling reasons for eating nuts. It has shown that a healthy diet, specifically, the Mediterranean diet, supplemented with one daily serving (about 30g/1oz; a handful) of nuts can reduce:
- The risk of diabetes by 52%, and reduce blood glucose levels.
- Blood pressure and improve the LDL:HDL (‘bad:good’) cholesterol ratio.
- Body mass index and waist circumference.
- The incidence of stroke by 28%.
A Mediterranean diet is high in nuts, whole grains, legumes, fruits, monounsaturated fats (the fat in extra virgin olive oil) and fish, and has moderate amounts of red and processed meats, dairy foods, and red wine.
Nuts have a Unique Combination of Heart-Healthy Fats
Most nuts have a low proportion of saturated fats, and a high proportion of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) or polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). Macadamia nuts are especially high in MUFAs and walnuts are especially high in PUFAs. Nuts are cholesterol-free. Nuts’ special fat profile helps regulate blood cholesterol.
Nuts are Nutrient Powerhouses
Nuts give you a broad range of vitamins, especially the antioxidant vitamin E, and minerals and phytochemicals, beneficial bioactive compounds found only in plants. Nuts are an excellent source of fibre (containing 5% to 9% fibre by weight), and also provide you with plenty of protein. They are high in other bioactive compounds such as polyphenols and phytosterols and contain a host of antioxidants.
Nuts Keep You Satisfied
Nuts increase satiety, which means they are very satisfying, helping you feel full for longer. In fact, studies have shown that eating nuts is not associated with a higher risk of weight gain. You might find it counterintuitive but the scientific evidence suggests that eating nuts may help reduce the risk of obesity and waist circumference.
We’ve got a large section of quality nuts in variety of formats, and whatever your taste, we’ve got the perfect nut for you.
Please note that RI refers to ‘reference intake’, the term replacing ‘guideline daily amount’.
- High in protein: contain about 6g of protein in every handful. Weight for weight they contain nearly 75% more protein than eggs.
- Provide the amino acid arginine, which can help blood vessels to relax and remain elastic.
- A good source of fibre. A single serving of 30g provides 10% of your RI.
- A very valuable source of vitamin E: a 30g serving provides well over half of the RI for this vitamin.
- A good source of calcium: an option for people who are lactose intolerant or who don’t like milk. A 30g serving provides around 7% of daily calcium needs. Could help as part of a bone strengthening diet for people concerned about osteoporosis.
- Research has shown that eating almonds with a meal can reduce the rise in blood glucose that occurs after eating.
- The richest dietary source of selenium, and just two Brazil nuts provide the RI for this mineral. An excellent source of magnesium (25% of daily value) and phosphorus (20% daily value).
- Considered to be a complete protein and ideal for vegetarians and vegans since, weight for weight,Brazil nuts contain as much protein as eggs.
- A good source of fibre, about a handful of Brazil nuts provides 10% of your RI.
- In a study, about 3-5 Brazil nuts per day reduced ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol in obese young people.
- A good plant source of iron: 30g of cashews provide about 12% of your RI. This is useful forvegetarians, who can increase their absorption of iron from plants by combining cashews with foods rich in vitamin C (e.g., broccoli, citrus fruits).
- A handful of cashews provide 20%-25% your RI for magnesium, more than 20% of your RI forcopper and about 12% for zinc.
- A good source of plant protein: a handful provides around 5g of protein. With their iron and zinc,cashews an excellent option for people who wish to eat less animal protein.
- Raw cashews are the one nut that people following an elimination diet for food intolerance are allowed to eat (because cashews contain low levels of food chemicals that some people may be intolerant to).
- A good source of fibre: 28g (1oz) provides just under a fifth of your RI.
- An excellent source of manganese: 28g (1oz) provides about 35% of your RI. Also containsmagnesium, phosphorus and selenium.
- Contains small quantities of vitamins C, E and some of the B vitamins.
- Hazelnuts have the highest concentration of folate of all the tree nuts: a 30g serving provides 17% of the RI for folate.
- A truly excellent source of vitamin E, with 30g providing 45% of the RI of vitamin E.
- In one study a daily diet that included 40g of hazelnuts improved blood fats better than a low fat diet: ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides fell significantly and ‘good’ HDL cholesterol increased significantly.
- One of the few plant foods that provides (in small amounts) alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid.
- A handful provides 15% of the RI for copper and 21% for manganese.
- A particularly good source of antioxidants such as phenolic acids and flavanols, particularly the hazelnut skins. Antioxidants may protect against chronic diseases.
- A rich source of healthy fats: of all tree nuts, macadamia nuts have the highest amount of monounsaturated fat (81% of their total fat), the same fat in olive oil. One of the few plant foods that contain (in small amounts) alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid.
- Rich in manganese, a handful of macadamia nuts provides nearly 25% of your RI.
- An excellent source of thiamin (vitamin B1): a handful of macadamias provides nearly a third of your RI.
- Just 50g of macadamia nuts provide about 60mg of plant sterols, which will contribute to the 2-3g of plant sterols daily that can help lower cholesterol by reducing cholesterol reabsorption in the intestines.
(Peanuts are legumes, not nuts, and grow underground.)
- An excellent source of vitamin E, with a 30g serving providing over a third of your RI.
- Peanuts are very high in fibre. A 30g serving of peanuts provides you with about 10% of the RI of fibre, so eating peanuts can contribute to a healthy digestive system.
- Peanuts are very high in magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, thiamin (vitamin B1) andcholine (a member of the B vitamin family that is especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women).
- Peanuts are high in calcium, iron, copper, manganese, selenium, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin B6.
- Peanuts contain a host of bioactive, health-promoting compounds including arginine, resveratrol, plant sterols and flavonoids. These compounds are thought to have disease prevention properties; some are antioxidants while others may promote longevity.
- Contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamins A and E, several B vitamins, folate,iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
- Rich in heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which, between them, account for about 90% of the total fats in pecans.
- Pecans are one of the few plant foods that contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fattyacid that plays an important role in the health of your heart.
- Are especially rich in one form of vitamin E known as gamma-tocopherols, which may reduce both the amount of and oxidation (damage) of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, a type of cholesterol that may be associated with inflammation of the arteries and increased risk of cardiovascular problems.
- Pine nuts are rich source of vitamin E, with 30g containing about 40% of your RI.
- An excellent source of manganese: a handful contains about 40% of your RI.
- Since a 30g serving of pine nuts provides about 10% of the RI for iron and zinc and as much protein as a small egg, pine nuts are an excellent choice for vegetarians.
- Pine nuts provide plenty of the protein building block, arginine. Arginine, an amino acid, is converted in your body to nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to dilate and remain elastic. Hardening of the arteries can lead to heart disease.
- Pistachio nuts are remarkable on several counts: they are one of the lowest calorie, yet one of the lowest fat, one of the highest protein, and one of the highest fibre nuts.
- Pistachios have the most kernels per ounce, the highest potassium level, the highest vitamin B6level and the highest amount of beta-carotene (vitamin A) of all the tree nuts.
- A handful of pistachio nuts provides you with a third of your RI for vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps your body to make neurotransmitters, chemicals that influence your mood.
- Pistachios contain significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that may reduce the risk of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
(Tiger nuts are not, in fact, nuts, but the tubers of a grass-like plant that belongs to the sedge family.)
- Tiger nuts are a source of oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.
- An excellent source of fibre, which can speed up transit in the intestines and prevent constipation.
- Rich in vitamins E and C, and provide a good quantity of thiamin (vitamin B1).
- A good source of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron.
- Suitable for people who are lactose intolerant and for vegans.
- Walnuts are unique among nuts in that they contain the highest amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a heart-healthy omega-3 essential fatty acid. Walnuts don’t just contain ALA; they contain significant amounts of ALA. Just four walnuts a day can positively affect your ALA levels.
- Contain a host of different antioxidants including ellagic acid, ellafitannins, and proanthcyanidins, which may control free radicals and help protect you against certain chronic diseases of aging.
- Of all tree nuts, only walnuts are composed of mostly heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats (13g out of 18g total fat).
- Being very low in sodium (3mg/100g, which is a trace) and very high in potassium (450mg/100g)walnuts may benefit blood pressure and heart health, and are a good option for people followingDASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)-style diets
- Preliminary research suggests that walnuts may enhance cognitive and motor function as we age.