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Tree nuts are a powerhouse of taste and nutrition

Tree nuts
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(NaturalNews) Nuts have been an incredible and wholesome source of nutrients for thousands of years. A longtime addition in the Mediterranean diet, nuts have only recently received the spotlight for their health benefits in modern medicine. The American Heart Association (AHA) refers to nuts as "petite powerhouses of taste and nutrition".

A common and misguided stereotype of nuts labeled these powerhouses as destructive to health. This assumption originated from the knowledge that nuts are a dense source of calories and contain a high fat content. Fortunately for those Paleo dieters, nuts have not only been proven healthy and wholesome but they have actually been shown to aid in weight loss efforts. Will you welcome nuts back into your diet again too?

Nuts have health promoting factors

Nuts have biologically active compounds available for the development and maintenance of a healthy body. Examples of these compounds that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and heart health properties are:

Vitamins: Examples include folate, niacin and tocopherols (which make up vitamin E) in which many act as powerful antioxidants protecting the body from the damaging effects of free radicals, or highly reactive oxygen atoms.

Minerals: Examples include calcium, selenium, potassium and magnesium which help protect bone density, heart health and assist blood sugar regulation.

Phytosterols: A cholesterol-like molecule which interferes with the human body's ability to absorb cholesterol and helps lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol or the "bad" LDL cholesterol.

Phenolic Compounds: Zeaxanthin and beta-carotene are examples of plant substances that provide color and protection to plants. These compounds serve as antioxidants in the human body. Studies suggest that plant phenols protect the body from cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes osteoporosis and degenerative nerve diseases.

Nuts contain a source of good fats

Nuts contain a rich source of polyunsaturated fats which are contributing factors to blood vessel health and the reduction of cholesterol.

Coconuts, specifically, consist of medium-chain triglycerides compared to the more prevalent long-chain fatty acids that make up approximately 98 percent of our daily food consumption of meat, dairy, and vegetable oils. The body recognizes the length of these chains of fats and breaks them down differently. This metabolic difference is partly why fats contained in coconut are healthier for you compared to saturated fats found in animal fats like cheddar cheese and sausage.

The best nuts for nutrition

  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Coconuts
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pine Nuts

Add variety to your daily nut intake

Nuts are recommended by the FDA and AHA as a wholesome and daily part of any diet. The AHA notes a single serving size is 1.5 ounces of nuts (about 30 almonds or 11 whole walnuts) or 2 tablespoons of nut butter. If you are looking for more ways to receive your recommended daily dose of nuts and add variety, try the following techniques:
  • Swap out the frequented candy bowl for pistachios
  • Add sliced almonds to your salad
  • Add pecan butter to your morning smoothie
  • Grind Brazil nuts and coat fish or poultry
  • Make homemade salad dressing with pine nuts
  • Replace vegetable oils for coconut oils
  • Add hazelnuts, cashews and walnuts into your trail mix with added dark chocolate and organic fruit with no added sugars

Ros E. Health Benefits of Nut Consumption. Nutrients. 2010 Jul;2(7):652-682. DOI: 10.3390/nu2070652

Morris M, et al. Dietary niacin and the risk of incident Alzheimer's disease and of cognitive decline. J Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. 2004 Mar;75(8):1093-99. PMCID: 1739176

Jaceldo SK, et al. Tree Nuts Are Inversely Associated with Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: The Adventist Health Study-2. PLoS ONE. 2014 Jan;9(1): e85133. PMCID: PMC3885676

Pandey KB, and Rizvi SI. Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2009 Nov-Dec;2(5):270-278. PMCID: 2835915

About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.

His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.

Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com

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