The Nut in Nutrition
It’s true- good things come in small packages, especially when we are talking about nuts and their unique superpowers when it comes to nutrition.
Nuts have long been important to the human diet. That’s not by accident. Nuts have always been one of nature’s little power-packed pals. Often offering multiple vitamins, minerals and key nutrients, nuts are also famous among diet trends, and for good reason.
But let’s look at the high notes as to why nuts, especially pecans, make such great options when aiming at a healthier lifestyle.
Nuts can play a pivotal part in losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.
Nuts are naturally high in dietary fiber and healthy essential oils, which both help increase satiety, which is the feeling of being full. Appetite control can be one of the most impactful weight loss strategies. So when you are feeling snacky, avoid the potato chips and instead grab a handful of nuts to kick the craving. Wave goodbye to winter fluff and say hello to your summer swimsuit bod!
Nuts can improve heart health and decrease one’s risk for Heart Disease
Nuts are high in healthy fats known as mono- and poly-unsaturated fats that help regulate blood cholesterol. Nuts also feature an amino acid known as Arginine that encourages blood vessel elasticity to avoid artery hardening. In addition, nuts contain many antioxidants including vitamin E, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc that reduce oxidation and inflammation, all equipping your heart to keep pumping to the beat of your own drum.
Nuts may help protect you from developing Type 2 Diabetes
Because of their healthy fat content, nuts are believed to enhance insulin sensitivity, and reduce the overall glycemic index of the diet. And for those who have Type 2 Diabetes, consuming nuts with a meal higher in carbohydrates has shown to slow the absorption of carbs into the bloodstream and result in a reduction in post-meal blood sugar. (Fun fact: a handful of pecans contains only 1.2 carbs, so you can enjoy guilt-free indulgence any ol’ day.)
When we start to think of our food as being fuel for our best life, we can rest comfy knowing that we can still enjoy delicious and guilt-free food and snacks. So, instead of mindlessly reaching for a candy bar or empty calories, make the conscious choice to support your body with the nutrient-dense powers found in nuts. Your body will thank you for it!