Packed with protein, fibre and essential fats, nuts are one of this season’s best buys. A golf ball-sized portion (about 30g) of unsalted nuts makes a vitality-boosting snack and, unlike most other options, contributes a mix of valuable vitamins and minerals. All nuts have different nutrition credentials and will offer various health benefits – find your perfect match with our guide…
Pistachios have been reported to have preventative and treatment effects on diabetes, primarily because of their richness in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, substances which reduce blood sugar (blood glucose) levels and improve the body’s metabolism. Another study revealed how pistachios were able to significantly lower LDL levels and increase functional HDL particles (a.k.a. “good cholesterol”).
Popularly eaten together with chocolate, macadamia nut studies have revealed its potential medicinal effect improving the lipid profile of humans. A study in 2014 was performed on rats, wherein macadamia oil was supplemented along with a high fat diet. The use of macadamia was able to reduce inflammation and adipocyte hypertrophy in obese mice.
A recent study in the first quarter of 2015 revealed cashew nuts’ antimicrobial and cytotoxic effects through an in vitro study. Ethanol extracts from cashew leaves were used for oral care in the study and proved to be more effective than traditional mouth rinses/washes. The extract was also used on cultures of gingival and lung fibroblasts, which revealed cashew’s cytotoxic property.
According to Ruisinger, et. al. (2015), almonds are able to significantly lower low density lipoprotein (a.k.a LDL or “bad cholesterol”) and trigylcerides when added to statin therapy. Not that we are necessarily fans of statin therapy. Nonetheless, lower LDLs have been equated to improved cardiovascular health.
- Brazil nuts
Sourced from a South American tree, Brazil nuts have potent anti-inflammatory properties, seen in a study in 2014. Single doses of Brazil nuts in varying portions were given to volunteers followed by blood samples being taken. The study showed that the nuts were able to decrease inflammatory markers, specifically IL-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha, and IFN-gamma.
These different kinds of nuts have great medicinal value, which can improve a person’s health if they are included in the daily diet. Nuts that have anti-inflammatory properties can be used for a variety of dieses such as problems with the heart, lungs, and gastrointestinal systems. Those that have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties can be used to manage infections.