Tree nuts have been part of the human diet since ancient times. Consuming these small yet nutrition-packed superfoods is encouraged and even promoted in many dietary guidelines worldwide because of their positive benefits to human health.
NaturalHealth365 recommends these tree nuts as the best kinds to include in your diet:
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine nuts
Here are four reasons why including tree nuts in one’s diet is not a nutty proposition.
Tree nuts are a great source of antioxidants
A study published in Nutrients linked tree nut consumption with sufficient nutrient intake and better diet quality in adults. In particular, it pointed out that participants who ate more tree nuts recorded levels of vitamins A, C and E above the estimated average requirement for these nutrients. (Related: Tree nuts are a powerhouse of taste and nutrition.)
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that walnuts, pecans and chestnuts contain the highest levels of antioxidants – which help address oxidative stress – among tree nuts. Another paper published December 2011 in Food & Function found that both raw and roasted walnuts possessed high amounts of antioxidants. It pointed out that a single serving of raw walnuts can provide a bigger amount of polyphenols compared to fruits and vegetables combined.
Tree nuts support gut health and a healthy immune system
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating roughly 46 almonds daily improved butyrate levels in the gut microbiome. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that is produced by good bacteria in the gut.
Lead study author Dr. Alice Creedon explained that butyrate “is involved in several health-promoting processes, such as providing energy to the cells lining the gut, regulation of the immune system and signaling to the cells of the gut to absorb certain nutrients.” She added: “Due to the effect of almonds on increasing butyrate production, they could be promoted as a snack food that can be consumed to benefit gut health by targeting bacterial metabolism.”
Tree nuts promote healthy cognitive function
According to a paper published in Advances in Nutrition, regularly consuming mixed nuts – in particular a combination of almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts – helped prevent cognitive decline in adults of all ages. “It appears that the benefit of nut intake on cognition is more noticeable in individuals at higher risk of cognitive impairment,” the authors noted.
“[The] benefits of nut intake may be explained by their unique nutrition profile and bioactive compounds, such as the high content of unsaturated fatty acids that can influence glucose control; high concentration of [polyunsaturated fatty acids] that have anti-inflammatory and vasculoprotective effects; and a high concentration of phytochemicals and micronutrients, which may reduce inflammation [and] oxidative stress.
Tree nuts support heart health
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that nuts and their bioactive constituents elicit cardioprotective effects. “Of the tree nuts, walnuts are unique because they are a rich source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA),” the study authors wrote. ALA is one of the three forms of omega-3, and is mainly found in plant sources.
The findings of the study were backed by the results of a random clinical trial less than five years later. A study published in Circulation revealed that a walnut diet helped reverse endothelial dysfunction – the narrowing of the blood vessels – in those with high cholesterol levels. Furthermore, the walnut diet decreased total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins, the latter otherwise known as the “bad” cholesterol.
Visit Superfoods.news for more stories about the health benefits of tree nuts.
Watch this video that shares the healthiest nuts that will nourish the body.
This video is from the Dr. Edward Group channel at Brighteon.com.