Over the years, we’ve likely all heard conflicting things about nuts. Some years we were told they were bad for us, and other times they were good. In recent years, however, the research has finally made it clear that there are a variety of health benefits to most types of nuts.
Whether you are eating a handful of peanuts for a morning snack or adding cashews to your stir fry, each kind of nut yields different health benefits. Let’s take a look at what researchers say are five of the best nuts for brain and body.
Nuts for a Healthier Brain and Body
Generally speaking, nuts share many of the same health benefits. Most are nutrient-dense and can provide you with a boost in energy when you need it most. They also tend to be high in heart-healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
If you want to break it down further, here are specific reasons to make these nuts a part of your diet:
- Walnuts: These popular nuts contain strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. Each of these are believed to play a role in protecting the brain against cognitive decline.
- Macadamia nuts: Because these nuts are high in fat, they’ve gotten a bad rap in terms of health. The truth is, an estimated 80% of the fat in macadamia nuts is monosaturated. That’s the healthy kind linked to lower cholesterol and better heart health.
- Pistachios: The sweet taste of this nut makes it among the most popular. With 6 grams of protein, as well as being high in fiber and healthy fats it’s also good for you.
- Cashews: Rich in magnesium, cashews can help promote muscle relaxation, nerve function, and iron. They may also help stabilize blood pressure and manage cholesterol.
- Pecans: This is another one that has earned an undeserved bad reputation in some circles. Often, it’s because they are part of sugary desserts and casseroles. But research shows, pecans are high in antioxidants which can help prevent chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
Though technically a legume, peanuts also deserve a mention here. too. They are high in magnesium, protein, fiber, and good fats. All of these contribute to better cholesterol and a healthier heart.
Here are a few simple ways to work more nuts into your diet:
- Add them to salads or morning yogurt
- Grab a handful for a mid-day snack
- Chop and sprinkle over chicken or fish
- Add them to a stir-fry or pasta
- Use to make butter or nut milk
Healthy Eating at Sunrise
At Sunrise communities, our in-house chefs and culinary teams are committed to offering menu options that are nutritious and delicious. Our Tableside Dining technology makes it easier for team members to accommodate your special needs and preferences. That even includes knowing what your food allergies are so they can be avoided.
We invite you to join us for a meal at the Sunrise nearest you to experience our dining services firsthand. Call today to set up a time!