Many people tend to snack throughout the day, although many people turn to unhealthy snacks out of convenience. Nuts make excellent snacks as they’re easy to pack in and are pretty delicious. Nuts as a whole are excellent sources of good fat, fibre and protein, but there are nuts that are healthier to snack on than others – read our list below:
Almonds are ideal for improving cholesterol levels and may also aid weight loss. They’re also known to lower the rise in blood sugar that takes place after a meal, as well as supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, including bifid bacteria and lactobacillus.
Pistachios are little green nuts that may help reduce cholesterol levels as well as improving heart disease risks including blood pressure, weight and oxidative status.
Walnuts contain the most amounts of antioxidants of any nuts, and are incredibly high in the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) (30) which helps form structures of cell membranes. Walnuts also help reduce inflammation which can contribute too many chronic diseases. Snacking on walnuts can also improve heart health factors including blood pressure and the circulatory system.
Cashews are one of the lowest-calorie nuts to enjoy and some studies have shown that they may help improve symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Eating cashews as snack to compliment your main lunch meal can also increase the antioxidant potential of the foods. Cashews are also incredibly high in iron, zinc and magnesium which will oxygenate your blood, build your immune system and improve memory respectively.
Brazil nuts are good for snacking on as they’re a great source of selenium which can help prevent cancer. About 28grams of Brazil nuts per day will give you your daily recommended amount of selenium, so stick to about 5grams – too much selenium can be toxic.
Technically, peanuts are in fact legumes but they are considered a nut as they have similar nutrient profiles and health benefits. Peanuts are great to snack on throughout the day as they’re high in folate which is essential for brain development. This can help concentration during the day. Peanuts are also high in other healthy fats and Vitamin E.
Nuts in general are great to snack on but make sure you purchase them from a reputable store and they aren’t too processed and have no added ingredients. If you’re looking for something sweet then opt for lightly candied nuts, and if you’re craving salt then choose salted peanuts so that you’re at least getting a good variety of minerals at the same time.