Almonds, Cashews, and Brazil Nuts – Why These Nuts Are So Good For You
Are you looking for a great tasting snack that's good for you? With so many snack food choices available, it's easy to overlook natural choices that have been around forever, like gourmet nuts. Let's take a closer look at three varieties of nuts and learn why they're so good for you …
Why Nuts Are A Great Snacking Choice
If you walk through the snack food aisle of any grocery store, you will find literally hundreds of choices. Chips, candy, crackers, flavored this, spicy that, the list goes on and on.
The problem with most snack foods is they are processed foods. That means artificial ingredients have been added, like coloring or sweeteners. They might taste good, but are they a healthy choice? In most cases, the answer is no.
Nuts on the other hand are a natural product. They are a product of trees or plants, and by the time they have reached the grocery shelf, they've had little processing except roasting and salting. Yes, there are nuts that are candy coated or with flavor additives. But for the purpose of this discussion, let's consider nuts that are more or less in their natural state, plus lightly roasted and salted.
Almonds are about the best choice you can make. First of all, they are high in monosaturated fat (the good fat) which is important for blood circulation and heart health.
They are very rich in protein and fiber, making them an ideal snack after a workout. Further, they have high amounts of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin E, all of which are important for overall health. Vitamin E in particular is known to fight certain types of cancer.
There is a reason why cashews are often picked first from a jar of mixed nuts. They taste great! But great taste is not all the cashew has going for it.
Did you know cashews have just about the lowest fat content of any nut? Most of the fat they do contain is monosaturated, and they are high in fiber and protein.
Interestingly, cashews are a great source of copper, an important mineral in our diets. Copper helps protect bones, blood vessels, and promotes healthy energy levels.
Brazil nuts are the largest nut in size. They have a rich, slightly sweet flavor, similar to a macadamia nut. From a health standpoint, these nuts are high in selenium, an antioxidant that fights certain cancers, particularly prostate and breast cancer.
And in addition to protein and fiber, Brazil nuts are high in zinc and iron, both of which are important for digestion.
Just about any type of gourmet nut is a healthy snacking choice, but certain varieties own special health promoting qualities. Almonds, cashews, and Brazil nuts are all rich in various vitamins, anti-oxidants, protein, and fiber.
So the next time you're pondering a healthy snack, choose gourmet nuts. They are not only taste good, but they're good for you!