Snacking on a handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil, and macadamia nuts) and seeds (chia, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, and flax seeds) daily may well be the perfect addition to one's diet for staving off diseases. These tiny packages are loaded with energy and nutrition; help suppress the appetite, beat flab and also keeps your heart healthy!
Nuts and seeds should play an important role in everyone’s diet (unless of course you have some kind of an allergy) because they are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, good fats, protein and fiber. They are quick, fun and easy to eat. They are great for healthy snacking – especially while traveling because they are super easy to store and keep very well.
To keep nuts and seeds fresh at home, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator or freeze. It’s best to stick with organic raw nuts and seeds because they are not genetically modified, not irradiated, pasteurized, or coated in sugar or other flavorings.
If you really want to level up your health you can even sprout your nuts and seeds by soaking them overnight. Sprouting helps to release essential vitamins and minerals and make them more bioavailable (absorbable)
But just like anything, you can overdo a good thing so limit your daily nut and seed intake to a few servings (small handful) per day. I personally like to put them over a big green salad to add some extra protein, good fats and fiber to keep me full.
Below are the top healthy nuts and seeds you should eat.
Healthy Seeds To Add To Your Diet
1. Chia Seeds
They are rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium and zinc. A interesting fact about chia seeds is that Aztec warriors used to eat them during battle to sustain high energy and endurance.
2. Flax Seeds
Super high in omega-3 (good fats) and are the #1 source of lignans, cancer fighting antioxidants. Flax seeds are also high in fiber, vitamins B1 and B6 and contain a fair amount of essential minerals.
3. Hemp Seeds
High in omega fats (good fat), fiber and is a complete protein, meaning it contain all 9 essential amino acids which is unique in plant-based food. They are great for improving digestion and metabolism because they are high in soluble and insoluble fiber that will keep you regular and are known as a natural appetite suppressant
4. Sunflower Seeds
It helps prevent heart disease and cancer because they contain phytochemicals, folate, vitamin E, selenium and copper. They also support thyroid function because they are a excellent source of the mineral selenium.
5. Pumpkin Seeds
They are excellent for your immune system because of their high antioxidants profile (carotenoids), contain omega-3 fatty acids and the mineral zinc.
Healthy Nuts To Add To Your Diet
It contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, selenium and fiber. They can lower cholesterol, helping prevent the #1 killer heart disease and can even help prevent cancer. They also contain monounsaturated fatty acids and many cancer fighting antioxidants. Being high in fiber and good fats they can help aid in weight loss by curbing unhealthy snacking and hunger.
It is known as the brain nut, they can help both your cognitive function as well as your heart and mood. Walnuts contain very high amounts of omega 3 fats which help support mood, brain health, and overall heart health. Walnuts are also high in ellagic acid a cancer-fighting antioxidant.
3. Brazil Nuts
Contain the highest amount of selenium than any other food source on the planet. Selenium is important because it plays a crucial role in many body functions and is hard to get enough of in our 21st century diets. They are also high in protein, fiber, and the minerals thiamine, copper and magnesium.
Rich in the minerals copper, magnesium, zinc, iron and biotin. They contain a high concentration of oleic acid, which is good for your heart and tryptophan, which plays a role in mental health and mood.
5. Macadamia Nuts
Raw macadamia nuts contain high amounts of vitamin B1, vitamin A, magnesium, iron and manganese. They are rich in protein, healthy fats and antioxidants. They also contain the monounsaturated fat oleic acid, which has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease.
As you can see nuts and seeds should play a part in everyone’s daily diet and including them can be fun and easy. You can eat them straight out of the bag, toss them into a smoothie, or on top of oatmeal or a salad. Nuts and seeds are my go to healthy in between meal snacks because they are delicious, nutritious and filling.