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The healthiest nuts and seeds you can eat



  healthies-nuts-and-seeds_0.jpg [19659002] Photo: John Lawson, Belhaven / Getty Images

Nutrition experts agree that the more plant-based foods you can include in your diet, the better – including healthier ones Fats through nuts and seeds

Good news: You can not really go wrong, but some nuts and seeds have more nutrients than others.

Most people are pretty good at incorporating nuts into their diet. For the best nut options, choose unsalted raw or roasted varieties. For nut butters look for versions without added oil or sugar. (Here's a complete guide to nut butter.)

On the other side of seeds Not often they get the love they deserve. "For those who want to switch to a more herbal diet, seeds are a great option," notes registered dietician Kristin Koskinen, RDN. L.D., C.D. Seeds contain the embryo of future plants, which means they are endowed with energy and nutrients. "This efficient packaging means they provide a concentrated amount of calories, so if you pick seeds for a snack or add to a smoothie, it's easy to exaggerate, so be sure to measure your portion sizes."

The Healthiest Nuts [1
9659008] 1. Walnuts
They do not seem to be the most exciting nut, but they are a great source of antioxidants (which can help fight free radical damage), says Alix Turoff, RD , CDN, CPT, a registered dietitian and personal trainer. "Walnuts are also significantly higher in omega-3s than in any other nut," she says. The Institute of Medicine has set the appropriate intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) at 1.1 to 1.6 grams per day (for both women and men), which can be met with a single serving of walnuts, she says.

Her favorite method to eat her? "As a topping for Greek yogurt!"

2. Pistachios
"Pistachios are rich in arginine, an amino acid that has been shown to improve blood flow," says Koskinen. "Not only is it good for the heart, it can also be helpful in conditions such as high blood pressure and leg cramps."

Red-colored pistachios are usually no longer a "thing", but if you have to decide, opt for the one in a natural-colored bowl. Shelled nuts are also an option, but Koskinen recommends the in-shell version as a careful eating tool. "The process of bombarding your own is a built-in scavenging tool that slows down the feeding process, making pistachios a great snack, a salad pot or a salmon crust."

3. Peanuts
"For a good reason, peanuts are one of the most popular nuts today," says Zigler. (Although technically, yes, they are legumes.) "They are an excellent source of niacin and manganese and a good source of vitamin E, fiber, phosphorus, copper, folate, and magnesium," she says.

Zigler personally selects peanut butter in powder form because it contains less calories and fat. "I like mixing it into my smoothies for a great taste of peanut butter!"

4. Almonds
"A serving of 23 almonds has about 160 calories with 6 grams of protein and over 3 grams of fiber," says registered dietitian Stacey Mattinson, RDN

. They are a great alternative to peanuts for allergy sufferers and they pack 12 vitamins and minerals. "These include phosphorus, copper, riboflavin, vitamin E, magnesium and manganese," says Mattinson. "I like to eat roasted, unsalted almonds (I take them from the crowd!) Even when I'm on the go, or paired with fruit when I'm home."

5. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are the most concentrated source of selenium, an essential mineral, says Koskinen. "Selenium is essential for thyroid function, the immune system and reproductive health, so eating only one or two a day can increase selenium levels."

However, it is a good idea to eat them only in moderation: "They are so rich sources of selenium that it is possible to exaggerate things and lead to symptoms of overdose, such as diarrhea, brittle nails or hair loss," she adds.

The Healthiest Seeds

1. Sesame Seeds
"Sesame seeds are an excellent source of calcium and magnesium and are also a good source of iron, zinc and omega-6 fatty acids," says registered dietitian Brooke Zigler, R.D. N., L.D. If you want to eat them whole, it is recommended to sprinkle them with pastries, vegetables and salads.

"Sesame can also be consumed in oil form and is a great complement to many recipes, including a base for salad dressings and frying the vegetables in a pan and turning them into Tahini, a form of seed butter." (By the way, look at them brilliant Tahini tricks of which you have never heard of.)

2. Quinoa
Yes, quinoa is a seed. "Quinoa can boast of being one of the few plant foods that is a complete protein and contains all the essential amino acids, and the high ratio of protein to carbohydrates in quinoa makes it feel longer," says Koskinen. In addition, quinoa has a glycemic index of about 53, which means that there are no dramatic spikes in blood sugar levels.

"Quinoa is easy to prepare and very versatile.It can be served boiled or sprouted broth or stock gives your quinoa extra flavor and nutrients, but can also be prepared with water: Serve as a side dish, mixed with vegetables for a hearty Salad or with your favorite milk and spices like cinnamon or nutmeg for a simple breakfast. "

3. Flax Seed Whether you use it as an egg substitute in baked goods or sprinkle over your oatmeal, flaxseed is a great way to do more Dietary fiber and ALA-omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, says Zigler. "Fiber helps slow digestion, providing stable blood sugar levels and sustained energy for hours, and flaxseed can also help lower LDL cholesterol, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease."

It is important to remember, however, that flax seed must be ground (ground) before consumption to take full advantage of flaxseed. Whole flaxseed can run through your body undigested, meaning that you can do without the nutritional benefits. "(Need more ideas? Here are 10 delicious ways to eat flaxseed.)

4. Chia Seeds
" Chia seeds are high in protein and fiber and contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. " says Turoff. " Because they contain so much soluble fiber, they can absorb 10 to 12 times their weight in water, allowing them to form a gel-like texture and expand in the stomach. This can slow down food intake and lead to a feeling of fullness. (No wonder you feel so full after the chia pudding.)

5. Cucumber Seed
When you think of the healthiest nuts and seeds you probably do not think about … cucumbers Turns out these small seeds in a cucumber have a lot of health benefits.

"Cucumber seeds contain a variety of health-promoting nutrients, including carotenoids and flavonoids," says Koskinen. "You do not have to go to a specialty food store Look for cucumber seeds – just eat those that are conveniently packaged in this cool fruit. Cucumbers are great, served in slices, as part of a Greek salad or fermented into pickles. "(Similar: How to Pick Vegetables and Fruits – and Fruit! – In 3 Easy Steps)


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