Are Mixed Nuts Healthy For You?
Hale Groves is known for the quality of our fruit – and that includes our nuts and dried fruits!
Did you know that nuts are actually fruits? It’s true – nuts are considered to be dry, single-seed fruits with protective husks. No matter how you define them, though, nuts are always a tempting and tasty snack. But are they a healthy one?
Are nuts good for you?
If you keep an eye on portion sizes and avoid unhealthy additions like salt and sugar, nuts can be a healthy between-meals snack. You need to watch your portion sizes because nuts are high in fat and calories…a serving of nuts (about one ounce, or ¼ cup) is around 170 calories. The fat in nuts tends to be the healthy kind (unsaturated, like polyunsaturated fats in walnuts or monounsaturated in almonds, pistachios, pecans and hazelnuts), which makes them a very satisfying and high-energy snack. So as long as you’re careful to enjoy nuts in moderation, snack away!
Here are some common popular nuts and their health benefits:
- Almonds: Almonds are rich in anti-oxidants and have zero cholesterol. They are known to provide relief from constipation, respiratory issues and heart disorders.
- Brazils: Brazil nuts are high in selenium, a trace mineral that keeps your thyroid healthy and immune system functioning at its best. Higher levels of selenium can help strengthen your immune system and improve your outcomes with various health conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, infections, and infertility.
- Cashews: These nuts are loaded with health benefits and are a rich source of vitamins E and B6, which make them great for hair, skin and teeth.
- Filberts (AKA hazelnuts): Hazelnuts help decrease blood fat levels, lower high blood pressure, reducing inflammation and improving blood sugar levels, which can help fight against Type II Diabetes.
- Walnuts: This shelled nutty delight is extremely nutritious. It is loaded with vital Omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, proteins, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.
- Pecans: Some research suggests that pecans may help improve heart health, brain function, and blood sugar control.
- Pistachios: Pistachios are good for the heart as they help in lowering bad cholesterol level. They also help prevent diabetes and boost immunity.
So there you have it – rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, nuts are definitely a delicious and healthy snack! Be aware, though, that plain nuts are healthiest. Try to avoid dry-roasted, salted, flavored or honey-roasted nuts, which come with extra salt and sometimes sugar. If plain fancy nuts don’t suit you, opt for lightly salted dry fried or toasted varieties. You can even add paprika, cayenne pepper and other spices for a savory flavor or use cinnamon or vanilla extract (the real kind, not imitation) to add sweetness.
Mixing fruit and nuts.
Another way to brighten up the flavor of nuts is to add dried fruit to the mix! Hikers have known the value of trail mix for generations, and no wonder – a blend of healthfully prepared dried fruits and nuts gives a much-needed shot of energy that stays with you on long treks because it combines “good” carbs from the fruit while the nuts give you staying power.
Keep in mind that dried fruits do not replace fresh fruits, which are higher in nutrients, keep you feeling full longer, and add hydration to your diet. But dried fruit in moderation is a sweet snack that adds a nutritious punch, and is a much healthier snack than processed sweets or carbs. Here are some dry fruits and some of the health benefits they provide:
- Apricots: Apricots provide for 47% of your daily vitamin A needs in a single serving, and are a good source of potassium, vitamin E and copper. Vitamin E, like all anti-oxidant vitamins (A and C), is vital in protecting the cells from damage caused by free radicals. Dried apricots are good for the skin, eyes and the immune system.
- Kiwi: Dried kiwi helps treat the symptoms of asthma, aids in digests, boosts the immune system, regulates blood pressure, reduces the risk of forming blood clots and helps prevent vision loss.
- Peaches: Dried peaches are high in potassium and low in sodium, which helps prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. The rich beta-carotene in dried peaches has been linked to reduced rates of cancer. Also, dried peaches are great sources of vitamins C and B, which have been known to boost the immune system, improve brain function and contribute to the development of red blood cells.
- Pears: Dried pears contain fiber, which is essential for your digestive health and can help to prevent constipation. The fiber in dried pears helps lower your LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”), which can reduce your risk of heart diseases. It also helps you to feel full, so a little goes a long way.
- Prunes: Yes, it is true…prunes really do help your digestion by preventing constipation. Eating prunes regularly has also been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, lower your risk of developing colon cancer, and protect you against emphysema.
Mixed nuts gifts.
Gourmet gift boxes containing fancy mixed nuts make a wonderful gift! Sweet and savory, colorful and delicious, a gift of fancy mixed nuts and dried fruits can be a beautiful, impressive, and very welcome alternative to sugary treats and ideal for any occasion. What makes them even better is that they last for a while and can be shared by the whole family!
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Hale Groves of Vero Beach, Florida, offers the best citrus and fruit gifts money can buy. Order some for your friends, family or yourself.Shop Now