Nuts and seeds, although calorie-dense, are great snack-options for dieters. This is because they satisfy the appetite and offer useful amounts of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber – all of which help to maintain an efficient metabolism and overall good health. Don’t forget, a healthy body loses weight faster!
Nutritional Value of Nuts
Nuts (eg. Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, peanuts, pistachio nuts, walnuts), are an excellent source of vitamin E, an important antioxidant, and B-complex vitamins thiamin (B1) and niacin (B3). Note however, that vitamins E and B1 are destroyed when nuts are roasted. So for optimum health and nutritional benefit, nuts are best eaten unsalted and non-roasted.
Fat Content of Nuts
Although nuts have a high dietary-fat content, this fat is largely monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. In addition, studies show that walnuts – when used in place of saturated fat – may actually lower cholesterol levels, due to their content of linoleic acid. Walnuts, peanuts and hazelnuts in particular are good sources of essential fatty acids.
Anti-Cancer Nutrients in Nuts
Brazil nuts are a convenient source of selenium – an anti-cancer mineral, which works in conjunction with vitamin E.
Nutritional Content of Seeds
Seeds (eg. flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, safflower seeds, sunflower seeds) are extremely nutritious. Typically they are rich in B vitamins (except B12), vitamin E and some vitamin A. Seeds are also rich sources of vitamins and dietary fiber. Flaxseeds (linseeds) are also rich in omega-3 essential fatty acid. For optimum health and nutritional value, seeds are best eaten unsalted and non-roasted.
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