While many shoppers may reach for a jar of peanut or almond butter on the shelves of their favorite grocery store or specialty market, others prefer to enjoy a wide variety of nuts and seeds to add to their morning cereal. Whether people enjoy eating their nuts raw or lightly roasted as between-meal snacks, almonds, pecans, black walnuts, and other types of nuts often find their way into salads and assorted baked goods.
Nuts are also believed to contain important substances that can promote heart health, according to the Mayo Clinic. You may be interested to know that peanuts are actually a legume rather than a nut. While peanuts may be “relatively healthy,” the Mayo Clinic states that almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts are believed to be “quite heart healthy.”
In addition to tasting delicious, it is known that nuts contain protein. As indicated by the Mayo Clinic, just an ounce of the following nuts contain the following amounts of protein:
- Dry-roasted almonds: 14.9 grams of protein
- Dry-roasted hazelnuts: 17.7 grams of protein
- Raw hazelnuts: 17.2 grams of protein
- Dry-roasted macadamia nuts: 21.6 grams of protein
- Raw macadamia nuts: 21.5 grams of protein
- Dry-roasted pecans: 21.1 grams of protein
When someone wants to add more protein to their diets, it’s clear that some nuts are higher in protein than others. Macadamia and pecans contain comparable amounts of protein, for example.
Besides containing protein, research suggests that nuts have other benefits. The Mayo Clinic states that most types of nuts possess the following substances:
- Unsaturated fats
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin E
In addition to heart health, the Mayo Clinic indicates that these substances are believed to provide other health benefits. Unsaturated fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are believed to lower “bad” cholesterol levels.
Fiber-rich diets are often recommended by physicians and nutritionists. In addition to lowering cholesterol, fiber is also believed to assist with preventing Type-2 Diabetes.
Vitamin E may contribute to preventing the development of arterial plaque. This type of plaque can potentially contribute to chest pain, coronary artery disease, and heart attacks.
Pecan benefits include having high levels of anti-oxidants, according to recent studies reported by PubMed.gov. There may, of course, be additional pecan benefits, and it appears that studies will continue to be conducted on the various health properties of this and other nuts. It is important to note, however, that pecan benefits, along with other types of nuts, have appeared to lower the incidence of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease.
Unless someone is allergic to nuts or legumes, such as peanuts, the Mayo Clinic states that they can be part of a hearth-healthy diet. Even though current research hasn’t definitively proved all of the health benefits associated with various nuts yet, they continue to be considered beneficial.
While people will continue to enjoy eating nuts because they taste delicious, it’s good to know that they are also believed to promote heart health and other medical issues. Since there are so many ways that nuts can be enjoyed, it may just inspire more Americans to learn new recipes.