Homeopathy Cheshire

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The Power of Nuts

The health benefits of eating nuts is huge, yet they are often considered an unhealthy food as they are high in fat.  Although they do indeed contain fat, the fat found in nuts is unsaturated fat which is 'good' fat and is required for overall good health.


So what nuts should we be eating, how much is enough to provide health benefits and what health benefits do nuts actually give us?

So what we are saying is yes, nuts are high in fats and can be fairly high in calories, however the amazing health benefits that nuts give means they should be eaten, but just in small amounts. Different nuts have different nutritional credentials, each offering their own specific health benefits. All nuts however contain good sources of fibre and protein as well as being packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals essential for optimum health. As nuts make great snacks and are easy to eat on the go, we should ideally be aiming to eat about a 30g serving daily to reap the benefits.

Almonds are a good source of Vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it helps protect us against free radicals which are compounds which damage cell structure. So the high content of vitamin E found in almonds helps improve immunity, protects us against environmental toxins, helps neurological function protecting against things like Alzheimer's and also helps lower cholesterol too. As vitamin E is also a blood thinner, its consumption also helps protect against coronary heart disease. For those people wanting to lose weight, studies also show that a small daily intake (a handful) of almonds can aid weight loss better than just a low calorie diet.

Cashew nuts, like other forms of nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats which are shown to have excellent heart protective benefits. They are also high in the vitamins B1, B5 and B6 which apart from beneficial for metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates are also very good for regulating mood. Just like almonds they have also been shown to help lower cholesterol due to their high content of soluble fibre.

Walnuts are very rich in essential omega 3 fatty acids which is shown to have a variety of health benefits including reducing the risk of certain cancers, protecting against cardiovascular disease, improving depression and low mood symptoms and helping lower cholesterol levels by increasing HDL (the 'good cholesterol'). Eating just 25g of walnuts a day provides you with 90% of your omega-3 fatty acids recommended daily intake. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3, consuming walnuts has also been shown to help lower blood pressure, reduce stroke risk and prevent coronary artery disease. Research has shown that walnuts also contain the highest amount of popyphenolic antioxidants of all nuts and therefore have the biggest capacity of all nuts to guard against free radicals.

Brazil nuts contain high levels of selenium which is an essential mineral that has been shown to improve immunity against bacterial and viral infections, herpes virus and some cancer cells. It is also essential for thyroid function as it regulates the hormone needed for correct thyroid functioning so anyone suffering from underactive thyroid could benefit from consuming 3-4 brazil nuts daily. As brazil nuts are high in calories they are a good energy provider so useful during that mid-day energy slump.

In terms of weight loss, a study published in Obesity Journal (2003) showed that participants who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight compared to people who rarely or never ate nuts. We also know by research published in the Nutrition Journal (2011) that eating just 13g of nuts daily could cut your risk of a heart attack by 30% due to the high content of Omega-3 fatty acids. So don't think of nuts as the enemy due to their calorie content, think of them as essential daily additions to your diet!