4 Nuts You Should Eat More Of

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Want to know the real health benefits of the 4 kinds of nuts we use in our granolas? We’ve got the lowdown from Emma Haskins (@emh_nutrition), soon-to-be AfN Registered Nutritionist. 

Nut consumption is associated with a huge variety of health benefits, particularly a lower risk of developing coronary heart disease. They have become an important component of a healthy diet and are recommended for consumption due to their cholesterol-lowering effects. Nuts contain high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids [3], and are dense in fibre, protein (25% of the nut) and other nutrients such as folic acid and magnesium. They also have a low saturated fat content, and contain antioxidants, which are essential for protecting the body from oxidative stress – a reaction that occurs naturally in the body and causes damage to cells, which can eventually contribute to cancer development.

Peanuts

Peanuts only contain 14% saturated fat, and are actually classed as legumes. Interestingly because of this, they have the highest protein content of all the nuts. Peanuts contain all 20 essential amino acids that are typically only found in meat products and eggs. Research has shown that adding peanuts or peanut butter to meals can minimise blood sugar spikes (this is good!) Have you tried our Peanut Butter Granola?

Walnuts

Research has found that a diet containing walnuts helps to reduce cholesterol levels compared to a diet without. Walnuts contain plant omega-3, which is beneficial for heart health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts also contain a significant amount of antioxidants, which help to protect cells from oxidative stress and support normal function. Antioxidants are specifically found in the soft outer shell of the walnut itself, so don’t remove it! We use walnuts in our Chocolate Chip Quinoa Granola!

Almonds

Almonds are a relatively rich source of vitamin E, which contains antioxidants. Like walnuts, these antioxidants are found in the soft outer shell and protect cells from oxidative stress. Almonds also contain high levels of calcium, magnesium and potassium, and very little sodium. This combination of minerals is associated with the protection of bones and an overall decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Just like the other nuts, almonds are also linked to lower blood cholesterol, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Have you tried our Coconut Almond Granola?

Pecans

Pecans are also associated with many of the health benefits seen above, but have not been researched so extensively. The research available has found that pecans are associated with a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and may help to protect against severe diabetes. We use pecans in our Cinnamon Sultana Granola!

References:

Fraser G.E., Sabaté J., Beeson W.L, Strahan T.M. A possible protective effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. The Adventist Health Study. Arch. Intern. Med. 1992;152:1416–1424.

Garrido I., Monagas M., Gómez-Cordovés C., Bartolomé B. Polyphenols and antioxidant properties of almond skins: influence of industrial processing. Food. Chem. 2008;73:C106–C115.

Ros E., Mataix J. Fatty acid composition of nuts. Implications for cardiovascular health. Br. J. Nutr. 2006;96:S29–S35. doi: 10.1017/BJN20061861

Salas-Salvadó J., Bulló M., Pérez-Heras A., Ros E. Dietary fibre, nuts and cardiovascular disease. Br. J. Nutr. 2006;96:S45–S51.

Sabaté J., Fraser G.E., Burke K., Knutsen S.F., Bennett H., Lindsted K.D. Effects of walnuts on serum lipid levels and blood pressure in normal men. N. Engl. J. Med. 1993;328:603–607.

Blomhoff R., Carlsen M.H., Frost Andersen L., Jacobs D.R. Jr. Health benefits of nuts, potential role of antioxidants. Br. J. Nutr. 2006;96:S52–S60.

Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, Mann N, Lindeberg S, Watkins BA, O’Keefe JH, Brand-Miller J. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb; 81(2):341-54.

Zhao G, Liu Y, Zhao M, Ren J, Yang B. (2011) Enzymatic hydrolysis and their effects on conformational and functional properties of peanut protein isolate. Food Chem 127(4):1438–1443

Johnston CA, Poston WS, Haddock CK. Weight loss in overweight Mexican American children: a randomized, controlled trail. Pediatrics. 2007;120(6):e1450–e1457. doi: 10.1542/peds.2006-3321.

Kang L, Heng W, Yuan A, Baolin L, Fang H. Resveratrol modulates adipokine expression and improves insulin sensitivity in adipocytes relative to inhibition of inflammatory responses. Biochemie. 2010;92:789–796. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2010.02.024. 

Aune D, Keum N, Giovannucci E, Fadnes LT, Boffetta P, Greenwood DC, Tonstad S, Vatten LJ, Riboli E, Norat T. Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMC Med. 2016 Dec 5; 14(1):207.

Guasch-Ferré M, Liu X, Malik VS, Sun Q, Willett WC, Manson JE, Rexrode KM, Li Y, Hu FB, Bhupathiraju SN. Nut Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017 Nov 14; 70(20):2519-2532.

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