Do you love to eat nuts? I sure do, but I never knew the health benefits of nuts until I became a prepper. As a prepper, it is always important to stock up on things full of nutritional value, that you love, and that can keep for a long time. And, nuts are one of the many things I store.
What are Nuts?
We all probably know what a nut looks like, but do we really know what it is? A nut is a seed that you can eat. They are high in fat and calories.
Nuts have a hard, inedible outer shell that needs to be cracked open to release the kernel that’s inside and that we eat. However, you buy most nuts already shelled when you get them from the store.
Here are some of the most common types of nuts you can buy:
Most people will think of peanuts as nuts, but they are actually legumes like beans or peas. They are referred to as nuts due to being similar in characteristic and nutritional value.
7 Health Benefits of Nuts
Did you know that nuts offer you more than just a good source of protein? There are a plethora of health benefits you can get from eating nuts, but I am going to focus on the 7 big ones.
#1 They are Packed with Nutrients
As you may know, nuts are jam-packed with nutrients your body needs. Just one ounce of mixed nuts contains the following nutrients:
- 173 calories
- 5 grams of protein
- 16 grams of fat
- 6 grams of carbs
- 3 grams of fiber
- 12% of your daily vitamin E
- 16% of your daily magnesium
- 13% of your daily phosphorus
- 23% of your daily copper
- 26% of your daily manganese
- 56% of your daily selenium.
Not all nuts have the same nutritional value. Some are higher in different nutrients. Additionally, the carb content is variable depending on what nuts you are eating. For example, hazelnuts only have 2 grams of carbs whereas cashews have 8.
With that being said, nuts are an excellent source of protein for a low-carb diet.
#2 Nuts Have Tons of Antioxidants
You need antioxidants to combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals in your body. In other terms, toxins will wreak havoc without antioxidants. These toxins can cause cell damage.
Eating nuts is just as good for you as drinking grape juice or eating other foods high in antioxidants.
#3 They Help You Lose Weight
Many who have poor health could have better health if they were not overweight. Being overweight can cause many problems, such as heart attacks, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
If you are looking to lose weight, almonds have consistently been proven to reduce weight, according to studies.
Although nuts are considered to be a high-calorie food, they are pretty low in carbs. Carbs tend to contribute to weight gain. Because nuts are high in calories and low in carbs, they help to keep you feeling full longer.
Thus, you eat less. Additionally, protein is a much better source of energy than carbs.
#4 Nuts Lower Cholesterol
Nuts, specifically pistachios, have been shown to lower triglycerides in people who are overweight or have diabetes.
Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood. You need cholesterol to make vitamin D, hormones, and to help digest some foods.
However, like all things, too much of a good thing isn’t good at all. High levels of cholesterol can increase your chance of heart disease and stroke.
Nuts work at lowering cholesterol due to their high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are good cholesterol that help get rid of bad cholesterol.
#5 Nuts are Beneficial for Those with Type 2 Diabetes
Because nuts are low in carbs, they don’t raise blood sugar very much. This means that those who have type 2 diabetes can eat them without worrying that their blood sugar will spike to insane amounts.
#6 They are High in Fiber
Nuts are high in fiber, and fiber has a plethora of its own health benefits. Your body doesn’t digest fiber, but the bacteria in your colon will.
Fiber is great for gut health. The gut bacteria ferment the fiber and turn it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids have powerful benefits, such as improving gut health, reducing your risk of diabetes, and preventing obesity.
Additionally, fiber helps you to feel full, thus making you eat fewer calories throughout the day. In fact, one study states that eating 18-36 grams of fiber daily can reduce your calorie intake by 130 calories.
#7 Reduces Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke
Let’s face it, nuts are good for your heart. Because they help with weight loss and lower cholesterol levels, they reduce your chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
Too much bad cholesterol and obesity are the number one contributor’s to heart attacks and stroke. So, instead of grabbing those potato chips, open some nuts.
Top 5 Nuts to Eat for Better Health
The health benefits of nuts far exceed the fact that they are high in calorie intake. However, as stated above, not all nuts have the same nutritional value.
Some nuts are actually healthier for you than others. Here are my top 5 picks:
Related: Quick and Healthy Spicy Nuts Recipe
Almonds combat cholesterol. One serving of almonds offers you the following nutrients:
- 161 Calories
- 14 grams of Fat
- 6 grams of Protein
- 6 Carbs
- 3.5 grams of Fiber
- 37% of your daily Vitamin E
- 19% of your daily Magnesium
Pistachios are used for their fiber. One serving offers the following nutrients:
- 156 Calories
- 12.5 grams of Fat
- 6 grams of Protein
- 8 Carbs
- 3 grams of Fiber
- 3% of daily Vitamin E
- 8% of daily Magnesium
Walnuts are popular for their omega 3 fatty acids. One serving offers you the following nutritional benefits:
- 182 Calories
- 18 grams of Fat
- 4 grams of Protein
- 4 Carbs
- 2 grams of Fiber
- 1% of your daily value of Vitamin E
- 11% of your daily Magnesium
Cashews have a lot of nutritional benefits, including lowering blood pressure. Here is what 1 serving offers you:
- 155 Calories
- 12 grams of Fat
- 5 grams of Protein
- 9 Carbs
- 1 gram of Fiber
- 1% of your daily Vitamin E
- 20% of your daily Magnesium
Pecans make great dessert foods, but they also provide a lot of nutrition. One serving offers you the following nutritional benefits:
- 193 Calories
- 20 grams of Fat
- 3 grams of Protein
- 4 Carbs
- 2.5 grams of Fiber
- 2% of daily Vitamin E
- 8% of daily Magnesium
How to Store Nuts
Nuts are great to have in your pantry. The problem is that they have a limited shelf life. This is because nuts contain high amounts of oil that come from unsaturated fats.
Unsaturated fats are very delicate when they are exposed to heat, light, and oxygen. When exposed to these things, they can decompose and turn rancid making the nuts have a harsh and bitter taste.
Airtight containers are your first step, but you need to also put them in a cool dark spot. However, they will only last in a pantry for a few months. If you want your nuts to last longer, you need to keep those babies cold!
If you store them in the refrigerator, they can last up to six months. However, if you store them in the freezer, they can last up to 1-year! Right or wrong, I have stored them up to two years and I still used them from the freezer.
Final Word On Health Benefits of Nuts
Because nuts offer so many health benefits and can easily store, I would recommend stocking your pantry with nuts. They are a great source of nutrition when SHTF.
You can easily eat them without cooking and get many of your daily nutritional values.
Which nuts do you prefer? Share your opinion in the comments below! Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Almonds AdobeStock_294396762 by Looker_Studio, Pistachio AdobeStock_243773554 by New Africa, Walnuts AdobeStock_81173483 by Igorop17, Cashews AdobeStock_235478641 by Alexander, Pecans AdobeStock_102825917 by Gresei, Nuts Depositphotos_55254419_s-2019