Nuts are not only delicious but also pack a nutritional punch, making them ideal winter snacks. To guide you in making healthier choices this season, here are the top seven nuts recommended by experts for their numerous health benefits:

Nutrient-dense nuts such as unsaturated fat, protein, fiber, and others are among the healthiest. According to Nichole Dandrea-Russert, M.S., R.D.N., author of The Vegan Athlete’s Nutrition Handbook, “nut consumption has many health benefits, including weight management, reducing your risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure, supporting the immune system, and improving cognition.” According to sports nutritionist Kelly Jones, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., “I am most excited to see research about the potential benefits of regular nut intake on microbiome health, or gut health.” Nuts are also among the finest foods for reducing inflammation. They are a useful snack for type 2 diabetics because they are high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

1. Almonds:

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  • Rich in vitamin E, magnesium, and healthy fats, almonds are known for promoting heart health and aiding in weight management.

2. Walnuts:

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  • High in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and protein, walnuts support brain health and may reduce inflammation, offering a myriad of health benefits.

3. Pistachios:

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  • Loaded with protein, potassium, and fiber, pistachios can aid in lowering cholesterol levels and improving gut health.

4. Cashews:

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  • Packed with minerals like zinc and iron, cashews contribute to better immune function and bone health while providing a creamy, satisfying taste.

5. Brazil nuts:

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  • Known for their selenium content, brazil nuts support thyroid function and are considered beneficial for immune system health.

6. Pecans:

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  • High in antioxidants and fiber, pecans are believed to aid in reducing inflammation and supporting heart health.

7. Hazelnuts:

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  • Rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, hazelnuts are touted for their role in improving skin health and providing essential nutrients.

“This helps balance the snack so that in addition to fat, protein, and fiber, you’ll get the energy that maintains adequate blood sugar levels along with more volume to enhance feelings of fullness,” suggests Jones when pairing nuts with fresh fruit such as apples, pears, or berries. While moving? Replace it with dried fruit for a portable, shelf-stable snack. Jones suggests pairing a hard-boiled egg with a handful of almonds, vegetables, and hummus for a higher-protein snack.

Including a variety of these nuts in your winter diet can offer a range of health benefits, such as supporting heart health, boosting immunity, and providing essential nutrients vital for overall well-being. Remember, moderation is key, and incorporating these nuts into a balanced diet can contribute to a healthier winter season.

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