Ultimate Guide to Nuts 🐿 for Girls Curious about What's What ...

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There are some jolly good reasons to include nuts in your diet. Practically every variety packs a nutritional punch to help keep your body beautiful and with a healthy dose of unsaturated fats, they're good for your heart too. They are high in calories so take care with portion sizes but you don’t need many to enjoy their benefits.

1. Almonds

Almonds

1oz serving =

23 nuts

163 calories

14g fat

Almonds are considered to be the most nutrient dense of all nuts and the best for you to snack on. Almonds are the perfect brain food. Rich in vitamin E, they help to prevent cognitive decline and while they may not prompt you to develop a brain the size of a planet, they'll certainly help you retain long-term memory better. They can help with weight loss by reducing body fat, lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol and are a good source of fiber. I should mention they are good sources of the essential minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese.

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2. Brazil Nuts

Brazil Nuts

1oz serving =

7 nuts

207 calories

4g fat

Prized by native Amazonians for centuries, Brazil nuts are brimming with vitamin E, selenium - which helps prevent coronary artery disease, types of cancer and liver cirrhosis - and are free from gluten protein, making them a healthy alternative for people with wheat food allergies and celiac disease. The nut's fat content is fortunately of the good variety, helping to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase HDL or good cholesterol levels in the blood. They are also a fantastic source for B-complex vitamins such as thiamine and have high levels of minerals such as manganese, potassium, magnesium and copper, calcium and iron. Copper helps to stave off anemia and bone weakness, while iron helps to transport oxygen to our brains.

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3. Cashews

Cashews

1oz serving =

18 nuts

163 calories

13g fat

Bursting with magnesium, which helps our hearts to beat in a steady rhythm and enhances our bone health, cashews are a great source of protein for vegetarians. You’ll also get a hit of phosphorus from cashews, which is essential for building bones and teeth. They’re also a good source of iron to keep your skin, hair and nails healthy. I love to include them in Chinese style stir fry dishes.

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4. Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts

1oz serving =

20 nuts

178 calories

17g fat

Consuming just 1.5 ounces per day, that's less than a handful of hazelnuts, can help reduce the risk of blood clotting, cardiovascular disease, urinary tract infections and depression. Providing us with the highest proanthocyanidin content of any tree nut, hazelnuts are also high in copper and manganese. The former is needed for iron absorption and the latter is needed for bone formation.

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4. Macadamia

Macadamia

1oz serving =

11 nuts

204 calories

22g fat

Rich in calories, they are also a rich source of energy, nutrients, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. A mere 100g helping provides our bodies with 23% of our daily recommended dose of dietary fiber - and all without nasty levels of cholesterol, since macadamia don't carry any and are free from gluten. A rich source of monounsaturated fatty oleic acid and palmitoleic acids, these nuts help to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels in the blood. Packed with minerals like magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and manganese, macadamia are also a great source of many important B-complex vitamins our bodies need for metabolic processes.

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5. Pine Nuts

Pine Nuts

1oz serving =

160 nuts

188 calories

19g fat

Pine nuts are a rich source of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Both pine and cedar nuts contain essential fatty acid (omega-6 fat or pinolenic acid) that shows great potential in helping us to curb appetite and lose weight, according to recent research. Pine nuts are also rich in vitamin E, which is instrumental in maintaining the integrity of cell membranes and our skin. Gluten free, pine nuts are a popular ingredient in gluten-free food formulas for people with wheat food allergies. Pine nuts also contain minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, selenium and manganese.

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6. Pistachios

Pistachios

1oz serving =

49 nuts

161 calories

13g fat

Add them to your diet if you want to keep the calorie count down - they contain the lowest calorie count of all nuts. Simply peeling the shell off the nut slows down our speed of eating, helping us to feel full sooner and producing a feeling of satisfaction which each nut we peel. They are high in monounsaturated fats to help keep your heart healthy and copper, magnesium and B vitamins will help your immune health. A good source of fiber and protein, pistachios are a great snack between meals.

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7. Pecans

Pecans

1oz serving =

20 halves

196 calories

20g fat

Pecans have the highest antioxidant content of all nuts, preventing cellular damage when regularly consumed. Those lovely antioxidants just love to do battle with those nasty free radicals. Pecans help keep your arteries clear thanks to the good cholesterol. They are also a good source of protein and fiber and very tasty in pies.

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9. Walnuts

Walnuts

1oz serving =

14 halves

173 calories

17g fat

An excellent choice for looking after your heart, walnuts are one of the very few plants that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help our bodies to lower bad/LDL cholesterol. Walnuts are a good source of protein too, so they make an ideal ingredient in a veggie diet. It is for these reasons that walnuts are often included in lists of superfoods. When you know they also contain vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, selenium and manganese, you can see why.

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10. Peanuts

Peanuts

1oz serving =

28 nuts

166 calories

14g fat

The peanut gets an honorable mention because, well, actually, it's not a nut at all, but belongs to the family of legumes. A tasty ingredient used in Asian cooking, the peanut has more protein content than any other nut. Thanks to its vitamin E, folate, niacin (B3) and a list of minerals, peanuts help maintain healthy skin, hair and muscles. Their potassium content helps with metabolism regulation and because the same mineral aids in water regulation in the body, peanuts are good for cramps.

Has this convinced you to eat more nuts? Which is your favorite? I’m very partial to the creamy buttery macadamia.

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