We all know that nuts are good for us, and according to two large-scale, long-term studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013, nuts of all kinds are thought to help you live longer. Whilst consumption of nuts will only be one part of many factors playing a role with longevity, they also come with other health benefits too…
If you’re a nut fan, then our resident Nutritionist has answered all of your nutty questions below!
1. What are the top health benefits of nuts?
Nuts are a super healthy snack and provide a wide range of essential nutrients. Consumption has been associated with benefits to cardiovascular health. What’s more, their high fibre content can help to feed our good gut bacteria to help it flourish and grow. Nuts may also have satiating properties due to their rich protein content.
Nuts are a source of plant-based protein, fibre as well as monounsaturated fat and vitamin E which can support heart health. Each type of nut comes with a slightly different nutrient profile, for example, Brazil nuts are a particularly rich source of selenium which is required for thyroid health, whilst walnuts provide essential omega 3 fats which can support brain and cardiovascular health.
2. However, do some people eat too many nuts? Is it possible to binge on too many?
Whilst nuts are a healthy addition to the diet, they are high in calories and therefore it is possible to consume too many. Their high-calorie content is a result of their high-fat content. A good portion size would be around 30g nuts per sitting. It is also important to be mindful of overconsumption of Brazil nuts, this is because they are an extremely rich source of selenium and may cause toxicity at high doses.
3. Which is the healthiest nut?
All nuts are healthy in moderation, however, it is important to be mindful of nuts roasted in additional oils as well as those which are salted. Each type of nut provides a slightly different nutrition profile which means that variety within the diet could be a positive thing. Interestingly, peanuts are not technically a nut but belong to the legume family instead. However, they still have a similar nutrient profile and health benefits as tree nuts.
4. How often should we be eating nuts, and how many is a good portion?
Nuts can be consumed on a daily basis, however, around 30g which equates to roughly 170 calories is a good portion size.
By leading London Nutritionist Lily Soutter BSc (hons) Food & Human Nutrition, Dip NT