Nuts provide benefits to almost all facets of your body. They’re an excellent source of essential nutrients, high in fibre and vitamin B and E, calcium, iron and zinc, and are rich in protein and essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6.
Every cell in your body requires a little Omega 3. Unfortunately, the modern Australian diet is low in Omega 3 oils, so nuts are an easy way to get your fix! Also, the nutritional content of most types of nuts has not been damaged by processing or refining, which makes them better for you than many other foods on the supermarket shelf.
Your heart will also thank you for eating more nuts because they’re rich in the amino acid arginine, which improves blood flow.
For maximum benefit nuts need to be eaten raw, fresh and unsalted.
It is, however, important to remember that nuts are calorie dense and too many of them can cause weight gain. One serving, or about a third of a cup, is a healthy daily dose.
You should also note that peanuts and coconuts are different to most nuts and have different nutritional content from those outlined above. Peanuts contain a mould that can be damaging to the liver if eaten in high doses, so take care not to eat too many. Coconuts are very high in saturated fats (85%) and, unlike most nuts, are a poor source of Omega 3.