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Go nuts for nutrition

Last Updated: 18 January 2019








Go nuts for nutrition

Nuts are a controversial food due to their high fat content. However, they contain the ‘good fats’ studies over the past decade have shown that eating nuts can protect us against heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.


Eat them raw (not roasted or salted) and ideally go for organic. They are also a brilliant, filling snack to keep in your bag / on your desk. Crunch through our healthy top five:



Of all the nuts. these contain the most antioxidants, which help protect against the cell damage associated with heart disease, cancer and premature ageing. They help condition skin and bones and are thought to improve the brain’s cognitive (thinking) functioning. Walnuts are also the richest nut in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and they’re high in polyunsaturated fat which may guard against type 2 diabetes..


Serving: 1oz/approx 12 walnut halves = 190 calories, 18 g fat



These nuts come top of the list for fibre content (approx 3 g per 1 oz) and are thought to play a role in preventing colon cancer. They may also raise levels of good, immune system-enhancing bacteria in the gut and can help lower (bad) LDL blood cholesterol levels. They are high in antioxidants including vitamin E and selenium and high in bone-strengthening calcium.


Serving: 1oz/approx 20 nuts = 160 calories, 14 g fat


Brazil nuts

High in fibre, vitamin E and magnesium, just one Brazil nut exceeds the recommended daily amount of the mineral selenium, which may play a role in preventing bone, prostate and breast cancer among others. Very high levels of selenium can be harmful so keep to a maximum of one serving per day.


Serving: 1oz/approx 5 nuts = 185 calories, 18 g fat



Each nut contains fewer than four calories and snapping them from theirshells automatically slows the snacking. Pistachios are rich in the antioxidant gamma-tocopherol, a form of cancer-fighting vitamin E, and they’re packed with potassium, a mineral essential for a healthy nervous system and muscles. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, which can lift mood and fortify the immune system.


Serving: 1oz/approx 50 nuts = 160 calories, 14 g fat.



This all-around healthy little kernel is notable for its high levels of monounsaturated fats (good for the cardiovascular system) and rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, which may help prevent cataracts, maintain healthy skin and cut the risk of dementia.


Serving: 1oz/approx = 180 calories, 17g fat


Written by Ruth Tongue
(MSc Nutrition)

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