They have too many caloriestoo many fat, get fat… They are some of the myths that make us try to keep the nuts out of our reach depriving us, without knowing it, of its advantages. And, although it is true that they contain about 50-70% fat, we must clarify that statement. For starters, because there are fats of different types, as explained by Adriana Oroz, dietitian nutritionist at the Alimmenta Clinic: “There is saturated fat (present in foods such as bacon, butter …) and unsaturated, which we find in blue fish, olive oil or nuts, and that is of excellent quality. ”
Second, because fat “is one of the three main macronutrients, along with the carbohydrates and the protein – says Isabel Bertomeu, dietitian-nutritionist of the Mediterranean Diet Foundation. Is important for our body, since it fulfills structural and metabolic functions. It is fundamental. It provides us with calories and helps the body absorb soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K ”.
In addition, fat is part of metabolic processes important for health, which have to do with neurotransmitters, hormones, the brain, spinal cord, skin or bones. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary and must be present in our daily foodeven if we are following a weight loss diet. Nuts are one of the best ways to take that fat. We review the main arguments that will convince you that it is a great idea to serve them as an aperitif, carry them in your backpack or use them as a snack in the office.
Protect our heart
The fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) that contain the nuts favor the dilation of the blood vessels and the irrigation of the different organs, decrease the platelet aggregation and the formation of thrombi and “help lower LDL cholesterol levels, lower triglycerides and reduce blood clotting, ”says Adriana Oroz.
To all this, Isabel Bertomeu adds: “They are also a excellent source of vitamin E (25 g per 100 g), a powerful antioxidant which helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases" A study published in Circulation determined that, with a dose of 30 g of nuts a day, the rate of cardiac incidents decreased by up to 50%.
Any dried fruit is recommended (if it is consumed toasted, not fried and without salt). All of them share a very similar nutritional composition, however, the dietitian-nutritionist Adriana Oroz highlights the particularities of some of them:
- Walnuts are rich in omega-3 and very suitable for people with cardiovascular problems.
- Almonds stand out for their high content of magnesium and calcium (269 mg per 100 g), ideal for taking care of bone health. They are also generous in vitamin E, which is related to less cognitive impairment.
- Pine nuts are an interesting source of zinc (6.45 g per 100 g), a mineral that promotes proper formation and mineralization of bones and joints.
- Pistachios stand out for their potassium (1,025 mg per 100 g), their vitamin K and their high fiber content. It is one of the best allies against constipation.
They take care of the silhouette
They are rich in fat, protein and fiber, which It helps us get satiated to the next meal and eat less. "There are studies that have observed that eating nuts helps improve the overall quality of the food you eat, because they replace others with empty calories," says Isabel Bertomeu.
According to research published in the European Journal of Nutrition, assimilating the energy they provide forces the digestive system to work hard with the resulting energy expenditure. In addition, when unsaturated fats and vegetable proteins (both present in them) are combined, the energy consumption performed by our body at rest increases, in a process known as diet-induced thermogenesis. Therefore, there is no reason not to take 30-50 g of them a day.
They keep the mood high
In addition to taking care of ourselves inside, and helping us maintain the line, nuts are like little capsules in a good mood. That is due, on the one hand, to its high content in magnesium, a mineral that contributes to the serotonin production, also known as the “happiness hormone”, Which is responsible for regulating mood and controlling stress and anxiety. These fruits are also generous in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that stimulates the production of serotonin. On the other hand, foods rich in omega-3 are related to improvement of depressive and anxiety states. In studies conducted in mice by the Mediterranean Institute of Neurobiology of France, it was observed that in those with limited consumption of omega-3 brain connections were lacking in the pre-limbal profrontal cortex and in the nucleus accumbens, two fundamental regions involved in emotional behavior, motivation and mood disorders