Seeds and nuts are beneficial for overall health and many people quite often add them as a part of their regular diet. They are have some of the most concentrated forms of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and organic acids that we can get in our diet.
The difference between a seed and a nut is that nuts contain are covered by a harder outer shell meant to protect those precious nutrients inside. Usually, nuts require that you crack open the shell to expose the edible seed before consumption. Some nuts however, can still be eaten as a whole, meaning that you consume the shell and the seed all at once.
Common healthy nuts include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, dates, ground nuts, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, and cashews. The most popular seed varieties are hemp seeds, watermelon seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. These are relatively easy to find in most grocery or health food stores.
Seeds and nuts are rich in organic acids, such as amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids. They also have healthy amounts of fiber and minerals, including selenium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and phosphorous. Their additional abundant content of vitamins and protein make them have such a great healthy effect in the body.
If perhaps, you haven’t made seeds and nuts a part of your diet, these 10 health benefits should motivate you enough to do so. Let’s take a closer look at some of the impressive health benefits they have.
- Lower Diabetes Risk
Seeds and nuts are rich in dietary fiber which have great impact on diabetes. They help regulate the levels of insulin and glucose in the body. Dietary fiber regulates the speed of digestion which can prevent the spikes and drops in blood sugar that are so characteristic of diabetes.
- Protect Heart Health
Many seeds and nuts contain large amounts of anino acids, phytochemicals and omega-3 fatty acids, which are the “good” form of cholesterol. Having a good cholesterol balance in your body can significantly reduce inflammation in your body and blood vessels. This lowers your chances of developing atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries and veins) which can greatly increase your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
- Optimize Digestion
Again, the significant level of dietary fiber contained in most seeds and nuts help to stimulate peristaltic motion (the movement of food through your intestine). This improves the efficiency of nutrient absorption of the food you eat. meaning that you get even more nutrients. Some of the seeds and nuts with the most dietary fiber include almonds, pistachios, and pecans.
- Prevent Chronic Diseases
They possess an impressive amount of phytochemicals, phenolic acids, lignans, omega-3s, vitamins and other organic acids that act as antioxidants within the body. Antioxidants eliminate harmful free radicals in the body and prevent oxidative stress and the onset of chronic diseases.
- Protect Against Cancer
Seeds and nuts help prevent the mutation of healthy cells which ensures that all of your body’s systems continue to run smoothly, and will greatly reduce your likelihood of cancer. Many seeds and nuts, such as almonds and sunflower seeds, have shown anti-tumor properties when eaten regularly.
- Lower Anxiety
They can help in reducing anxiety. Some seeds and nuts have the ability to affect the neurotransmitters in our brain and balance the hormones in our body. Cashews, for instance, are excellent sources of tryptophan which can soothe your mind with serotonin, thereby removing stress hormones from your body and regulating your mood.
- Stimulate Growth & Development
Their rich content of amino acids and plant proteins supply what is essential for growth and development. Proteins and amino acids are utilized in the body to create animal proteins that we require for metabolic functions, muscle growth, bone development, and cognitive improvement.
- Boost Cognitive Ability
Seeds and nuts are considered as impressive brain boosters which stimulates brain function and cognition. The Omega-3 fatty acids they contain can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the capillaries and blood vessels of the brain. This improves blood flow within the brain and allows you to concentrate, retain knowledge and recall memory better.
- Strengthen Bones
Phosphorus, calcium, copper, selenium, and zinc are important minerals for bone health and development. Seeds and nuts provide abundant quantities of thse minerals. These minerals will help prevent age-related diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis as you get older. They can also protect the health of your teeth.
- Improve Immunity
Zinc and selenium are the most important immune system boosters which keep your your immune system healthy and strong. Selenium is not found in a huge number of foods, but it is found in many varieties of seeds and nuts. Pumpkin seeds are particularly high in zinc and selenium, as well as omega-3s and other carotenoids, that improve the quality of your body’s first line of defense.