Mixed Nuts: The Best Snack On-The-Go
There are a variety of snacks you can choose from, but mixed nuts are one of your best choices. Why? They are not messy, they’re easy to take on-the-go, and they have plenty of health benefits. Plus, they provide more than a single type of nut - you’re getting a variety, so it won’t get boring. Try to opt for a homemade nut mixture instead of the pre-made trail mixes because they are packed with a lot of salt. They are super simple to make - just buy some of your favorite nuts, grab a sandwich bag and mix them up. To spice things up you can add some yogurt chips or dried fruits. Here are 4 benefits that come with mixed nuts:
1. Lowers Cholesterol
Lowering cholesterol is good for your heart. The good cholesterol is called high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and the bad cholesterol is low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Higher levels of HDLs helps get rid of LDLs from your body. Nuts are also high in omega-3s and unsaturated fats, which are good for the heart. Almonds have been shown to prevent LDLs from oxidizing in cholesterol.
2. Helps with Digestion
Nuts are rich in fiber and help with maintaining a balance in your gut by increasing the good intestinal bacteria. Another source that helps with digestion is magnesium. The recommended intake is 25g of fiber/day and around 400 mg/day of magnesium. Consuming 1 oz of chia seeds will give you 10g of fiber and 95mg of magnesium. 1 oz of almonds gives you 4g of fiber and 80mg of magnesium.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Nuts are high in polyphenol antioxidants to prevent any oxidation. Antioxidants help with the skin, vision, and brain. Vitamin E contains lots of antioxidant properties and the recommended daily intake is 15mg/day. Walnuts and almonds are rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids which manage inflammation. 1 oz of almonds contain 7.3 mg of vitamin E and 3.5oz of walnuts contain 28mg of vitamin E. Surprisingly, 1 oz of sunflower seeds contains 10mg of vitamin E which accounts for more than half of the recommended daily intake.
4. Provides Protein
Helps build strong bones and muscles to improve overall health and fitness. Nuts are also a great alternative from meat sources for protein which can help reduce the amount of saturated fats consumed. Having ¼ cup of pistachio gives 6 grams of protein, which is equivalent to one egg.
Remember that eating too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing . Nuts are calorie-dense and eating too many can exceed your daily calorie target. They are also high in healthy fats, but over-consuming can lead to digestive issues such as bloating or cramping.
Mix up the nuts, switch out ones you feel you eat too much with new ones in moderation, and enjoy your snack. Also, enjoy the health benefits that come with your new snack such as keeping it heart healthy, helping with digestion, reducing inflammation, and building protein.
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Written by: Viviana Yon, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern
4. Mayo Clinic