A fist full of nuts for good health

Ms. Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur

Mornings can usually make or break our day, isn’t it? How our mornings unfold tend to affect our entire rest of the day, hence it’s important to start your mornings fresh, happy and healthy to have a good day. We have heard so many times the importance of starting the day healthy with a good meal for breakfast. However, some of us don’t just feel like having a heavy meal the first thing in the morning and many of us are running with our hectic schedule and do not have the time for that sumptuous breakfast.

To cater to this, many health experts advise on having warm water and a fist full of nuts is an amazing way to start your day. This boosts up our body and allows it function in the right way for the rest of the day.

The advantage with almonds and walnut is, when consumed on empty stomach it will not only give us protein but also helps to improve HDL levels.

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While the advantages with Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios – consumed on empty stomach they increase the PH level of the stomach and few may have allergic reaction. But this has good antioxidants, protein and vitamins. So better to consume in mid-morning or as evening snacks.

Keeping aside the fact that nuts are tasty and nutritious here are few more reasons why nuts are a great way to start your day:

  • Nuts are filling, and even though they are high in calories they still help in preventing weight gain when consumed empty stomach, early in the morning.
  • Nuts are also very high in magnesium, potassium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
  • They are also known to have many types of macronutrients like iron, vitamins, minerals, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, unsaturated fatty acids and many other micronutrients such as copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Hence, they are also called power generating foods.
  • Studies have also shown that some of the highest antioxidant levels of all plant foods are found in nuts. Antioxidants are very important to fights inflammation as well as to avoid cell and tissue damage.
  • Nuts are also high in beneficial fiber which helps you in feeling full and hence reduces your calorie intake.
  • Nuts are also rich in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Nuts are also known to have a remarkable impact on cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Nuts have even been studied to reduce heart disease risk, insulin resistance, cancer, and inflammation.
  • They also improve blood-sugar control, hence also reduced the risk of diabetes.
  • Soaked almonds are full of necessary vitamins and minerals. When almonds are soaked, their nutrient value enhances.

Nuts are, therefore, not just tasty but also very beneficial and convenient. You can eat them irrespective of your diet. However, since nuts are also high in fats, they are best consumed in the morning. If you have nuts at any other time of the day, it is advised to have them at different intervals.

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