Whenever we come across the words ‘dry fruits’ and ‘nuts’, we immediately think of all the nutrition in them. They are no doubt one of the richest sources of good fat, vitamins and minerals. However, one should be careful in the amount of taking it and especially how they are prepared.
Nuts are technically fruits, but unlike fruits they are not much sweet. They are usually inside a shell, which needs to be cracked open to make it edible.
It’s a very popular nut that is laden with vital nutrients. Almonds are quite rich in calcium so if you are avoiding dairy, almonds can give enough of this bone building mineral. Almonds are rich source of vitamins E which is very good nutrient for skin and it improves complexion too. This nut regulates blood pressure and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Almond’s high fibre content helps relieve constipation and fosters weight loss.
These nuts are a rich source of selenium, which is needed to produce active thyroid hormone, heal wounds and supports immunity. 3-4 Brazil nuts replenish your body with required selenium amount for a day. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties because of its ellagic acid and selenium content. The presence of calcium, potassium, magnesium and selenium help maintain a healthy heart.
Cashew nuts have a delicate, sweet, nutty flavour. Cashews are a good source of iron, zinc and magnesium. Magnesium helps improve age related memory loss. Calcium and magnesium in cashews support healthy gums and muscles. It can be easily added to the diet regime for weight loss. Cashews are extremely beneficial for healthy heart because of its high antioxidant content.
Hazelnut is a popular additive to many commercial chocolates and desserts. Hazelnuts have folate, which keep homocysteine in normal levels. High levels of homocysteine have been associated with Parkinson’s and heart problems. It has a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids which increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL). These fats are good in diabetes diet regime too. It’s thiamine, manganese and vitamin E content make it a very vital cancer fighting food.
Peanuts are richest source of biotin, very good source of copper and a good source of protein, vitamin B1, vitamin E, niacin, folate, phosphorus and manganese. It also contains p-coumaric acid, an antioxidant that is believed to reduce the risk of stomach cancer. Just a handful of this little wonder is enough to provide the recommended levels of protein, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
Pine Nuts (Chilghoza)
Rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, pine nuts help to prevent coronary heart diseases and strokes. It is the richest source of manganese. In addition, it contains essential minerals like zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium and selenium. Just an ounce of pine nuts provide 18% of it’s recommended amount. Pine nuts are also outstanding sources of B-complex vitamins. It’s good calcium content helps improve bone health. As pine nuts are appetite suppressant, they are best to be taken if you are trying to lose weight.
It’s rich in antioxidant which are beneficial in fight against cancer. They are a rich source of omega 3 which have powerful benefits for brain and body. Walnuts are also called Brain Foods because of it’s omega-3 fatty acid content, which increases brain activity. Omega-3 along paired with selenium and iodine ensures peak functioning of the brain.
Pistachios, native to Asia, are available all year long. They are rich little wonders with a higher amount of protein than walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and cashews. It’s fat content is also the lowest as compared to other nuts. Pistachio keeps hormone balanced and healthy because of its richness in vitamin B6. It improves metabolism, boosts immune system, relives constipation and aids in cellular growth and wound healing.
Raisins are rich in phosphorus, magnesium, iron and potassium and thus promote blood circulation and formation of new blood. Also, raisins are given to people who are suffering from anaemia and it helps in weight gain too. It’s calcium and boron content is important for bone health. Raisins are excellent in relief from constipation. It has antioxidants like catechins, which prevents cancer from forming.
Seeds are extremely rich in healthy fats and are very nutritious and yield many health benefits.
Flax seeds are gluten free, small, brown seeds, often called linseeds. They are rich in fibre but low in carbohydrates. The high soluble and insoluble fibre content supports fat loss, reduce sugar cravings and improves colon detoxification. It helps in attaining healthy skin, nails and hair. Flax seeds can reduce dry eye syndrome, and improves eczema and acne. The soluble fibre content of flax seeds trap cholesterol and fat in digestive system, hence making it unavailable to be absorbed.
Chia seeds are from mint family. Don’t go on their size, they are extremely potent, packed with high fibre content, antioxidants, protein, omega 3 and even calcium. Studies prove that these tiny wonders stabilise blood sugar, promotes weight loss, keeps heart in fine fettle and besides that omega 3 gives added benefits of fighting depression,Alzheimer’s, dementia, asthma and arthritis etc.
Sesame is ovate, flat, white or brown colored seed. It is rich in oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid, which according to studies is good for heart health. It is loaded with fine quality amino acids that favors growth in children. The presence of rich antioxidants stave off harmful free radicals. It’s an excellent source of B-complex vitamins. This Lilliputian seed is a superior source of iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, magnesium, copper and manganese. These minerals play a pivotal role in red blood cell production, bone mineralization, synthesis of enzymes and hormones and regularity of skeletal and cardiac muscle activities. It can be eaten dry or toasted. Or it can also be mixed into a famous paste called tahini. It is generously sprinkled over baked items, salads and desserts.
Sunflower seeds increase fibre intake. They are richly packed with folate, an important nutrient for women health. It’s loaded with vitamin E, a perfect antioxidant for good skin. Not to forget selenium and copper, which support heart health and hinder cellular damage.
Pumpkin Seeds house zinc for better immune system, magnesium for healthy heart and tryptophan for restful sleep. It’s beneficial for postmenopausal women and prostate health in men. Pumpkin seeds have also anti-diabetic effects and contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E. Pumpkin Seeds are edible seeds in a pumpkin and they are shell free and can be consumed straight away.