Nuts often get a bad rap for their fat content, but they're actually considered a healthy food if eaten in moderation. According to MayoClinic.com, "People who eat nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower the LDL, low-density lipoprotein or 'bad' cholesterol level in their blood. High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease."
Nuts also travel well for a healthy on-the-go snack and are relatively inexpensive. Integrate these nuts into your diet for a healthy alternative to high-calorie sugary snacks.
Pecans provide healthy fats and aid in reducing the risk of heart disease. Consider adding pecans to yogurt, fresh salads or cereal. For an inspiring salad idea, try this Fig Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad!
Pine nuts pack a punch with their high vitamin A and lutein content, which are essential nutrients for healthy vision. Add vitamin C with this healthy recipe for Lemon and Pine Nut Hummus.
Walnuts are significantly high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Studies also show that walnut consumption reduced breast cancer risk by one-half in laboratory mice, according to a report in the journal Nutrition and Cancer by Marshall University researchers. View several healthy walnut-inspired recipes with these Good-For-You Walnut Recipes.
Next time you're craving a crunchy snack, throw out those greasy potato chips and snack on some crunchy sweet cashews. Cashews are high in magnesium, which plays an important role in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. A great recipe for a healthy alternative to cheese is this Easy Vegan Cashew Cheese.
According to the Pistachio Health Institute, "Pistachios are an excellent source of copper and manganese, and a good source of phosphorus. They're also an excellent source of vitamin B6, offering 20% of the Daily Value per serving." Add a healthy twist to your next shrimp dish with this quick and easy recipe for Pistachio-crusted Shrimp with Paprika.
Hazelnuts are also a powerhouse of vitamins. According to OregonHazelnut.org, "Hazelnuts rank #1 among tree nuts in folate content." Folate plays a role in reducing the risk of birth defects. Hazelnuts are also high in fiber, helping to keep those hunger cravings under control. Add some crunch to your next salad by tossing it with hazelnuts. A super-healthy salad idea is this Spinach and Pear Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese that is tossed with toasted hazelnuts.
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