Any celeb diet worth it’s salt includes plenty of nuts (no, not the celebs, the food!). I’m also talking about the health benefits of nuts and how important they are in our diet. They support our appearance by keeping nails, skin and hair looking the picture of health and vitality.
First thing to note, when I talk about nuts I’m referring to the unsalted, unroasted kind and include all varieties excluding peanuts. Peanuts are not technically classified as a nut as they are a legume as they grow underground and they also contain fats which are not so beneficial to health. All other nuts: almonds, brazil, hazel, pecans, macadamia, pistachio, cashew and walnut are fantastic.
The big misconception about nuts is that they are fattening. Well the fact is that due to them containing so many wonderful nutrients that our body craves that they do in fact increase our metabolism helping support the burning of stored fat within our body. They are a great source of protein which is why they are supportive to diseases like cardio vascular and diabetes as they support the balance of our blood sugar within the body. Eaten alongside a complex carbohydrate they support blood sugar management and also contain a specific amino acid that relaxes blood vessels hence supporting the heart. For those with cholesterol issues nuts support the ratio of good to bad cholesterol.
So how do help us maintain fabulous skin, hair and nails? Well specifically they contain:- Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that can enter the skin with ease, allowing it to repair and do its essential work. However, be careful! This delicate nutrient can be damaged easily and should therefore be taken alongside vitamin C which can regenerate vitamin E if required. So eating nuts alongside fruits at snack time will allow this process to happen naturally.
Nuts are high in essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper and calcium all of which are required in cell repair hence will impact our skin, hair and nails – almonds specifically are a wonderful source of these nutrients.
Walnuts are a great source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, hence are supportive to our heart. However these oils are anti-inflammatory so with anyone with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis they really help in managing symptoms.
Nuts are readily available in all supermarkets and often the best ones to buy are the mixed bag of unsalted and unroasted kind hence allowing you to get the nutritional benefits from lots of different nuts. Personally often the best way to use them is as a snack alongside fruits and vegetables and sprinkled in salads, yogurts, porridge or breakfast cereals.
Go on, go nuts and give them a go…!