Healthy Nuts: Health Benefits For Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews, Peanuts And More

The fatty, salty, creamy, savory taste and texture of nuts make them a popular snack, accompaniment with beer and ingredient in a host of dishes. But given their high calorie and fat contents, many people still shy away from eating nuts regularly. Now, a new report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adults who incorporate nuts into their diets don't have to limit their consumption. A review of 31 studies about eating nuts found that people who added nuts to their diets and who replaced other foods with nuts lost more weight (an average 1.4 pounds more) and reduced their waist sizes by more than half an inch.

"Although the magnitude of these effects was modest, the results allay the fear that nut consumption may promote obesity," wrote the researchers, according to Reuters Health. "Our findings support the inclusion of nuts in healthy diets for cardiovascular prevention."

But weight loss isn't the only benefit found in almonds, walnuts, cashews and the like. Here are a few other health reasons to chow down on the snack:

Stress Reduction
Of course nuts can't make your deadline or huge credit card bill go away, but the nutrients in several types of nuts can help protect your body against the damaging physical effects of being stressed out. One study looked at nuts rich in alpha-linolenic acid, like walnuts, and found that they had a heart-protective benefit during times of acute stress -- which are known to cause cardiovascular strain.

And almonds, thanks to high vitamin E, vitamin B and magnesium content canbolster your immune system when you're stressed, reported Women's Health.

Heart Health
Nuts, like almonds, hazel nuts, peanuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts and cashews can all play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease, according to a Harvard review. That's because nuts may help reduce LDL cholesterol (more on that later), and incorporate a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and fiber, which has a heart-protective effect. Nuts are also rich in arginine, an amino acid that converts to nitric oxide in the body and helps blood vessels to relax.

Read article....