5 Reasons to Add Nuts & Seeds to Your Diet

nuts and seeds

There are no real shortcuts to living healthy, but eating nuts and seeds could make it easier to manage. They’re small but packed with goodness, which explains why health experts often suggest adding them to your diet.

For clarity, nuts can be classified as seeds, since they’re the seeds of certain trees. Peanuts often get added to this food type, and while they are seeds, they come from legumes, not trees. Also, strictly speaking, nuts such as almonds and cashews are actually drupes—seeds found inside fleshy fruit.

No matter the exact origin, there are high levels of nutrients in nuts and seeds across the board. Finding recipes to easily include in your diet can be key to improving your overall health and well-being. Here’s why.

5 Reasons to Eat Nuts and Seeds Daily

Part of the attraction of this food type is the many health benefits of nuts and seeds. They’re easy to add to a diet no matter your current health challenges or your health goals.

High in Healthy Fats

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Some people balk at the thought of eating food with such a high-fat content but not all fats are bad. Also, your body actually needs fat for processes such as vitamin absorption and creating hormones. However, if you consume healthy unsaturated fats, rather than the fat found in most meat, it’s much better.

For example, many nuts provide Omega-3 fatty acids that have been known to help with the following:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Blood cell nourishment
  • Brain function
  • Lowering bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol

With an ounce of certain nuts—like walnuts—provides more than the suggested daily Omega-3 requirement, it becomes much more effortless to regulate various important processes in the body.

Good Source of Dietary Fiber

High fiber content forms part of the benefits of nuts and seeds as well.

By increasing fiber intake, you can improve digestion and prevent constipation or watery stools. You’ll enjoy better bowel health, by slowing down the digestion of food which helps you increase the number of nutrients you absorb from your food and lets the good bacteria populate your gut. The outcome is having more energy because your body maintains satiety and blood sugar levels are less likely to spike.

Fiber can help you manage weight easier by impacting calorie absorption and also becoming short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) after fermentation in your digestive tract. SCFAs carry health benefits like helping to prevent inflammatory diseases.

High in Antioxidants

It’s always smart upping your antioxidant intake and nut mixes contain a lot of these molecules that fight damaging free radicals. These atoms disrupt homeostasis and damage cells, which can result in illness but also cause your body to age faster. Thanks to an increase in nuts in your diet, you’ll have more antioxidants that have the capability to ‘switch off’ these atoms harming your cells.

You also don’t have to wait long to start benefiting from changing your diet, because the effects of high antioxidant levels can be noted within hours of consuming food like nuts and seeds. For example, studies have shown a drop in bad cholesterol, simply after eating some pecan nuts.

Disease Prevention

Considering what nuts bring into the human body, it becomes clear why health practitioners encourage eating nuts and seeds. The body’s ability to fight off certain conditions gets boosted when there are more antioxidants, healthy digestion, and better-balanced cholesterol. As a result, instead of waiting to treat a disease down the line, take control of scenarios before they escalate, such as:

  • Maintaining heart health
  • Fighting inflammation that can develop into bigger problems
  • Manage weight to prevent strain on joints and other health concerns related to obesity
  • Reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes

By simply eating more nuts and seeds, a person may be more in control and prevent unnecessary health issues down the road.

Helps to Manage Weight

While it’s always important to incorporate exercise and healthy eating habits, nuts and seeds can make it a bit easier to lose weight or at least maintain it. For one thing, many people’s bodies don’t absorb all the calories nuts contain. So, enjoy a filling snack without needing to work off all the calories in the gym.

In many cases, you don’t have to eat less to manage weight, but simply change what you’re eating. High-fiber food tends to help you feel full for longer than some other meals. Your nutty snack will be welcome when you need some energy, without negatively impacting your weight. It will also prevent hunger pangs and cravings, so there’s less chance of you reaching for other unhealthy food items throughout the day.

How to Include Nuts and Seeds in Your Diet

As mentioned, you don’t need a lot of nuts to make a health difference and even just 5 servings—1/2 ounce per serving—each week will suffice. For those who don’t like nuts, it’s easy to incorporate them into other dishes or find creative ways to make them tastier.

Use these tips during menu planning to keep it interesting:

  • Use nuts along with chocolate chips in your usual baked goods.
  • Red meat dishes can make way for stir fry that includes nuts.
  • Give salad texture by adding nuts instead of croutons.
  • Use nuts as a dish topping rather than traditional breadcrumbs.
  • Roasted nuts are more flavorful, crunchier, easily digestible, and easy to make from raw nuts at home.
  • Try a new bread recipe that's gluten-free and made with almond butter.

Popular Nuts You Can Eat Every Day

Even with healthy food, too much of it isn’t always wise. Luckily, you can enjoy a handful of the following nuts every day without any side effects:

Use the tips above to incorporate them in creative ways.

Popular Seeds You Can Eat Every Day

Get the benefits of seeds by adding them to smoothies or baked goods. The following ones are beneficial, even if consumed daily:

Bottom Line

The benefits of nuts and seeds are clear. From heart health to staying regular, they have a lot of what your body needs. Taking responsibility for your health now helps prevent health issues down the line and nuts make it easy to implement changes.

Now, pick wisely when you pick your next snack.

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Lisa Roth Collins is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and is the Marketing Manager at NaturallySavvy.com. She is passionate about health and wellness and tries her best to make healthier choices every day for herself and her family. Her journey to natural health was driven by her own struggles with digestive discomfort, depression, and anxiety. Lisa returned to school in 2014 to study nutrition at the Canadian School for Natural Nutrition. She threw herself into her studies so she could learn as much as she could to help herself feel better and thrive. Upon completing the program and being certified as an RHN, Lisa began her work at Naturally Savvy where she has been able to help so many people learn to make healthier choices for themselves. Through her work, she has connected with so many incredible people in the industry whether other authors, influencers, or brands. Plus, she is affectionately known as "Techie Spice" because of her ability to wrap her head around technology. Every day she gets up with a renewed sense of energy and ready to make a difference. You can read all of Lisa's content here. In her spare time, Lisa loves to try new recipes, make delicious and nourishing meals, and she is an avid reader. For more information about Lisa, check out her profile on here.