- capable of boosting eyesight, lowering blood pressure, and reducing unhealthy LDL cholesterol as much as prescription statins can. And although they're high in fat and calories, nuts can actually help you lose weight by filling you up with fiber, fat, and protein.
An ounce of nuts (about a handful), counts as one serving size, which is what you need to get all the benefits without too much salt, fat, or calories.
Roasting or toasting nuts boosts their antioxidant power and adds flavor; most nuts will also become crunchier. Roast nuts in the oven or toast in a skillet, stirring often.
Pistachios (156 cal, 12 g fat, 6 g protein per ounce)
Pistachios are the only nuts that contain a significant amount of lutein, an antioxidant also found in dark leafy greens that's vital to healthy eyesight. Other benefits include lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol and helping to control blood sugar.
Macadamia nuts (201 cal, 21 g fat, 2 g protein)
Macadamias have more cholesterol lowering monounsaturated fats than other nuts.
Cashews (155 cal, 12g fat, 5 g protein)
Cashews are a good source of magnesium, a mineral most Americans are deficient in and which helps improve blood-sugar sensitivity.
Walnuts (183 cal, 18 g fat, 4 g protein)
Walnuts have almost twice the antioxidant punch of other nuts; research shows these micronutrients help improve balance and coordination.
Almonds (167 cal, 15 g fat, 6 g protein)
Almonds may boost digestion by providing fuel for beneficial probiotic bacteria in the gut. They also contain leucine, an amino acid that helps build muscle, making almonds an ideal after-exercise snack.
Hazelnuts are high in fiber (3 g/oz) which helps keep you feeling full. In addition they contain copper, which is a key mineral for producing red blood cells and maintaining healthy bones and nerves. The light-brown skin contains most of the antioxidants, so don't buy blanched or peeled.
Brazil nuts (184 cal, 19 g fat, 4 g protein)
Just one Brazil nut provides more than a day's worth of selenium, which may help slash your risk of certain cancers, including prostate.
Read the complete article along with serving suggestions in the December 2011 issue of Men's Journal.
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What's your favorite nut?