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Health benefits of nuts and seeds

By Paul Joseph Nanna
30 November 2017   |   4:13 am
Nuts and seeds are parts of plants that both practitioners and patients may have ignored to some extent now. However, they are very effective in preventing diseases involving organs...

Nuts and seeds are parts of plants that both practitioners and patients may have ignored to some extent now. However, they are very effective in preventing diseases involving organs, especially the heart. They also boost the functions of these organs and systems in the body. A brief account of some of them should stir up our interest in them.

Almonds are oval-shaped seeds of the almond tree. They contain calcium, magnesium, zinc potassium, iron, phosphorus, copper and selenium. It is said that almonds contain as much calcium as milk. Also present in almonds are vitamin E and the B vitamins, protein and fibre. They can lower cholesterol and they may play a preventive role in cancer. All you need is a little handful of almonds.

Dried walnuts look like the two hemispheres of the brain lying side by side. This is one of those plant seeds/nuts that play a positive role in the health of the body part they look like. Walnuts particularly boost the health of the brain. Other health benefits of walnuts include reducing the risk of prostate and breast cancer, reducing the blood level of cholesterol and lower the blood pressure. They also help in weight control and in blood sugar regulation in type 2 diabetes.

Walnuts contain ellagic acid, a known cancer-fighting antioxidant that makes it a potent remedy against certain cancers. They are also good for the hair and skin.

Brazil nuts are a very important source of selenium. In fact, it is the nut with the highest concentration of selenium. Other minerals in Brazil nuts are magnesium and copper. There is also vitamin B3, (niacin), protein, fibre and vitamin E in Brazil nut. The health benefits of Brazil nuts are prevention of some cancers such as breast cancer, boosting of cardiovascular health, prevention of liver cirrhosis and management of diabetes. Brazil nuts also lower bad LDL cholesterol and play a part in the treatment of arthritis.

Pine Nuts also known as Cedar nuts contain a high percentage of the amino acids required in the body. Antioxidant vitamins in pine nuts are vitamins A and E. The vitamin B group and vitamin D are also present in this nut. Pine nuts help to boost the health of the heart, and protect the arteries against damage by free radicals. They also reduce bad LDL cholesterol in the circulation. With their vitamin A content they help to improve the vision. Not only that, pine nuts are known to increase the haemoglobin level of the blood and by this improve the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.

Cashews nuts are rich in the fatty acid known as oleic acid. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid also referred to as omega 9 free fatty acid. Oleic acid is good for the heart. The minerals that are richly found in cashew nuts are magnesium, zinc, copper, iron and biotin. Unlike other nuts, cashew nuts may not be recommended for cancer patients because of the high level of fungus it may contain.

Flax seed, the best source of omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids. These are the mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The best source of these fatty acid oils is Udo’s oil where they are present in the right proportion that is in the human body. These fatty acids are good for the heart and they can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. They also contain fibre and with their antioxidant component, they can help to fight cancer.

Chia Seeds are rich in calcium, proteins, omega-3 oils, anti-oxidants and fibre. Health benefits of chia seeds include prevention of arthritis and dealing with the pains thereof, enhancing the health of the digestive system, improving the health of the brain and prevention of heart disease, liver disease and diabetes.

Sunflower seeds like most nuts and seeds, are effective against heart disease and cancer. They contain copper, selenium, folic acid, vitamin E and phytochemicals. Consuming sunflower seeds regularly, can check conditions such as migraine headache, reduce severity of asthma and reduce blood pressure.

Pumpkin Seeds are great immune system boosters. They are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, zinc and carotenoid antioxidants.

Sesame Seeds are loaded with magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, iron and fibre. They also contain vitamin B1. Sesame seeds can prevent diseases such as osteoporosis, migraine headache, asthma, arthritis and reduce the negative effect of menopause. They have also been found to be effective in lowering the blood pressure and protect the liver against damage.