Healthy nuts

Nuts and seeds make a healthy snack as they pack nutrition by the handful.

Two walnuts, shelled.

walntus

Do you picture snacks helping your heart and lowering your cholesterol while filling you up between meals? Snacking has gotten a bad name through the years, mostly due to the over-abundance of pre-packaged snack foods. But, snacking doesn't have to be bad for you if you know what snacks to choose. As a matter of fact, snacking can be really good for you. Let's take a look at one healthy food that should be considered an essential snack.

Nutrition by the handful

That little nut you have been snacking on is really a super food because of the unique combination of fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. This tiny powerhouse works hard lowering the risk of some significant diseases and health conditions.

Don't let the fat content or calorie count of nuts worry you too much. Even though nuts are often high in calories and fat, they have 'good' fats and omega 3 fatty acids that lower bad cholesterol levels and help regulate blood pressure and healthy heart rhythms. The fiber content in nuts also helps control cholesterol and has been found to lower the risk for diabetes.

But that's not all. Certain types of nuts also have plant sterols which is another cholesterol inhibitor. So important as a cholesterol inhibitor, as a matter of fact, that plant sterols are added to things like orange juice and margarine for the health benefits. And you've got it all right there in a nut.

In addition, vitamin E and the amino acid L-arginine are two elements that help reduce plaque in the circulatory system, which helps to prevent clots in arteries. Nuts have so many of these healthy elements that they may be one of the most powerful food you can eat to take care of your heart.

Nuts and seeds are a super food headliner in a tiny package. Adding small amounts of nuts to your diet will provide your body with big benefits. Choose a variety of nuts, store them properly, and enjoy a handful of crunchy nutrition every day.