When you think of healthy snacks, what comes to mind? Fat free pretzels or non-buttered popcorn? Maybe some other snack in a bag that has surely met your criteria as a “Low fat” option, based on the fat grams listed on the label, right? I suppose that means you wouldn’t consider the many nut options due to their higher fat content.

Nuts are some of the most healthful foods you can eat, so why not make them your go to snack. Let me list the reasons, and a nut by nut basis.

Almonds

Almonds are great for brain development and aid in memory function. They also help manage your cholesterol by raising your good cholesterol, the HDL kind, while lowering the bad cholesterol, the LDL kind, which in turn helps you stay heart healthy.

Moreover, almonds are natural fat burners, so please include them as part of your fat burning nutrition plan.

Almonds are a great cosmetic food as well, helping to promote healthy hair, nails and skin complexion. The oil from almonds can be used as a skin moisturizer, and is used in skin moisturizing products.

So eat almonds for radiant health, inside and out.

Cashews

Cashews are one of the highest calorie dense nuts, having also one of the highest fat contents. However, the good news is the fat content is monounsaturated fat which we want.

Cashews are also high in certain hard to get minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper and phosphorous. Zinc and magnesium are two mineral that men should strive to get more of as these minerals help with testosterone production.

Peanuts

Some of the common health problems of excessive weight gain are the development of Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol and or high levels of triglycerides, which are a type of fat in your blood.

Peanuts to the rescue! Peanuts as a result of their rich content of Niacin are a great snack that aids in the reduction of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL, or the good kind of cholesterol.

I will always be referring the GI ratings for foods, and Peanuts have a low GI rating so they are good for regulating blood sugar, which is why they are a great snack for diabetics.

They are also high in antioxidants, so they are cancer fighting as well!

I’ll bet many of you have learned about the benefits of resveratrol, the compound contained in red wine that is good for clearing arterial plaque, which if allowed to build up, leads to heart disease. A serving of Peanuts actually contains more resveratrol than a glass of red wine.

So the next time you are faced with indecision in front of your company vending machine, avoid the artery blocking chips and take the peanuts!

Walnuts

Walnuts are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. So if you’re not into eating fish, eat walnuts to gain your needed omega 3s. Walnuts are high in antioxidants and help to prevent plaque from building up in our arteries. They also help lower LDL cholesterol.

Pecans

They are rich in oleic acid, which has been shown to be a powerful aid in reducing the risk of breast cancer, as well as aiding prostate health.!

Pecans also contain gamma-tocopherol, which is a type of vitamin E that kills prostate cancer cells without hurting the healthy cells. Finally, as with the other nuts, they are a great source of antioxidants.

Pistachios

As with Pecans, Pistachios are rich in Oleic acid, making them an effective prevention of breast cancer. They are also natural skin hydrators.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are very high in calories, but pack a lot of health benefits. They are high in selenium, which is a good preventer of coronary artery disease, cirrhosis of the liver and various cancers. They are also high in vitamin E.

Here is an interesting fact, they are gluten free, and are used as a compound in the preparation of many gluten free foods.

Here is a meal table that shows the nutrient information for the various nuts discussed above.

So, in summary, don’t shy away from nuts just because they have the reputation as a high fat content snack. They are just what you need to stay ripped and enjoy the many protective health benefits they provide.