A Fitness Athlete’s Guide to Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are two great nutrition sources. Because they contain minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and healthy fats they can be used as an addition to a sports diet. Here are some great facts about nuts and seeds:

Almonds Nutrition Facts

Almonds have the highest protein content of any nut and are a valuable food for vegans and vegetarians. Almonds are rich in minerals, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and especially high in calcium.

Almonds are high in mono-unsaturated fats which helps to lower cholesterol, especially the bad cholesterol (LDL). They also contain a high degree of oleic acid, which is believed to be the ingredient in olive oil that protects against heart disease.

Calories in Almonds:

1 oz/25g = 165 calories

Cashew Nuts Nutrition Facts

Cashew nuts, like all nuts, are an excellent source of protein and fiber. They are rich in mono-unsaturated fat which may help protect the heart. Cashew nuts are also a good source of potassium, B vitamins and folate. They contain useful amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, selenium and copper.

Like peanuts, cashew nuts are often salted. This added sodium content may contribute to increased blood pressure. So buy plain roasted cashew nuts without added salt.

Calories in Cashew Nuts:

1 oz/25g = 160 calories

Pistachio Nuts Nutrition Facts

Like all nuts, pistachio nuts are an excellent source of protein. Unsalted pistachios have a high-potassium low-sodium content which helps to normalize blood pressure, maintain water balance in the body and strengthen muscles. 

Pistachio nuts are also a good source of vitamin E which boosts the immune system and alleviates fatigue. They contain lesser amounts of magnesium, phosphorous, iron and zinc.

Diet Note

Most pistachio nuts are salted and because of the high sodium content should only be eaten in small quantities. But unsalted, they are an excellent addition to any diet, particularly vegan or vegetarian.

Calories in Pistachio Nuts:

1 oz/25g = 165 calories

Pumpkin Seeds Nutrition Facts

Pumpkin seeds are really a superfood. They are rich in the amino acids alanine, glycine and glutamic acid, and also contain high amounts of zinc.

Enlargement of the prostate affects about half of men over the age of 50 and including a handful of pumpkin seeds may offer some protection against the development of prostate cancer.

They contain high quantities of protein, iron and phosphorous and even a tablespoon a day would be a good addition to any healthy diet, particularly for vegans and vegetarians. What happens to your body if you eat pumpkin seeds every day.

Calories in Pumpkin Seeds:

1 oz/25g = 155 calories

Flax Seeds (Also known as Linseeds) Nutrition

Flax seeds, like all seeds, are a good source of polyunsaturated fats and mono-unsaturated fats. Flax seeds contain nearly two and a half times as much omega-3 as omega-6.

They contain vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and essential fats. Flax seeds contain about 14 grams of omega-3 per 100g which makes them a valuable food source of omega-3.

Adding 2 dessertspoons of mixed seeds, like flax seeds and pumpkin seeds to your daily diet can provide your entire daily intake of essential fatty acids, plus calcium, magnesium and zinc.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts have about 2,500 times as much selenium as any other nut. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant which has been proven to protect against heart disease and cancers like prostate cancer.

Brazil nuts high selenium content also discourages the ageing process and stimulates the immune system. In a study of patients with early Alzheimers disease, antioxidants – including selenium – boosted mood and mental performance.

Like all nuts, brazil nuts are an excellent source of protein and fiber. They are also high in minerals including zinc and magnesium, and contain useful amounts of phosphorous, copper and iron. Like all nuts, Brazil Nuts are high in calories and fats.

Calories in Brazil Nuts

1 oz/25g = 186 calories

Peanuts Nutrition

Peanuts have a very high protein content and a significant amounts of iron, zinc and magnesium. In particular, their high protein and iron content makes them an excellent replacement for red meat in any diet, particularly for vegans and vegetarians.

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They are the most common nut allergen. Peanuts, like all nuts, retain their vitamins and minerals better if bought in their shells. Many peanuts, including peanut butter, are sold with a high added sodium content. It is best to buy unsalted peanuts and peanut butter.

Calories in Peanuts:

1 oz/25g = 160 calories

Walnuts Nutrition

Walnuts are low in saturated fat and high in both polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fat. They are an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, particularly when bought in their shells and eaten while fresh.

Walnuts are a good source of protein, vitamin B1, B6, folate and vitamin E. Green and unripe walnuts are rich in vitamin C. Research has found that eating regular amounts of walnuts or almonds reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood.

Calories in Walnuts:

1 oz/25g = 170 calories

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