- News & Events
News & Events
Nuts are Positive Additions to Senior Diets
Awww, nuts! Active older adults at Westminster Village would be doing themselves a favor by adding nuts to their already balanced diet. Nuts contain good fat, vitamins, proteins, and nutrients that can reduce a number of health problems. These tasty food items are a great mid-day snack when eaten in moderation. They can be stored easily and grabbed when on the run, for those days when your activity calendar is full. In fact, nuts can be taken almost anywhere.
Unlike other foods, almost everyone who talks about healthy food agrees that nuts and peanuts are beneficial to one’s health. (Note that peanuts aren’t really nuts, they’re legumes like beans, but they’re included in the nut family because of their characteristics.) Nuts are high in fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients.
Nuts can lower the risk of many conditions that seniors might have
New studies have shown that nuts can help you live longer because they can lower the risk of conditions like diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. Nuts can reduce blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, and inflammation. They are beneficial for lowering the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. The online website WebMD defines metabolic syndrome as “a group of risk factors — high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat.”
If you stick to the raw and dry roasted versions, avoiding those cooked in oil, nuts can help you lose weight. Walnuts and almonds are usually recommended for those wanting to shed some pounds. But, remember that while 80% percent of most nuts is healthy fat, they also have calories. You should eat a handful two-three times a week to get the best results.
Active older adults have choices for nuts
What nuts should you pick? Well the experts list the following as possibly the best choices.
- Walnuts are considered by some to be a super food. They are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, lean protein, and fiber. They contain several antioxidant compounds.
- Almonds, like peanuts, are not really a nut, but a fruit. They are a good source of protein, calcium, fiber, monounsaturated fat, and the antioxidant Vitamin E.
- Macadamia nuts contain Vitamin A, iron, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folates.
- Hazelnuts also have fiber and monounsaturated fat that reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. They contain magnesium that can help manage diabetes.
- Pecans contain Vitamin E which decreases the risk of cell damage, cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases.
- Pine nuts suppress appetite, boost energy, reduce heart disease, promote vision health, and contain anti-aging antioxidants.
- Pistachios contain fewer calories, monounsaturated fat, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. They feature B vitamins, including Vitamin B6, folate, biotin, and riboflavin.
- Brazil nuts are high in fat content so eating too many would be a negative. Eating one to two a day will be more than enough and provides a complete daily requirement of selenium, the mineral that affects reproduction, the thyroid, DNA, and infections.
- Cashews are rich in copper which absorbs iron, creates red blood cells, and collagen.
- Peanuts are rich in the amino acid arginine which produces acid nitrate oxide that may lower blood pressure
New studies show that nuts have a positive on senior’s brain health
New studies have found that nuts also aid in the health of your brain. According to an online Newsmax article by Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen, nuts strengthen the brainwaves that are connected to “cognition, empathy, healing, learning memory, recall, and other brain functions. They can also help improve your cardiovascular health. This study shows that different nuts had different effects on different brain waves.
Pistachios is the nut that yields the most results for gamma waves and peanuts had the most effect on delta-waves. Each of these functions differently in the brain. Gamma waves “build cognitive processing, information retention, learning, perception, and rapid eye movement during sleep. Delta waves are associated with “healthy immunity, healing, and deep sleep,” according to the article.
-Elaine of the Westminster Village Blog Team
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.