In a recent article published by Huffington Post, this author discusses the importance of including various nuts and seeds into the standard American diet. Nuts have long been hailed as a super food in cultures around the world and only within the last century have lost their relevance in the American diet. During the late 1980s to early 1990s Americans (as well as other countries) waged a dietary war against fats, believing that fats largely contributed to debilitating diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Scientific studies regarding the reaction of the human body to different substances found in food have improved drastically since the early 90s, however, and white sugar is now suspected to be the culprit to various health care concerns.
Studies have actually shown that healthy fats can be highly beneficial to the American diet. Omega 3 fatty acids that are found in most nuts, but are found in high dosages in nuts like almonds and walnuts, have been found to be extremely beneficial to heart health. It is said that a handful of almonds (or another nut that is high in fatty acid) can actually contribute to a longer life span when eaten on a daily basis. Nuts have also been shown to contribute to colon health and decrease the instances of colon cancer in Americans when added as a daily part of the diet. Because the fiber in nuts promotes regularity in humans and helps to flush out the colon on a regular basis, it is likely that nuts are also beneficial to gut health.
In addition to their anti-inflammatory, colon regulating properties, nuts are chock full of vitamins and minerals. Calcium, magnesium, selenium, copper, zinc, potassium, folic acid, and vitamins A, B, E are all readily available in most nuts and seeds. Specific nuts like almonds, brazil nuts, pecans, and hazelnuts are all beneficial in the stabilization of cholesterol levels and the promotion of general health, energy, and well being. As a result of several recent studies about the benefits of including nuts and seeds in the diet on a consistent basis, many health care practitioners are recommending that nuts and seeds be made staples in the diets of most Americans to promote a more healthy lifestyle and a prolonged life expectancy.