Nuts are a healthy, nutritious food. Many doctors and nutritionists recommend them for a healthy lifestyle and as part of an optimal and balanced diet.
Eating is based on at least five fundamental principles: hunger; a balance between consuming familiar and innovative foods in order to find new sources of nutrients; the integration of multi-sensory information about the food; rewards associated with consumption and a pleasurable experience.
These principles are also associated with nuts. But what benefits do nuts have on people’s health? We explain some of them below.
- They reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases: Consuming nuts instead of other unhealthy foods reduces obesity, which is positive for public health. The Spanish Heart Foundation explains that not only do they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease risk factors, but also of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
- They satiate hunger: Consuming nuts such as walnuts reduces the sensation of hunger by affecting the brain’s insula, making it less responsive to highly desirable food signals such as high-calorie foods. This was confirmed by a study from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston (USA), which indicates that nut consumption reduces hunger and appetite and increases the activation of the right insula to highly desirable food signals.
- They improve brain health: Including nuts in the diet keeps the brain healthy throughout a person’s life. Research has shown that regular consumption of foods such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, cashews and peanuts have a protective effect on the brain in adults at risk of cognitive decline
- They delay memory loss: One of the nuts with the highest consumer demand and acceptance is the peanut. A six-month clinical trial by a group of Spanish researchers demonstrated that regular consumption of peanuts and peanut butter can improve memory function and stress response in a young, healthy population. These effects appear to be associated with the intake of polyphenols, short-chain fatty acids and very long-chain fatty acids.
- They strengthen emotional wellbeing: Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and cashews are rich in magnesium, a mineral involved in the production of tryptophan and therefore in increasing levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in controlling emotions, mood and feelings of satiety. The consumption of nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, is also associated with the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasurable sensations and the coordination of certain muscle movements. All these processes have been studied by neuroscience, which helps to predict consumer needs.
The best nuts for a healthy diet
At Importaco we take all of these benefits into account when developing our products. The health of our consumers is one of our main principles which is why every day we study which nutritional and sensory profiles generate a higher degree of wellbeing in people. That way we are able to design appealing, healthy products that improve consumers’ experiences as well as being part of a diet that is beneficial for their health.