Advertising
Advertising

8 Healthy Nuts And Seeds You Should Eat Every Day

8 Healthy Nuts And Seeds You Should Eat Every Day

Nuts and seeds are important additions to our daily food consumption. These tiny gifts from Mother Nature are super heart-friendly thanks to a group of fatty acids called monounsaturated fats that protect against cardiovascular diseases. There’s a long list of benefits you can acquire from eating nuts and seeds. To name a few:

  • They are a great source of antioxidants
  • They are good for the skin’s elasticity and tissue repair
  • They are a natural source of iron, phosphorus, and magnesium
  • They are rich in fiber for good digestion
  • They can help with weight loss
  • They are gifts from Mother Nature — be thankful!

Aside from eating them as a snack, the following nuts and seeds can also be a great addition to your favorite dish, be it sweet or savory. However, as common food allergens, these nuts and seeds should only be eaten if you are sure you’re not allergic to them.

The recommended serving listed is the minimum amount you can consume daily to achieve the health benefits of these nuts and seeds. You can also try the featured recipes as an alternative take on these wonder foods.

1. Almonds

The flavorful and healthy almond is fortunately available throughout the year, but mid-summer when you can harvest the freshest batch. It blends perfectly with both sweet and savory dishes. From salads to pastries, the almond is one versatile ingredient.

Most of us think that the almond is a nut, which is technically incorrect! It’s actually the seed of an almond tree’s fruit. You only need to consume a handful of almonds to experience its health benefits. Its also a high-fat food that is good for you. Amazing, right? Almonds also have a cholesterol-lowering benefit to your body that reduces the risk of heart illness. Studies speculate that this is because of the vitamin E (an antioxidant) and monounsaturated fats found in almonds.

Recommended daily serving: 28 grams or a handful of almonds.

Here are some sweet and savoury recipes for Almonds:

Healthy Brownie Bites

by Primally Inspired
Full recipe here.

almonds dessert 01

    Six-Ingredient Paleo Fudge

    by Freckled Italian
    Full recipe here.

    Six-Ingredient+Paleo+Fudge

      Massaged Kale Salad with Almonds and Cranberries

      by Rubies & Radishes
      Full recipe here.

      IMG_2854

        2. Chia Seeds

        Chia seeds are truly one of the most underrated foods on the planet. These tiny, mottled seeds are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and calcium, which benefits both your body and brain. It is one of today’s “Superfoods” and has grown beyond its dietary staple label. You are not a legit health conscious person if chia seeds are not part of your everyday life. They are also a gluten-free, whole grain food that can be grown organically.

        Advertising

        Packed with antioxidants that are good for the heart and skin, chia seeds will have you glowing inside and out. One of the amazing things about chia seeds is that all the carbs in them are fiber! They are hydrophilic and can expand up to 12 times their size. This gives you a feeling of fullness and can be very helpful if you want to lose weight.

        Recommended daily serving: 1 to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.

        Here are some sweet and savory recipes for Chia Seeds:

        Mocha Chia Pudding

        by The Nourished Caveman
        Full recipe here

        chia seeds dessert 01

          Easy Raw Apple Chia Breakfast Porridge

          by Janice Levitt
          Full recipe here.

          porridge1

            3. Cashews

            Like almonds, cashews are seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew tree’s fruit. It adds a delicate nutty flavor to your dishes, and also complements salads and stir-fried dishes. It’s a great source of healthy fats (monounsaturated fats) that are heart-friendly, similar to the fats you get from olive oil. You should consider adding cashews to your diet if you want to keep your heart healthy. Since the healthy fats present in cashews decrease triglyceride levels, it’s a perfect idea to add these to the diets of diabetics. Before consuming the seeds, allow them to expand first by mixing them with enough liquid.

            Recommended daily serving: Small handful of raw cashews.

            Here are some sweet and savory recipes for Cashews:

            Cashew-Leek Veggie Burgers

            by Lukas Volger
            Full recipe here.

            cashew-leek_cr-bklyn-table

              Cashew Milk

              by Cookie + Kate
              Full recipe here.

              Advertising

              cashews dessert 01

                4. Sesame Seeds

                It was during the Middle Ages that these tiny seeds were literally worth their weight in gold. No wonder – sesame seeds are loaded with astounding health benefits. Health is wealth. They are a great source of protein – high quality protein to be specific – that makes up 20 percent of the seed. If you have a heart problem, diabetes, anemia, or arthritis, adding sesame seeds to your daily food consumption might just be the solution. Not convinced? These small seeds are rich in zinc that helps produce collagen in the body. Collagen gives the skin more elasticity and it helps repair damaged body tissues. Thus, it makes your skin healthier and younger looking.

                Recommended daily serving: 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds.

                Here are some sweet and savory recipes for Sesame Seeds:

                Sesame Truffles

                by Elana’s Pantry
                Full recipe here.

                sesame_truffles

                  Cold Sesame (Cucumber) Noodles

                  by The Clothes Make The Girl
                  Full recipe here.

                  sesamenoodles

                    5. Flaxseeds

                    Flaxseeds were once called the new wonder food. Big gifts come in small packages indeed. Flaxseeds are packed with overwhelming health benefits for such a tiny seed. Some studies show that flaxseeds may help fight heart illnesses, diabetes, and breast cancer. It can be found in all kinds of consumer products like crackers, frozen waffles, and oatmeal. Flaxseeds are primarily rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans, and good-old fiber. It is still considered a powerful seed even 13 centuries after it was cultivated.

                    Recommended daily serving: 2 to 4 grounded flaxseeds.

                    Here are some sweet and savory recipes for flaxseeds:

                    Mini Paleo Blueberry Bread

                    by South Beach Primal
                    Full recipe here.

                    Mini-Paleo-Blueberry-Bread

                      Pecan Flax Paleo Pancakes

                      by Paleo Porn
                      Full recipe here.

                      Advertising

                      Pecan-Flax-Paleo-Pancakes4-960x600

                        Grain Free Chicken Dippers with Buffalo Ranch Dipping Sauce

                        by Primally Inspired
                        Full recipe here.

                        flax seeds savoury 01

                          6. Pine Nuts

                          As early as 300 BC, pine nuts were spreading their healthy benefits and filling up Roman soldiers. Now, pine nuts have expanded their goodness to us health-conscious people of the modern world. Like cashews and almonds, pine nuts are technically pine seeds that you find between the scales of pine cones. These flavorful nuts have actually become a delicacy in many countries.

                          So, what health benefits do pine nuts really have to offer? For starters, they significantly help weight loss because of their appetite-suppressing effects. Scientifically speaking, the fatty acids found in pine nuts release large amounts of a known appetite-suppressing hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK). Pine nuts also contain nutrients that boost our body’s energy levels.They are also good for your heart, skin, and vision.

                          Recommended daily serving: 2 to 3 tablespoons of pine nuts.

                          Here are some sweet and savory recipes for Pine Nuts:

                          Paleo Chicken & Pine Nut Meatloaf

                          by Paleo Foodies
                          Full recipe here.

                          chicken-meatloaf-1050x700

                            Spinach Cake

                            by Elana’s Pantry
                            Full recipe here.

                            spinach_cake

                              7. Walnuts

                              This one is different. It’s neither a seed nor a nut, but a drupe. It’s a simple gift from Mother Nature. It contains a long list of nutrients like protein, fiber, plant sterols, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Perhaps the best health benefit of walnuts is its cancer-fighting properties that significantly reduce the risks of prostate and breast cancer. Like its cousins, cashews and almonds, walnuts are heart-friendly and powerful antioxidants. For the weight conscious, these nuts can increase satiety levels in just three days.

                              Recommended daily serving: 7 shelled walnuts.

                              Here are some sweet and savory recipes for Walnuts:

                              Raw Chocolate Covered Walnuts with Berries

                              by The Paleo Diet
                              Full recipe here.

                              Advertising

                              chocolate-covered-walnuts

                                Paleo Choc Blueberry Cake

                                by The Merrymaker Sisters
                                Full recipe here.

                                the-merrymaker-sisters_paleo-choc-blueberry-cake-640x357

                                  Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet and Spicy Walnuts

                                  by Cookie + Kate
                                  Full recipe here.

                                  strawberry-spinach-walnut-salad-550x368

                                    8. Macadamia

                                    Surprised that macadamia nuts made it to this list? Yes, they are loaded with fat and calories, but hear me out first! Studies show that 82.6 percent of the fat found in macadamia nuts are monounsaturated. If you’ve been reading up to this point, you know that monounsaturated fats are healthy fats that are good for the heart. Macadamia nuts also contain fiber that is good for digestion.

                                    Recommended daily serving: 28 grams or one handful of macadamia nuts.

                                    Here are some sweet and savory recipes for Macadamia Nuts:

                                    Cherry (Tomato) Bombs

                                    by Paleo Foodies
                                    Full recipe here.

                                    CherryTomatoBombs41-e1415762017362

                                      Candied Macadamia Nuts

                                      by Elana’s Pantry
                                      Full Recipe here.

                                      candied-macadamia-nuts-DSC_27501

                                        More by this author

                                        Jane Dizon

                                        Nurse, Ninja Mom, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer

                                        Do Memory Supplements Work? 10 Supplements to Boost Brain Power How Much Sleep Do Kids Need for a Productive Day? 15 Important Benefits of Stretching Before, After, and During a Workout These 17 Life Skills Will Teach Your Kids Responsibility Struggling with What to Eat Tonight? Here are 20 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes For You To Choose!

                                        Trending in Health

                                        1 How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind 2 Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It) 3 10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today 4 12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health 5 17 Healthy Late Night Snacks for When Midnight Cravings Hit

                                        Read Next

                                        Advertising
                                        Advertising
                                        Advertising

                                        Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                        How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                        How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                        Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                                        Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                                        I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                                        You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                        Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                                        When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                        I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                        Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                        Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                        Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                                        1. The Inner Critic

                                        This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                                        • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                                        • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                                        • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                                        • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                        The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                                        Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                        2. The Worrier

                                        This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                                        The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                                        3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                                        This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                                        Advertising

                                        This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                        The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                                        4. The Sleep Depriver

                                        This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                        The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                                        • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                        • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                        • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                                        • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                        How can you control these squatters?

                                        How to Master Your Mind

                                        You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                        Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                        There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                        • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                        • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                        This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                                        The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                                        Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                        For the Inner Critic

                                        When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                        You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                        For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                                        You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                                        Advertising

                                        “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                        If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                        • They rile up the Worrier.
                                        • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                        • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                        • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                        • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                                        Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                        Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                        For the Worrier

                                        Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                        Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                                        You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                        • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                        • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                        • Muscles tense

                                        Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                        If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                        Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                        “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                        Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                        If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                                        Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                                        Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                                        Advertising

                                        For example:

                                        If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                        “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                        Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                        “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                        Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                        For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                        Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                        The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                                        • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                                        • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                        • Muscles tension

                                        I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                        Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                        Breathe in through your nose:

                                        • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                        • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                        • Focus on your belly rising.

                                        Breathe out through your nose:

                                        • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                        • Focus on your belly falling.
                                        • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                        Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                                        Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                                        One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                                        Advertising

                                        Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                        For the Sleep Depriver

                                        (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                        I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                        Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                        1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                        2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                        When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                                        From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                        For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                        If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                        You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                        • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                                        • Shut down your thinking.
                                        • Calm your feelings.
                                        • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                                        The Bottom Line

                                        Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                                        You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                        Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                                        More About Mental Strength

                                        Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

                                        Read Next