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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.

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        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.

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              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.

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                      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.

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                              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

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                                        Published on November 14, 2018

                                        Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                        Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                        With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                                        For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                                        In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                                        Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                                        Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                                        It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                                        For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                                        Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                                        Symptoms of Fatigue

                                        Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                                        • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                                        • mental blocks
                                        • lack of motivation
                                        • headache
                                        • dizziness
                                        • muscle weakness
                                        • slowed reflexes and responses
                                        • impaired decision-making and judgement
                                        • moodiness, such as irritability
                                        • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                                        • reduced immune system function
                                        • blurry vision
                                        • short-term memory problems
                                        • poor concentration
                                        • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                                        Causes of Fatigue

                                        The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                                        • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                                        • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                                        • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                                        • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                                        Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                                        Medical Causes of Fatigue

                                        If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                                        Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                                        Anemia

                                        Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                                        Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                                        There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                                        Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                                        Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                                        This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                                        Diabetes

                                        Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                                        Sleep Apnea

                                        Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                                        Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                                        Thyroid disease

                                        An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                                        Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                                        • Lack of sleep
                                        • Too much sleep 
                                        • Alcohol and drugs 
                                        • Sleep disturbances 
                                        • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                                        • Poor diet 

                                        Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                                        • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                                        • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                                        • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                                        • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                                        Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                                        Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                                        • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                                        • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                                        • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                                        How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                                        Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                                        1. Tell The Truth

                                        Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                                        To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                                        Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                                        The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                                        One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                                        • How you feel
                                        • What time of day it is
                                        • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                                        • How your mind and body reacts

                                        This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                                        2. Reduce Your Commitments

                                        When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                                        If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                                        When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                                        Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                                        3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                                        If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                                        Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                                        If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                                        Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                                        Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                                        4. Express More Gratitude

                                        Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                                        It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                                        Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                                        5. Focus On Yourself

                                        Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                                        There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                                        But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                                        We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                                        6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                                        Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                                        Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                                        The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                                        Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                                        7. Take a Power Nap

                                        When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                                        Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                                        This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                                        8. Take More Exercise

                                        The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                                        Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                                        The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                                        You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                                        9. Get More Quality Sleep

                                        To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                                        Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                                        My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                                        10. Improve Your Diet

                                        Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                                        Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                                        On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                                        To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                                        Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                                        Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                                        11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                                        Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                                        When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                                        Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                                        My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                                        12. Get Hydrated

                                        Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                                        Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                                        If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                                        The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                                        The Bottom Line

                                        These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                                        If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                                        Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                                        Reference

                                        [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                                        [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                                        [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                                        [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                                        [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                                        [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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