10 weeks to a healthier you
In the final week of our 10 weeks to a healthier you, we find out just why we need nuts and seeds in our diet. The first thing you need to know is that they are little nutrient power-houses. Packed with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, protein and fibre, their health benefits are second to none. For example, Brazil nuts have a very high selenium content, while almonds are good for calcium. Cashew nuts have the most iron and pumpkin seeds are a source of zinc.
Need ideas on how to add more nuts and seeds to your diet? Seeds, such as sesame or sunflower, are lovely sprinkled on salads and soups – they provide extra nutrients and add a lovely crunch. Try Waitrose Love Life Mixed Seeds. Chia seeds are a great addition to porridge, granola or scrambled eggs as they’re rich in protein – add a teaspoon of Love Life Chia Seeds. Opt for seeded bread as another way to up your intake. Love Life Farmhouse Batch Multiseed, contains sunflower, pumpkin, millet, linseed and poppy seeds.
Poppy seeds, Pistachios, Sesame seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Brazils, Chia seeds, Walnuts, Cashews, Almonds, Golden linseed
Nicola’s top tips
Our Nutritionist Nicola Selwood, shares her top tips on adding more nuts and seeds to your diet.
Know your portion sizes
Both nuts and seeds are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are beneficial to health and can help lower blood cholesterol levels. But they are still high in calories and therefore we should only have 30g a day. Roughly speaking, a 30g portion is 10 Brazil nuts, 12 walnut halves, 21 cashews, 27 almonds or 43 pistachios.
You can still stick to your diet
Although nuts and seeds are high in calories, research has shown that eating a small amount does not cause weight gain. In fact, studies show that people who eat nuts at least twice a week have a much lower risk of gaining weight than those who avoided them. Nuts and seeds have a low GI, and are a source of fibre and protein, all of which may help us feel fuller for longer.
They’re a great option for vegetarians
Some nuts and seeds are sources of omega-3 fats, which make them a good choice for people who don’t eat oily fish. Flaxseed and walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid (AHA), which the body converts to the omega-3 fats found in fish, beneficial for heart health.
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