The nuts in shell is really rich in minerals , vitamin E and B vitamins, fatty acids , fibers and cholesterol-free .
Pasta , cereals, vegetables, fruits, olive oil , meat, dairy products and a moderate consumption of wine and alcohol, are the constituent elements of the Mediterranean diet and, according to many scientific studies, they reduce the onset of metabolic syndrome, a disease that increases the cardiovascular risk factors as high cholesterol levels , high blood pressure and obesity. Now a Spanish research , published in a well-known scientific journal, says that the combination of the Mediterranean diet with the consumption of nuts multiplies the defenses against this syndrome. Nuts ( shell fruits ) are rich in unsaturated fatty and polyunsaturated acids, valuable allies in protecting the heart and capable of lowering harmful cholesterol (LDL) and raise the values of the good one( HDL). Analyzing briefly the specific properties of the nuts, here is a quick guide :
walnuts are rich in omega -3, 4 walnuts per day are sufficient for the achievement of the daily requirement . Their nut kernels should never appear yellowed ;
hazelnuts have a lot of vitamin E and many minerals. Toasted ones are deprived of many of their nutritional qualities ;
almonds contain a large amount of vitamin E, calcium , copper and zinc ;
pistachios ( unsalted ones are best ) are rich in iron that is better absorbed if you eat them togheter with fruit and vegetables,
sunflower seeds are rich in protein , B vitamins , minerals like magnesium, potassium and iron;
pine nuts contain a lot of protein as well as minerals such as phosphorus and potassium;
pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc and iron , and also contain omega-3 fats ;
cashews are rich in oleic acid , monounsaturated fats (like olive oil ) , folic acid, vitamins B1 and B2 , plant sterols and selenium and are antidepressants.
On Italian tables you will often find a bowl full of mixed nuts, to be eaten together with the typical dishes of the Mediterranean diet , while sipping a good glass of red wine.
Here are some sites where you can find useful information on the protective qualities of nuts :