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Nuts

walnuts still life

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 :

nutfruit

nutsite

nuts

wikipedia

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