Making small and sustainable improvements to an athlete’s diet can go a long way over time, and replacing unhealthy snacks is a good place to start.
One nutritious alternative to sugary or deep-fried options is to snack on nuts.
Here are six reasons snacking on nuts can boost your overall diet.
Nuts are high in antioxidants which neutralize molecules in the body called free radicals that can damage cells. Research has shown that almonds and walnuts in particular can significantly increase levels of a type of antioxidants called polyphenols.
Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system, but high levels of it are associated with a number of diseases and conditions such as depression or overtraining syndrome in athletes. Diets that contain nuts have been shown to significantly reduce markers of inflammation in adults.
Good Source Of Nutrients
Various types of nuts are a valuable source of many different micronutrients. Just a handful of mixed nuts acts as a source of magnesium, copper and manganese among other nutrients, all of which contribute to a well-rounded diet.
Lowers Cholesterol & Blood Pressure
The high content of fatty acids in nuts is believed to make them raise levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol. This has a knock-on effect of lowering blood pressure, improving the efficiency of the vascular system.
Good Source Of Fibre
Fibre helps to improve gut health and the digestive system, and eating a good amount of it is linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and strokes. A handful of nuts can contain as much as 3.5g of fibre.
The relatively high content of fibre in nuts makes you feel fuller for longer. This can make them a particularly good option for those looking to reduce overall calorie intake. Not only do you need less of them to feel satisfied, but choosing them may mean you are less likely to snack again.