An Athlete’s Guide to Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients. They’re great sources of nutrition for athletes because they provide energy during workouts.
However, many people don’t realize that nuts aren’t just good for endurance sports; they’re actually excellent sources of essential fatty acids (EFA) and omega 3 fats. These EFA are essential fatty acids, meaning they must come from your diet in order to get their benefits. Omega 3 fats have been shown to reduce inflammation and may even improve cardiovascular health.
In addition to being high in fat, nuts contain a variety of beneficial plant compounds such as lignans, which are natural chemicals found in plants that may offer some cancer fighting properties. Some studies suggest that eating nuts could decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The most common type of nut eaten in the United States is the walnut. Walnuts are high in unsaturated fats, but low in saturated fats.
Other popular nuts include Brazil nuts, almonds, pecans and hazelnuts. There are also different varieties of peanuts and cashews available. All these types of nuts have similar nutritional values when compared to one another. You’ll notice that all these types of nuts are usually called “nuts” rather than “seeds.” This is because they’re technically seeds that have been linked to a plant, rather than grown separately.
The next time you think of nuts as nothing but fat cells, think again! Nuts are actually loaded with health benefits and can help you maintain a healthy diet.
If you’re trying to lose weight, be sure to watch your intake of nuts so you don’t accidentally take in too many calories. It’s easy to do if you’re really hungry since nuts are so tasty and satisfying.
Seeds are similar to nuts, but not all of them are high in fat. The most popular types of seeds are sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Sunflower seeds are best known for their high level of EFA content. They contain almost as much as fish. Most of the health benefits of sunflower seeds come from their unsaturated fat content. They’re particularly known for their vitamin E content.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Athlete’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition by L Jessop – fuelproofhealth.com
Vegetarian diets by AM Venderley, WW Campbell – Sports medicine, 2006 – Springer
Can athletes benefit from a vegan diet by J FEDELE – NY TIMES, 2012 – faculty.uml.edu
The athlete’s guide to sports supplements by K Mueller, J Hingst – 2013 – books.google.com
Becoming vegetarian: The complete guide to adopting a healthy vegetarian diet by RD Vesanto Melina, RD Brenda Davis – 2008 – books.google.com
A Simple Guide to Complex Carbohydrates by D Blumenthal – 1989 – books.google.com