The healthiest nuts you can add to your diet to boost hair growth, immunity and more

Haven’t we all heard that big things often come in small packages? It’s certainly true when it comes to nuts and nutrition. These tiny but tough shells pack a storehouse of healthy fats, proteins and fibre, all which boost the system from within. Now more than ever, health experts are recommending nutty superfoods as an antidote to battling pollution, increasing immunity and getting ahead of brain fog. In times when it is well established that we are what we eat, consuming a variety of nuts rich in fatty acids and minerals is a good way to take care of your skin, hair and health. “Earlier, nuts were thought to be too high in fat for a heart healthy diet. But not anymore. The NLA (National Lipid Association, US) has recommended consuming four or more servings of unsalted nuts each week,” states Delhi-based celebrity nutritionist, Nmami Agarwal. We got Agarwal and Goa-based nutritionist Harpreet Pasricha to help us pick the best nuts to boost hair, skin, cognition, heart, immunity and eye health. Scroll ahead for their recommendations.

Reach for Brazil nuts if your hair is prone to breakage or thinning

If you are struggling with hair loss or thinning hair, brazil nuts are a key value addition to your diet. They are rich sources of selenium, a mineral that promotes hair growth. “Several scientific reviews note that selenium is involved in hair production. They report that newly forming hair takes up selenium after receiving trace elements from blood,” says Agarwal. How much is too much? “The recommended upper limit for selenium in adults is 400 micrograms (mcg). Brazil nuts are very rich in selenium—one Brazil nut offers 68-91mcg—so you may want to limit your intake to around four Brazil nuts per day,” she suggests.

Add almonds to your diet for clearer, well-nourished skin

Agarwal points out that a number of chronic skin problems can be directly linked to diet. Though balanced nutrition is the best way to promote healthy skin, if you are looking to give your daily diet a lift, include six to 10 almonds in your daily diet. According to Agarwal, this not only maintains the softness of your skin and keeps it clear and acne-free, but also acts as an anti-ageing beauty secret. “Almonds are rich sources of Vitamin E, which protects skin from oxidative damage and supports healthy skin. When your skin is even toned and smoother, it automatically looks healthier and well nourished. Almonds are considered food for skin, and are great for building immunity too, since Vitamin E improves immune function by fighting off free radicals and reducing cell damage,” says Pasricha.

Up your cashew intake to build immunity

A zinc deficiency can lead to a compromised immune system. “Zinc is an essential nutrient for the immune system. This mineral is important for the development of immune system cells, the production of antioxidant enzymes, and the activity of immune system regulators,” informs Agarwal. Her nut of choice to build immunity is the cashew, which contains copper in addition to zinc. “Several studies have shown that boosting zinc intake has been associated with a healthier immune response, meaning that cashews could help you fight off your next cold,” she adds.

Include walnuts in your diet to improve heart health

Walnuts help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and decrease blood pressure. “This credit could go to the heart healthy alpha linoleic acid (ALA), a type of Omega-3 fatty acids that is found in plants. While all nuts contain monosaturated fatty acids, walnuts have the highest amount of ALA (2.5 grams ALA per ounce),” explains Pasricha. “Studies suggest that the ALA present in nuts is also responsible for regularising arrhythmias, and plays an effective role in reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries,” she further shares.

Promote better concentration with pistachios

Pistachios contain essential elements like healthy fats, Vitamin E and Vitamin B6. Agarwal labels them as an ideal snack for improving concentration and work productivity. “They not only relieve hunger pangs during the day, but also promote an optimal mental state,” says Agarwal.

Eat hazelnuts every day to keep your eyes healthy

Almonds and walnuts are known to improve eye health, but the nut that is often ignored on this list is the hazelnut. “Hazelnuts are rich in Vitamin E, which is vital for eye health as it reduces the oxidative stress on the eyes. Consuming just one ounce of hazelnuts every day provides your body with almost 21% of its daily Vitamin E requirement,” says Agarwal. Eating a handful of these every day can prevent you from needing glasses at an early age, and strengthen the muscles around the eyes. “Hazelnuts can also reduce the chances of cataract formation in your eyes,” she states.

This article first appeared in Vogue


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *