Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tip: Nuts

A small handful of nuts a day is all you need to help lower inflammation, cholesterol and blood pressure.

Medically reviewed in November 2020

When you nosh on walnuts, almonds and other nuts, you're dipping into a goldmine of anti-inflammatory goodness. Nuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, phytonutrients and flavonoids. But remember to go easy on this jackpot. Nuts are also high in fat and calories. A small handful a day is all you need to help lower inflammation. As a bonus, they're great sources of fiber and protein, which can help you feel full longer and maintain a healthy weight.

What Do Experts Say?
"Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, walnuts and every other type of nut are nutritional treasure troves, rich in healthy fats and phytonutrients," says dietitian Janis Jibrin, MS, RD. "Each type has its own particular virtue. For example, Brazil nuts are so rich in the mineral selenium that just one nut more than covers your daily allowance for this cancer-fighting mineral."

"And a shout-out to seeds—sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, chia and flax. They're also rich in healthy fats and phytonutrients!"

How Should You Eat Them?
Nuts can go rancid quickly, so store them in airtight containers in your fridge or freezer. They're great raw as a midday snack, but toasting or cooking with them can draw out their flavor. Toss them into salads or whole-grain dishes, blend them with herbs for a hearty pesto, or chop them and use them to coat fish and meat.

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