The Health Benefits of Apples

Back by popular demand is our next installment of “The Health Benefits of Fill-in-the-Blank” series.

This one may seem pretty easy because of course we know that apples are healthy. However, we never want to make any assumptions, and “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t necessarily true. There are exceptions. Within the same 24 hours of eating an apple, you could also sprain your ankle. Taking it a step further, you could sprain your ankle WHILE eating an apple. 

But I digress. 

Synonymous with fall (apple-picking anyone?),apples are really healthy, and below, we go bobbing for the reasons why. But we do not condone bobbing for apples because it was gross even before the pandemic. 

What a Variety!

Can we first talk about the cornucopia of apples that exists? 

  • Red Delicious
  • McIntosh
  • Crispin
  • Gala
  • Granny Smith
  • Fuji
  • Honeycrisp

Seven different kinds! Except, there are many more, which is why we write such informative blog posts:

  • Pink Lady
  • Envy
  • Jazz
  • Braeburn
  • Golden Delicious
  • Opal
  • Lady Alice
  • Hidden Rose
  • Jonagold
  • Empire
  • Cosmic Crisp Apples

Yes, Cosmic Crisp is a thing, and you can try for yourself at Trader Joe’s. There are more we’re leaving out, but you get the idea. 

Now onto the benefits. 

Great Source of Fiber

Apples are packed with vitamins and minerals and are a good source of pectin, a soluble fiber. According to Healthline, apple pectin can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve gut health. To boot, soluble fiber makes you feel fuller. 

Packed with Nutrients

Nutrient is a great example of an onomatopoeia because it really does sound like its meaning, as in when you hear the word, you think nutritious, and foods that are nutritious are good for you. 

Apples are loaded with nutrients like fiber, potassium, manganese (not to be confused with magnesium), magnesium (not to be confused with manganese, though it’s usually the other way around), and vitamins, A, E, B1, B2, B6, C, and K. 


Going beyond the skin and deeper into the body of this fruit, apples don’t just contain fiber, but soluble fiber, which is known to lower blood cholesterol levels. They also have polyphenols, naturally occurring organic compounds that promote heart-health, which is very important, considering that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in America. 

Stronger Bones

Hey, it’s almost Halloween, so it’s apropos to discuss bones. We need to build healthy bones because unhealthy ones become brittle and literally make the body more fragile. 

Studies show that eating apples is linked to higher bone density, which certainly helps bone health. Healthline cites a study comparing a group of participants who ate apples to those who didn’t, and the former lost less calcium, meaning their bones were healthier. 


Right about now, you’re probably thinking, “What about antioxidants? What happened to them?! Someone send a search party!!! 

We just wanted to keep you in suspense. 

It wouldn’t be a “The Health Benefits of Fill-in-the-Blank” blog post without a reference to our free radical-fighting, loyal friends that protect us against disease. You bet your red and delicious apple that they comprise antioxidants, which come from the fruit’s flavonoids. According to research, antioxidants in apples slow the spread of cancer cells and protect your pancreas, lowering your chances of type 2 diabetes. 

Remember, reaping the health benefits of apples means eating them as is and not dipped in caramel, enveloped in a crostata, or mixed into a pie. But all bets are off on Thanksgiving. 

Please subscribe to our blog post and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

6 Things to Love About Fall

Even though it was a thousand degrees with two thousand percent humidity last weekend, fall is within reach. Sure, it’s still technically summer, but school is in full swing, stores are stocked with Halloween stuff, and the shelves at Trader Joe’s feature pumpkin everything. 

Full disclosure: fall is my favorite season, so I’m biased. But it’s also America’s favorite season, which makes it worthy of a blog post. Below, we present six things to love about fall. 

1. Fresh Air

On a crisp fall day, there’s nothing like breathing in that fresh fall air. To boot, there are many fun outdoor activities to take advantage of, like apple and pumpkin picking, farmers’ markets, and trail hiking. 

Speaking of farmers’ markets, we are surrounded by some great ones, including Northbrook, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, and Ravinia

2. Football 

Okay, so the Bears got off to an inauspicious start. It’s just one game, and if history is any indication…hmmm, I’ll stop there. The point is that it’s football season! You can count on watching college and NFL games at least Thursday through Monday. The NFL even added an extra game this year, which gives you one more chance to dominate your fantasy football league.

3. A New Year

In Judaism, the High Holidays occur in fall, beginning with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. No matter how observant you are, it offers a time to reflect on the past year and to plan for the new one. 

Fall also brings the start of a new school year, which represents a coming-of-age and right of passage for students in all stages of their learning and development. 

4. Food


You had me at caramel apples, hot cider, pumpkin pie, sage butter ravioli, and candy corns. 

The culinary traditions of fall are second to none, according to me. In addition to the above treats, WebMD has a nice list of healthy counterparts, including apples not dipped in caramel, acorn squash (also not dipped in caramel), brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. 

Food is sort of our world over here at BasketWorks, and we’d be remiss to omit a mention (🚨SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT🚨) of our line of fall baskets.

5. Halloween 

According to The Top Tens, Halloween ranks as the second best holiday in the U.S. with Christmas in the one spot. The Harris Poll has it at number three behind Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s pretty good company. 

What’s there not to love about Halloween? You’ve got trick or treating, jack o’lanterns, horror films, The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, and pilfering from your kids’ candy bags while they’re sleeping. 

The best part of Halloween is that everyone can get in on the costume action. In fact, last year 25% of adults said they planned to dress up, though we don’t have data on how many kids were embarrassed by their parents’ costumes of choice. 

6. Thanksgiving

Perhaps the biggest reason to give thanks this year is having more freedom to gather with family and friends on Thanksgiving. The past 18 months have been challenging beyond belief, but we’ve persevered, and we can celebrate holidays with the peace-of-mind of having a little more safety. 

Oh, and we’ll have access to sweet potatoes and marshmallows. 

You can make the case for all seasons, but fall seems to possess that X factor of unique transitions, cuisines, sports, and holidays. Enjoy in good health!

Please subscribe to our blog post and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

3 Reasons Why You Should Place Your Holiday Orders Early

We are inundated with alarmist messages from retailers all the time: Order now while supplies last! Final sale! Only two hours left to receive 50% off! 

As we know, there is always another sale or great offer. However, one of the many ways Covid is causing disruptions is by complicating the supply chain. Products in those larger than life containers you see on cargo ships and crawling by on freight trains (while you pull your hair out in your car waiting at the crossing) are backed up. They’re clogging up ports–which are typically located overseas–and shipping companies have to hustle to distribute them. 

What we have here is a supply and demand problem, which naturally becomes a problem for consumers, who have to pay more for shipping and the product itself. Oh, more good news: it’s only supposed to get worse, especially for the holiday season, according to this Debbie Downer from CNN Business

But…we’re not going to just be the bearer of bad news and leave you to your own devices. Below, we discuss why you should place your 2021 holiday orders early. 

1. Really, Supplies Won’t Last That Long

We joked earlier about this message, but it’s very true this time around. There is quite a shortage of consumer products right now and for the foreseeable future. For example, Hasbro, the toy company that makes, well, everything, warns that shoppers will encounter bare shelves come holiday time. 

Not to be outdone by the doom and gloom of the aforementioned article, another CNN Business story cautions, “Tacos, cars, jet fuel. computer chips, Nike shoes and school supplies: What do they all have in common? They’re all (nearly) impossible to find — or getting there.”

No tacos? Ouch.  

The point is to do your shopping early and often, and if your biggest worry is not having enough jet fuel for your private plane, then you’re doing alright. 

2. More Expensive Products

Not only will gift selections be smaller, they will also hit your wallet harder. Speaking of Hasbro, they announced price increases to offset freight and commodities costs. If that doesn’t concern you, maybe this will: coffee is getting more expensive. 

The reality is that most consumer goods are going up in price–prices for U.S. consumers jumped in June by the most since 2008–so make your holiday shopping lists now, and save time and money while you can. 

3. Less Shipping Sticker Shock

The cost of shipping is soaring. Shortages of goods = higher shipping prices. The U.S. imports a lot from China, whose ports are tangled up, causing shipping companies to scramble and use more resources. We know that you read up on Drewry Shipping’s World Container Index for fun, but in case you missed the latest report, here’s some juicy data: “The composite cost of shipping a 40-foot container on eight major East-West routes hit $9,613 in the week to August 19, up 360% from a year ago.” 

In other words, that increase impacts us, the consumers. To boot, you can expect longer delivery times. Shopping now or soon will mean paying less for shipping than waiting deep into the season and ensuring that your gifts arrive in time. 

What We’re Doing

Okay, we’ve scared you a bit, but we want you to know how we’re responding to pass savings on to you:

  • Procuring baskets and containers now so that they are on hand for the fourth quarter
  • Sourcing products from smaller and more local vendors to try to reduce shipping times
  • Taking orders and pre-orders now for the holidays
  • Creating designs that allow for easy substitution of products so that we can manage vendor shortages. 

You see, it shouldn’t only be up to shoppers to do all the planning. As consumers ourselves, we want you to enjoy the holidays without regret or buyer’s remorse.

Please subscribe to our blog post and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

5 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Following the smashing success of our previous blog posts on the health benefits of red wine, dark chocolate, nuts, and coffee, today we focus on cinnamon, the adored spice that elevates everything upon which it’s sprinkled, including the aforementioned food and beverage items (except red wine, though cinnamon often shows up in flavor profiles). 

If you want the boring, albeit important history of cinnamon, click here. If you want to learn about its health benefits–and you know you do–read on. 

Quick note: we do not endorse taking The Cinnamon Challenge…unless you’re good at it. 

Types of Cinnamon

First, let’s identify the two main types of cinnamon (This information is only important if you feel the need to impress people at your next cocktail party):

Ceylon cinnamon – known as “true” cinnamon (as opposed to false?), derives from the Cinnamomum Zeylanicum plant in Sri Lanka, and is considered to be the sweet kind.

Cassia cinnamon – the more common kind that has stronger potency and is found in savory dishes. 

1) Contains Antioxidants

Oh, antioxidants, we just can’t quit you. Antioxidants are the Kevin Bacon of health benefits for this series of blog posts. Not to sound like a broken record, but antioxidants are very good for the body because they fight free radicals and help protect against disease. 

Cinnamon is rich with polyphenol antioxidants, which have tons of anti-inflammatory effects. Speaking of…

2) Anti-Inflammatory Properties 

Inflammation is great for rafts but very bad for the body when there’s too much of it. Chronic inflammation can attack your body’s tissues and act as the precursor to illness and disease. 

Enter cinnamon. 

Many studies, like this one and this one, conclude that the spice is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that encourage healthy tissue. 

3) Improves Gut Health

The term “gut health” makes me cringe, but it’s popular, so we’ll roll with it. The enemy of your gut (ewwww) is pathogenic bacteria which can cause disease. The enemy of pathogenic bacteria is beneficial bacteria that is produced by prebiotics. 

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll naturally conclude that cinnamon contains prebiotic properties that can keep your insides healthy and clean. 

4) May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease 

Heart disease is the world’s most common cause of premature death. High levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are terrible for your ticker, but our friend, cinnamon, can reduce these levels and promote HDL cholesterol, which is the healthy kind. 

5) Digestive Comfort 

Lest you think cinnamon has run out of health benefits, here’s another:

Cinnamon is good for digestion. You are entitled to enjoy dining and feel comfortable afterward, and cinnamon extract is used to alleviate gastrointestinal issues. It also acts as an anti-microbe, which helps create digestive balance and ease discomforts like bloating and gas.  

As we’re careful to note with these posts, you’ll only gain the health benefits of this ingredient if you consume it…healthily, as in having it with coffee (I’m a big fan) or tea rather than a bundt cake. 

Go on and open your cupboard and give your cinnamon some love.

Please subscribe to our blog post and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

How to Surprise Your Employees This Labor Day

As its name suggests, Labor Day recognizes folks who work. It’s nice that there’s a holiday, but I’d feel better if we just called it Labor Year. 

That’s a fight for another day. 

For now, let’s focus on the most important people in your lives after family and friends: your employees. 

Labor Day is right around the corner, and you’ll look really good by showing your employees just how much you appreciate all their hard work. 

Gift Baskets

Did you really think we weren’t going to lead with this? Oh, you know us too well.

Gift baskets keep growing in popularity year over year, and one of the main reasons is that there’s truly something for everyone. The good companies, like ours, customize baskets based on hand-picked (and tasted) inventory researched at trade shows and other industry events. 

Any sort of recognition can work wonders for employee morale, but gift baskets possess that personalized characteristic that makes them so special. 

Company Picnic 

Given the latest on Covid, an indoor gathering isn’t the best idea at this time. Enter the great outdoors.

It’ll still be summer and a company-catered picnic at an attractive venue allows employees to bond in a non-workish environment. To sweeten the event, definitely hold it during the workday and discourage work-related cell phone use. 

Labor Bonus

I know, bonuses are typically reserved for the holiday season, but why not go the unorthodox route? There is a direct link between employee performance and bonuses, and surprising your staff with some extra cash is not only a generous thank you, but the gesture is likely to enhance motivation and employee engagement

Considering this is our second Covid Labor Day, you will no doubt create good will. 

Thank You Notes

Whether a bonus or a gift, be sure to include thank you notes. A small message expressing gratitude makes a big statement to your staff. Go the extra mile, and personalize them, addressing employees by name and identifying unique ways they’ve helped the company. 

We’ve written before about the importance of planning your gift-giving, and Labor Day is no exception. It may not be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, etc., but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a special occasion for the people who help keep the lights on.

Please subscribe to our blog post and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Get Organized: How to Plan, Budget, and Schedule Your Gifts

Winging it is appropriate in some instances like spontaneously deciding where to go for dinner, taking a scenic route rather than the normal path, or starting a new Netflix binge on a series you’ve heard nothing about. 

But, my friends, when it comes to gift-giving, you’ll always be better off by putting some thought into it. Whether the lucky recipients are friends, family, employees, or customers, you should know how to plan, budget, and schedule your gifts.  

You’re on your own with this one. Go figure it out. 

Oh, we kid, we kid. Of course we’re going to provide some guidance below!

Start With a List

It’s fun checking items off a list, and how you create that–note pad, spreadsheet–is up to you. Start by committing people’s names to paper or Excel. These are the must-gift folks, as in, if you forget them, you’ll look bad. 

For each one, decide the occasions during the year to gift them and how much you are willing to spend per gift. Oh, and ensure that it is within your means. Sounds elementary, but if you’re a business owner, and you improvise your spend, that can hurt your budget in other areas of the company. There’s a fine line between being too frugal and too extravagant. 

Set Your Annual Gift Budget

Speaking of budget, just how much should you spend annually? This certainly depends on your personal and/or company financial situation. To give you an idea, in 2020, the average American spent $998 on gifts during the holiday season. So, play with that spreadsheet to make the total work for you. 

Monthly Gift Spending

Stay with me here. Divide your gift budget by 12 to determine the average of your monthly gift spend. I know this is stating the obvious, but 1) it keeps you on track and 2) you’d be surprised how many people ignore this and go over budget. 

If you really want to be disciplined, each time you receive your paycheck, set the monthly sum aside for gifts, and don’t spend it on anything else. 

When it comes to your clients, the best practice is to allocate a gift fund for the year, and while you’re at it, budget for prospects, too, because sending them a gift is a gesture of goodwill and may lead to future business

Choice of Gifts

As we’ve previously written, giving gifts makes you happier, and there are many to choose from, including ( 🚨 SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT 🚨) gift baskets loaded with chocolates, candies, wine, nuts, coffee, tea, and other goodies. These gifts are perfect for a wide range of occasions since everyone loves indulging in these irresistible treats. But knowing your audience is key, and if it’s a gift card that makes them happy, then go for it. 

You don’t have to be a mathematician to set an annual gift-giving budget. Know what you can afford, who you want to surprise, and the rest is gravy.

Please subscribe to our blog post and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

5 Health Benefits of Coffee

And we’re back with another edition of The Health Benefits Of [fill-in-the-blank]. 

So far, we’ve served up blog posts on the health benefits of red wine, dark chocolate, nuts, and now, perhaps the biggest showstopper of them all: 5 Health Benefits of Coffee.  

You’re either vibrating with excitement from this announcement, the caffeine, or both. 

The point is that coffee can be good for you, and you can lose any shame about having to rely on it to get through the day. 

Here’s what we’ve brewed for you. 

1. Coffee Can Give You Higher Energy & Intelligence

Who doesn’t want to feel smarter and more alert? 

Now, it’s common knowledge that caffeine is a stimulant, but understanding the science behind feeling more energized is pretty cool. As you sip coffee, your bloodstream snatches up the caffeine and funnels it to your brain, blocking adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that causes drowsiness. The door then opens for other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which give you that pep in your step. 

What happens when you experience increases in memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times, and general mental function? You become more intelligent. According to Healthline, multiple controlled studies bear this out. 

2. Coffee Is Nutrient-Rich

You can get your nutrient fix from a single cup of coffee. It’s like Vitamin Bingo: coffee beans contain vitamins B2, B3, B5, potassium, and manganese. No need to feel bashful about your fifth cup of coffee of the day when you’re packing these in. 

By the way, if your eyes saw “magnesium” while reading “manganese”, you’re not alone. The former supports muscle and nerve function and energy production, while the latter plays an important role in bone formation and reducing inflammation. 

Thanks for the confusion, Periodic Table. 

3. Coffee Lowers Risk Of Diseases

Something that smells and tastes good and protects you from disease is a win-win-win. This information comes from none other than John Hopkins Medicine

Heart Failure – For starters, consuming coffee can ward off heart failure in people with hearts that have trouble pumping enough blood to the body.

Parkinson’s Disease – Nutrient-rich caffeine can lower your chances of developing Parkinson’s and ease the symptoms of those suffering from the disease. 

Colorectal Cancer – According to a Johns Hopkins Medicine study, one in 23 women develop colon cancer, but drinkers of regular or decaf coffee were 26 percent less likely to get colorectal cancer.

Cirrhosis – People who drink four or more cups of coffee a day can lower their risk of developing cirrhosis by up to 80 percent. 

4. Coffee Can Increase Your Lifespan 

Lowered risk of disease typically means you live longer. Healthline cites two comprehensive studies finding that consuming coffee was associated with a 20 percent reduced risk of death in men and a 26 percent decreased risk of death in women over 18 – 24 years. 

5. Chock Full of Antioxidants

Lest you thought our friends, the Antioxidants wouldn’t make an appearance in this blog post, you were mistaken. You can impress folks at your next coffee meeting or cocktail party (hello, Irish coffee!) by informing them that the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet is…coffee. In fact, many of us get more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables combined. 

Well, it turns out that you can have your coffee and drink it, too. If you weren’t sipping a cup while reading this, go ahead and fire up your Keurig, prepare your French press, or hit a Starbucks, Dunkin’, or wherever you enjoy your coffee. You’ve earned it. 

Please subscribe to our blog post and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Positive Impact of Gifts on Employee Engagement

There’s a familiar saying that I just made up: Happy employees, happy business. 

It’s stating the obvious to declare that employees who are recognized for their hard work are more engaged and therefore more productive, which pays off for your company. Back in 2019 B.P. (Before the Pandemic), more than 50% of U.S. workers sought new jobs, leaving their current one in less than a year. Fast forward to today and employee burnout is on the rise at a time when they’re needed most. 

You’d be surprised how a small gesture like a gift can make a big difference. In our last blog post, we discussed why client gifts are good for business, and today, we’re going to examine the impact they have on your employees. 

It Boosts Productivity

Perhaps “Show me the money” needs to be modified to “Show me the gift basket.”

Gifts are preferable over bonuses. What now? Isn’t the adage “Money talks and that other stuff walks”? 

Not so. Companies spend upwards of $77 billion annually on employee incentives, but a study by American Economic Review determined that giving a gift to employees increased productivity more than a cash reward. In fact, a gift of equal value boosted their performance by an average of 25%.

As one of the study’s authors said:

“Surprising employees from time to time with tokens of appreciation can enhance morale.”

It Shows Employees That They Are Valued

Speaking of stating the obvious, high employee morale works wonders for businesses. Happy employees are invaluable to the working environment, productivity, and future success of your business. A gift of appreciation shows your employees how much they’re valued.  

Even if employee morale is high, don’t rest on your laurels. Engaged and productive employees deserve ongoing recognition, and what business owner doesn’t want their company to operate even more efficiently? 

Meaningful Gifts Make a Difference

As we’ve previously written, figuring out the right gift can be a stressful pursuit. It won’t be if you lean into meaningful gifts. What does that mean? It’s going beyond the holiday season and considering other occasions and circumstances like:

Milestones – Gifts for achievements, such as fulfilling a performance goal like meeting or exceeding a sales quota.

Family Events – Why limit gifts to clients whose family member has a birthday, wedding, or anniversary? Show your employees’ families some love, too. 

Team Achievements – There’s no “I” in team but there is in “gift.” Since the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, celebrating team accomplishments puts an emphasis on team culture and camaraderie. Highly functioning teams move your business forward. 

Running a business requires a lot of intestinal fortitude and can be very overwhelming, which is why investing in your employees’ satisfaction is key. With a little planning around gift-giving, you can see a big bump in engagement and positive outcomes for your company. 

Please subscribe to our blog post and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

3 Reasons Why Client Gifts Are Good For Business

Signing a new client is a great feeling. You and the client have conducted your due diligence to feel comfortable about the business fit, and then you’re off and running with the engagement. You’re so focused on delivering the best service possible–as you should be–that you forget to go the extra mile to send a gift (shameless plug alert: like an inimitable BasketWorks gift basket) when the occasion calls for it. Now, you’re not likely going to get fired for that “sin” of omission, but it certainly doesn’t hurt and in fact can help to send a holiday, thank you or happy fill-in-the-blank gift. 

Every chance you get to show that you care gives your client another reason to keep working with you. Here are three reasons why client gifts are good for business. 

1. Strengthens Relationships

Why not make a good relationship better?

Surprising your customers with gifts reflects a level of generosity and implies that you care about individual relationships. It keeps you top-of-mind and shows your customers that you are committed to long-standing relationships. Gift-giving is a small gesture with significant implications on your brand perception, the likelihood of repeat business, and more referrals. 

2. Gives You A Reason To Reach Out

As a vendor you don’t want to be out of sight out of mind for your clients. Having a standing check-in meeting is always a best practice, but sending a gift gives you an excuse to reach out without necessarily talking business. Think of it as a way to reconnect with customers with whom you haven’t had frequent contact in a low-pressure, non-sales-y way. 

3. Builds More Trust

Care and trust are the kissing cousins of business in that the more that you show your customers that you care, the more trust they invest in you. Customers feel special when they receive TLC, and the combination of outstanding services and gift-giving provides that. 

Giving your client a gift sends two very important messages: 1) it demonstrates how much you appreciate their business, and 2) it’s a reflection of who you are as a company.

Pro Tips

People love personalized gifts. I’m not saying they have to be super customized, but including a personal note wishing them a happy holiday or recognizing another occasion can go a long way. 

Timing is everything. Err on the side of ordering early to ensure that your customer receives the gift before the birthday, anniversary or Christmas. A late gift is never a good look! 

Now it’s time to create a plan to wow your customers with the perfect gift.

Please subscribe to our blog post and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

5 Health Benefits of Nuts

Previously, we’ve written about the health benefits of red wine and dark chocolate. Continuing with this theme, we’re going to talk about nuts. I know, this food isn’t as stirring as wine and chocolate, but were you really expecting that our next blog post would reveal that cotton candy treats gout? 

Nuts are pretty exciting because they come in different varieties, and they happen to taste good, too. Let’s get nuts already and take a look at what makes them healthy. 

Good for Your Heart

Not to get dark, but heart disease is a leading cause of death in America, which is why we must take care of our tickers. 

Enter nuts. 

The Mayo Clinic has examined all the ways that nuts increase heart health. For starters , they contain unsaturated fatty acids, protein, and other nutrients, which hearts like. They also reduce the risk of heart attacks by:

  • Lowering your bad cholesterol
  • Fortifying the lining of your arteries
  • Reducing levels of inflammation
  • Lessing the risk of developing blood clots

Packed with Antioxidants

Forgive us for sounding like a broken record, but we jump at the opportunity to write the word “antioxidants” because it sounds cool, and antioxidants are really really good for you. They’re important because they fight off oxidation (ergo, ANTIoxidants), a bad chemical reaction that creates free radicals that assault your cells. If this sounds like a body chemistry uprising, it sort of is. 

Studies show that walnuts, almonds, pecans, and cashews contain the polyphenol antioxidant, which reduces oxidative damage and bad cholesterol. 

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

First, let’s say something nice about inflammation: it’s the body’s natural defense against injuries, bacteria, and pathogens. But, when it wears out its welcome, it has the potential to harm your organs and make you vulnerable to life-threatening conditions like diabetes and kidney disease. Our friends at Healthline did some research and found that pistachios, Brazil nuts, walnuts, and almonds reduce inflammation in people with these and other serious health conditions. 

Lots of Fiber

Addressing your colon and gut bacteria may not be appropriate table-talk, but ingesting fiber during meals is very important. 

You’ve heard of probiotics. There are also prebiotics, compounds that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut and gastrointestinal tract. Fiber functions as a prebiotic. Nuts that are high in fiber–almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, macadamias, and Brazil nuts–may improve gut health, decrease calorie absorption (because fiber makes you feel full), and reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity. 

It’s important to note that while indulgent ingredients like salt and sugary coatings might make nuts taste even more fantastic, they may also cancel out the health benefits Nuts are also high in calories, so you need to be mindful of the optimal serving size of a handful or quarter cup, and The American Heart Association recommends eating about four servings of unsalted nuts per week. 

Now go forth, and go nuts, but do so in moderation.

Please subscribe to our blog post and follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.