Nuts such as walnuts, cashews, almonds and so many more are so underrated as nutritious snacks, even though they are rich sources of protein and healthy fats with some even containing bonus nutrients.
Snacking on nuts can certainly help to trim your waistline, improve heart health, lower cholesterol levels, all help in weight control and reducing the risk of serious illness.
Our nut guide will help you find out which nuts can offer a protein boost, which one is rich in calcium, and how much fat each type contains:
Almonds have extensive health benefits and are frequently used as a healthy solution for relief from heart disorders, constipation, respiratory disorders, impotency, Anemia and diabetes.
Almonds also help in maintaining healthy hair, dental care, and skin care (psoriasis).
Almonds also contain two important brain nutrients, L-carnitine and riboflavin, that assist in the health and development of the human brain, showing increased brain activity.
Sweet almonds are edible while the bitter variety are used for making almond oil, which is an oil commonly used for adding flavor to food. While they are typically eaten raw, many people also include them as ingredients in casseroles, salads, and other dishes.
Almonds are a highly nutritious type of nut and a rich source of magnesium, iron, phosphorous, calcium, and vitamin E. They also contain niacin, copper, selenium, and zinc.
Compared to other types of nuts, almonds are the most packed with beneficial components and nutrients.
Cashews are calorie rich with 100g of cashews containing 553 calories. They are full of minerals, vitamins, soluble dietary fiber, and numerous health-promoting phytochemicals that help protect from cancers and diseases.
Cashews are full of “heart-friendly” monounsaturated fatty acids such as palmitoleic and oleic acids that help increase the good HDL cholesterol and lower the harmful LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Cashews are a rich source of essential minerals. Selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese is particularly concentrated in the cashew.
A handful of cashews in the daily diet provide sufficient quantities of the minerals and can help prevent deficiency diseases.
Cashew nuts are also a rich source of many essential vitamins such as thiamin (B1), riboflavin, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). 100g of nuts provides 32 percent or 0.147 mg of the daily recommended pyridoxine levels. Pyridoxine lowers the risk of sideroblastic anemia and homocystinuria. The vitamins are also critical to carbohydrates, fat, and protein metabolism at a cellular level.
Pistachios are rich in the beneficial nutrients like all nuts. However, they have unique properties that distinguish them from the rest.
Pistachios are versatile, which means that they can be eaten alone as a snack, in baked products, as a crunchy coating for meat or fish, mixed with dried fruits in trail mix, or on top of a salad.
Nuts typically contain massive quantities of proteins in relation to their size, and pistachios are no exception.
The body breaks the protein down into its constituent amino acids that are used for repairing tissues or the creation of new molecules.
Eating foods rich in proteins also helps you feel satiated, thus lowering your cravings for unhealthy foods later on. It is the reason why pistachios are the ideal mid-afternoon snack.
Pistachios have a high fat content, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Only 2 grams of the fat is unhealthy saturated fats with the rest being polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that help protect the heart. This includes omega-3 fatty acids, which have been associated with higher levels of “good” cholesterol and lower levels of “bad” cholesterol.
Pistachios are a rich source of antioxidants and contain vitamins A and E, which both have antioxidant properties, making pistachios a great way to take advantage of the oxidative damage-fighting effects of the vitamins.
Pistachios also contain the mineral Phosphorous, which is an element that’s important for proper physiological functioning. Getting sufficient phosphorous strengthens the bones and ensures that cells are able to continue to produce energy.
Pistachios also contain vitamin B6 and getting sufficient B6 via the diet helps keep the brain sharp and can improve cardiovascular health.
Macadamia nuts are creamy, crunchy, and sweet.
They are often considered a high-fat indulgence as opposed to a healthy food, but they contain a range of health-boosting and nutritious nutrients that make them an important component of your everyday diet.
The macadamia not is completely free of cholesterol and rich in healthy monounsaturated fats that help you lose weight, clean your arteries, and lower cholesterol levels.
Macadamia nuts even lower the level of triglycerides, which is a type of body fat the lowers the risk of coronary disease.
Macadamia nuts are rich sources of omega 7 fatty oil and palmitoleic acid. Omega 7 fatty oil provides the building blocks for enzymes, put your appetite under control and regulate the burning of fat. Palmitoleic acid reduces fat storage and increases the metabolism of fat.
The macadamia nut has a high flavonoid content, which is converted into antioxidants and helps protect cells from environmental toxins and damage. Antioxidants in the body search for and destroy free radicals thus protecting the body from various ailments and diseases.
Macadamias have a significant protein content, which is an important component of our diet and responsible for forming muscle and connective tissue in the body.
Macadamia nuts contain about 7 percent of dietary fiber, which provides roughage, promotes satiety, helps reduce constipation and other related diseases, and aids digestion.
The phosphorous in macadamia nuts plays various important roles including metabolism, the mineralization of teeth and bones, as well as the transportation and absorption of nutrients. Calcium, also found in macadamia, aids the formation of bones and teeth. The manganese in macadamia nuts helps the body deposit new bone tissue to ensure that your skeleton stays strong as you age.
The omega 3 present in macadamia reduces the severity of arthritis and prevents osteoporosis.
Macadamia nut oil is a rich source of oleic acid that plays a critical role in reducing inflammation that helps lower the symptoms of asthma.
Macadamias also provide numerous health benefits besides the ones mentioned here. Make sure that you always include Macadamias nuts them in your diet.
The pecan nut is one of the most popular edible nuts. It comes from the pecan tree, which is a big deciduous tree that’s a member of the hickory family.
Pecans typically have a buttery rich smell that’s beige on the inside and golden brown on the outside.
Pecans have a high fiber content, which boosts heart health by lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and contains monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid and phenolic antioxidants that are good for the heart and help prevent strokes and coronary artery disease.
The fiber in pecans helps boosts the health of the colon and promotes regular bowel movements by helping the colon work more efficiently by cleaning out the gastrointestinal system. It also helps keep hemorrhoids, colon cancer, and colitis at bay.
Phosphorous is one of the minerals in the body in most abundance after calcium. Close to 85 percent of phosphorous is found in the teeth and bones while the remaining 15 percent is found in tissues and cells. Besides cleansing the waste from the body, phosphorous and calcium promotes teeth and bone health. Phosphorous is also important for the growth and repair of tissues and cells and the production of RNA and DNA. It even helps prevent muscle pain caused by exercise.
Pecans are a rich source of magnesium. Magnesium has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and reduces inflammatory indicators within the body, including C-Reactive Protein (CRP), Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNF), and Interleukin 6 (IL6), and reduces inflammation in the arterial walls and reduces the risk of arthritis, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and various other inflammatory ailments.
Pecans contain many anti-oxidants including vitamin E, vitamin A, and ellagic acid. The antioxidants fight and get rid of free radicals and help protect the body from various chronic diseases such as premature aging of the skin.
Walnuts are single-seeded, round stone fruits that come from walnut trees. The walnut tree is a native of eastern North America, but it is now commonly grown in Iran, China, as well as within the U.S. in Arizona and California.
Walnuts rank top among all nuts when it comes to antioxidant value. Walnuts contain more polyphenols (healthy antioxidants) compared to other nuts such as almonds, pecans, and brazil nuts. Consuming just seven walnut halves daily is enough to enjoy some of the benefits this amazing nut offers.
Walnuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that have been shown to reduce the levels of harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides thus lowering the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease.
In research trials comparing weight loss using diets that either exclude or include nuts, the diets that included nuts showed an increase in weight loss.
Walnuts are a rich source of mineral copper. A severe deficiency of copper can lead to conditions like osteoporosis where bones become less dense and thinner, which makes them more susceptible to breaking and fractures. Copper also plays a critical role in maintaining elastin and collagen, which are critical structural components of the body. If the body does not have enough copper, it cannot replace the collagen that provides the building blocks for bone or even the damaged connective tissue, which can lead to a variety of issues including joint dysfunction.
Walnuts contain manganese in high amounts. Manganese is known for preventing osteoporosis in combination with minerals such as copper and calcium.
Magnesium is also present in walnuts and is important for the formation of bones since it helps with the absorption of calcium in the bone.
You can improve the quality of your sperm by including walnuts in your diet and this can enhance fertility.
Walnuts also help prevent neurodegeneration conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease that affect your quality of life and brain function. A diet rich in foods like walnuts early in life helps prevent brain diseases in the later years.
High-fiber and healthy diet foods like walnuts help reduce the risk of kidney stones, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, and even stroke.
Brazil nuts are fast becoming the go-to food for improving health and promoting longevity.
Not many foods can boast of the ability to protect against cancer, enhance sexual performance, and boost your metabolism as Brazil nuts can.
The majority of health benefits associated with Brazil nuts can be linked to the high selenium content. Brazil nuts are the richest source of bioavailable selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that plays several critical roles in the human body.
The selenium in Brazil nuts speeds the process of cell turnover, provides a natural glow to the skin, helps reduce aging, skin dryness, acne, and various other skin conditions.
The high quantities of antioxidants present in Brazil nuts stimulate the production of glutathione that fights free radicals that destroy skin collagen. The Vitamin E found in the nuts helps maintain the integrity of the skin and mucus membrane cells.
A lack of essential nutrients in the body can lead to hair issues like stunted hair growth, hair falling out, breaking hair, and poor quality hair. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, which is an important trace mineral that is very important for hair health.
Selenium promotes the production of glutathione, which is one of the most important antioxidants responsible for protecting the body from free radical damage, which helps with various conditions like cancer and heart disease.
Brazil nuts contain “triiodothyronine”, which is an active enzyme that helps produce the active thyroid hormone, along with providing various nutrients that help boost the immune system.
Brazil nuts are also rich in protein and fiber that help keep hunger under control thus reducing weight. The nuts also contain omega 3 fatty acids in high amounts that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Brazil nuts are a rich source of copper, which is a vital mineral for the skeletal system as part of the formation of bone tissue as well as connective tissues.
Hazelnuts are the edible kernels of the Betulaceae or “birch” family of trees. Hazels are incredibly sweet and nutritious. They are also high in energy and offer a wide range of health benefits.
Hazelnuts are made up of phytochemicals such as kaempferol, proanthocyanidins, and quercetin and are part of the group of edibles called flavonoids. Flavonoids are generally known to promote circulation of blood within the body, brain health as well as decreasing the symptoms of numerous allergies.
Apart from being packed with numerous health enhancing phytochemicals, hazelnuts are also rich in healthy minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber. All these health-benefiting nutrients help to boost the immune system that protects the body from diseases and cancers.
Hazels are also rich in folate which is an essential B vitamin that helps prevent cases of megaloblastic anemia.
Hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that promotes the integrity of skin tissues and mucous membranes by reducing the number of “free oxygen radicals” in the body.
Hazelnuts are gluten free meaning they can be used in the preparation of gluten-free foods and meals for people who are gluten sensitive, allergic to wheat or suffering from celiac disease.
Hazelnuts are a convenient source of healthy minerals such as selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron, copper, calcium, potassium and manganese. Phosphorus and magnesium promote efficient bone metabolism while iron helps to prevent microcytic anemia.
These nuts are also good for the heart as they are high in mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats and low in unsaturated fats that are considered unhealthy. Hazelnuts also have high oleic acid content. Oleic acid helps to reduce amounts of LDL or bad cholesterol while increasing amounts of HDL or good cholesterol in the body.
Chestnuts may seem like your average, everyday nuts, but they actually have a good number of health benefits to offer, such as lowering of blood pressure, boosting the immune system, protecting cardiovascular health, managing diabetes, strengthening bones, as well as improving digestive health and overall metabolism.
Chestnuts are also known to prevent a number of chronic illnesses as well as increasing cognition and mental performance.
Chestnuts are rich in dietary fiber and are considered low glycemic foods, which means that they help to control how fast blood sugar levels rise and fall. This, in turn, helps to prevent sudden drops and spikes in blood sugar, which can be fatal in patients who suffer from diabetes.
On top of this, chestnuts have a high concentration of Vitamin C and other natural antioxidants which makes these nuts the ideal foods to boost the immune system. Vitamin C does an amazing job of boosting the immune system as it’s a natural antioxidant and it promotes the formation of white blood cells that seek out free radicals in the body before they cause major health problems.
Chestnuts are also a good source of copper which helps the body to absorb iron and also promotes the development and growth of bones.
These nuts also have another crucial nutrient which is Magnesium. Magnesium helps with bone mineral density, reducing the effects of aging on the body and a wide range of other health benefits.
You can also find a high concentration of dietary fiber in chestnuts. Dietary fiber helps to stimulate peristaltic movements in the small and large intestines, which in turn regulate bowel motions as well as preventing digestive discomfort and inflammation. Fiber also helps improve absorption of nutrients, which means that you get more out of the foods you eat.
The chestnut has unlimited health benefits. Chestnuts are high in B vitamins and potassium, which help improve neurological development and flow of blood to the brain. This leads to improved concentration, memory and focus.