The Top 9 Nuts To Eat For Better Health
Crunchy, filling, and nutritious, nuts are a fantastic food to have on hand.
Theyre a good source of fiber, healthy fats, and plant protein. Plus, theyre great on their own, paired with fruit, or added to dishes like salads, desserts, and grains.
Whats more, research suggests that eating more nuts may support a healthy body weight and help reduce your risk of certain health conditions, including heart disease .
Nuts are also an excellent food choice for kids. In fact, studies show that adding nuts to your childs diet may improve their intake of protein, healthy fats, and fiber (
Nuts have various textures, flavors, and nutrient profiles.
Here are 9 nutritious nuts to add to your diet.
- Vitamin E: 45% of the Daily Value
- Magnesium: 19% of the DV
- Manganese: 27% of the DV
These nuts are especially rich in vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient that functions as an antioxidant to protect your cells against oxidative damage. This vitamin also supports immune function and cellular communication .
Not only are almonds a good source of healthy fat, protein, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals, but they may also reduce heart disease risk factors like elevated LDL cholesterol and excess belly fat .
Finally, almonds may promote gut health by supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species .
Just 1 ounce of pistachios contains (
Pistachios Help You Snack Less
Pistachios have just 4 calories each, and if you buy them in the shell, theyre especially diet-friendly, Bauer says. The shells automatically slow down your pace so the snack lasts longer and you eat less overall.
Plus they boast a roster of nutrients, including folate, which your body needs to make new cells and for heart health, as well as several other B vitamins, according to a study published in July 2015 in the British Journal of Nutrition. The nuts also contain vitamin K, which plays a role in bone health and has been linked to possible lower risk of several chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer and heart disease.
Pistachios are also a good source of manganese and an excellent source of copper.
One serving, per the USDA : 159 calories, 13g fat, 6g protein, 3g fiber, 8g carbohydrates
Why Are Nuts So Healthy
Nuts are excellent sources of nutrients they not only provide us with healthy fats, but also with a wealth of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. They should therefore not be missing in any nutritional plan.
Thus, they not only ensure excellent brain performance, but also contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system and a strong immune system.
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Best Nuts For Your Brain
Technically legumes but generally referred to as nuts, peanuts are high in folate – a mineral essential for brain development that may protect against cognitive decline. Like most other nuts, peanuts are also full of brain-boosting healthy fats and vitamin E, as well. One ounce of peanuts contains about 170 calories, 7 grams protein, and 14 grams fat.
Are Nuts A Good Protein Source Compared To Other Plants
In terms of protein content per 100 grams, nuts are among the best vegan sources of protein, only behind certain seeds and specific foods like vital wheat gluten.
However, in terms of protein per 100 calories, nuts arent a particularly good protein source. Instead, vegetables and legumes are much better in this respect.
So overall, it makes sense to get some protein from nuts, but youd probably get way too many calories if youre trying to get most of your protein from nuts.
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The Nutrition Of Nuts
This easy comparison chart shows how common nuts differ in nutritional content, making it simple to choose the nut that is right for you. This chart lists the approximate nutritional content in weight for each type of nut, as well as the approximate number of nuts per ounce. You can compare the number of calories, fat , carbohydrates, and fiber among nine varieties of nuts.
Almonds: Another Good Choice
Almonds are your next best option if you’d like to snack on nuts high in protein but low in saturated fat. An ounce of almonds contains just 1 gram of saturated fat but boasts 13.5 grams of healthy unsaturated fatty acids, including 1.3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Each 1-ounce serving also has 6 grams of protein. Gram for gram, they’re one of the highest-protein nuts.
In addition to quality protein, almonds provide beneficial vitamins and minerals. Each ounce offers 32 percent of the vitamin E you need daily, plus 20 percent of your daily value for riboflavin, a B-vitamin involved in nutrient metabolism. You’ll also get 31 percent of your daily manganese needs and 20 percent of the magnesium you need in a day, plus significant amounts of phosphorus and copper.
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The Protein Contained In Nuts
- The protein contained in nuts
Nuts used to have a bad reputation and were said to be too fat and high in calories for a healthy diet. But this has now changed. Nuts are now considered an important part of a healthy diet, partly because of their high protein content. In this blog post you can find out what proteins actually are, which nuts contain a lot of protein and which ones contain less.
How Many Nuts In A Day Should You Eat
The standard size for a single serving of nuts is one ounce, which is equivalent to about 1/4 cup of chopped nuts for most varieties.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture places nuts in the protein food group and recommends that most moderately active adults should consume between 5 and 6.5 ounces of protein per day.
- Because nuts are a concentrated source of calories and nutrients, a one-ounce serving counts as two ounces of protein toward your daily intake.
- The American Heart Association recommends eating four 1.5-ounce servings of unsalted, unoiled nuts per week.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that eating 1.5 ounces of nuts per day may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Appropriate serving size of nuts is a healthy snack that can boost your nutrients and keep you full. Different nuts offer different health benefits, but the healthiest options are unsalted and non-candied varieties. Nuts make a great post-workout snack because of their high protein content that can help jumpstart the muscle repair and recovery process. Moreover, they can be added to salads to increase their taste and satiety value.
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Worst Nuts For Your Diet
Macadamia Nuts, Pecans
Ounce for ounce, macadamia nuts and pecans have the most calories 200 each along with the lowest amounts of protein and the highest amounts of fats.
However, theyre still good nuts: The difference between these and the lowest calorie nuts is only 40 calories an ounce. As long as youre practicing proper portion control and not downing handfuls at a time, says Caplan, any kind of raw, plain nut will give you a good dose of healthy fats and nutrients.
Worst Snack Packaging For Nuts
Avoid anything in a tub
We’re all for buying in bulk to save money and packaging, but it’s important not to snack straight from the box when a craving hits. Beer Nuts’ “original” formula – peanuts coated with a sweet and salty glaze – aren’t a bad choice themselves , but if you’re munching on them at a party or during a “long day of game watching,” as the company’s website suggests, you’ll likely be eating more than the recommended serving size. Not to mention, the Party Mix variety also includes M& Ms and sugary yogurt-covered raisins, for an extra calorie boost. A better bet is Beer Nuts’ Original Teaser Peanut Sized bags, each containing just half an ounce of nuts.
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How Many Proteins Are Contained In Nuts
As we have now learned, nuts contain important vegan proteins. Since every nut is different, the amount of protein in nuts varies.
Nuts are a healthy vegan protein source. Peanuts and almonds in particular contain a particularly high proportion of protein. The peanut even contains almost 30g of protein per 100g. The two nuts are therefore excellent vegetable protein sources that you can easily integrate into your diet. Use them as a topping for your Verival Porridge, for example.
Why Are Nuts Healthy
The health benefits of nuts are numerous. In addition to being high-protein, here are some other things that make nuts worth adding to your diet.
They help with weight loss.
We all know that weight gain is often caused by a low-fat, high-carb diet. Candy, ice cream, cake, donuts, crackers, white bread, and pasta all fit the bill. But high-fat, low-carb nuts are the antithesis of these weight-gaining foods. They have enough protein and fat to keep you satiated with just a small amount while other foods like pasta will have you coming back for more even after a full serving.
Theyre good for your brain.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in numerous healthy foods, from nuts, to spinach, canola oil, and fish. Broken down, these fatty acidsinclude docosahexaenoic acid , eicosapentaenoic acid , and alpha-linolenic acid , all of which are essential for numerous body functions. One of the ways omega-3s help you is by boosting cognitive function. Thats because theyre able to build cell membranes, and they also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Omega-3s may even help reduce the likelihood of Alzheimers disease and dementia later in life.
They combat high blood pressure and heart disease.
Theyre the perfect snack for those with type 2 diabetes.
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Macadamia Nuts Are Full Of Healthy Fats
Ounce for ounce, macadamia nuts are among most calorie-dense nuts, but they contain one of the highest counts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat per serving.
This good fat helps lower LDL bad cholesterol and blood pressure, Bauer says. Earlier research in The Journal of Nutrition found that adding 1.5 oz of macadamia nuts to a diet reduced total cholesterol by nearly 10 percent and LDL cholesterol by nearly 9 percent in a group of individuals with mildly high cholesterol in as little as five weeks.
One serving, per the USDA : 204 calories, 22g fat, 2g protein, 2g fiber, 4g carbohydrates
Best Nuts For Your Heart
While all nuts contain heart-healthy omega-3 fats, walnuts have high amounts of alpha linoleic acid . Research has suggested that ALA may help heart arrhythmias, and a 2006 Spanish study suggested that walnuts were as effective as olive oil at reducing inflammation and oxidation in the arteries after eating a fatty meal. The authors of this study, funded in part by the California Walnut Commission, recommended eating around eight walnuts a day to achieve similar benefits.
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Pecans May Help Prevent Heart Disease And Diabetes
Pecans arent just for making tasty pies, they can also help improve your heart health. Pecans are among the most antioxidant-rich nuts, says Bauer. They may help prevent plaque formation in your arteries.
Indeed, a study published in the March 2018 issue of Nutrients on healthy middle-aged overweight or obese adults found that, compared with a control diet, consuming about 1.5 oz of pecans per day for four weeks led to improved insulin sensitivity, thus possibly curtailing diabetes risk. One possible reason? The polyphenols in pecans pack anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that benefit metabolic function.
One serving, per the USDA : 196 calories, 20g fat, 3g protein, 3g fiber, 4g carbohydrates
The Hazelnut And Its Proteins
Hazelnuts have a protein content of 16.3 g per 100 g. This is especially interesting for a vegan and vegetarian diet. How well the protein is absorbed or utilised can be measured by its biological value. The higher the value, the better. The hazelnut has a value of 50, oat flakes in comparison a value of 64.
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Essential Amino Acid Profiles For All Nuts
Nuts are one of the best bulking foods due to their high caloric content.
Theyre also a decent protein source when it comes to snacks.
While you want to be mindful of the omega 3 to 6 fat ratio of nuts, you also want to make sure youre eating other protein sources that compensate for any low amounts of individual amino acids in nuts.
As long as youre eating the complementary amino acids within the same day or so, theres nothing to worry about.
The Almond As Protein Source
Whether brown, blanched, roasted, as splinters, flakes or as a whole. With their sweetishly mild taste, almonds are popular with many people. The multi-talent is so famous because it contains so many important nutrients. A handful of almonds alone contains 6 grams of protein.
We hope to have given you a good overview of the proteins contained in nuts. Nuts are definitely a healthy vegan protein source and should not be missing in any diet due to the many nutrients they contain. If you are particularly concerned about getting enough protein in your diet, you should choose peanuts or almonds.
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Protein Amount In Seeds
As it turns out, on average, seeds actually contain more protein per ounce than nuts do. That isnt to say that nuts arent still an especially good source of protein. Plus, they’re very close relatives to seeds . Still, seeds are another great option for a protein-rich snack.
Whats the difference between nuts and seeds?
You may wonder why were mentioning seeds at all if this is a guide to the protein amounts in nuts. Well, nuts and seeds are actually closely related. Theyre not the same thing, but you could call them “cousins.”
That is, inside of a nut, youll often find a seed. This is because, technically speaking, a nut is a fruit. Once you break off the shell of the nut fruit, you get to the seed. Now, when it comes to most nuts, the seed portion of the nut fruit is indeed what you eat anyway. Again, the fruit portion is usually inedible. Still, seeds are generally found inside nuts and are, therefore, not the same thing as nuts. This is why many people call nuts one-seeded fruits.
With that said, a lot of people mix up nuts and seeds, and its easy to do! For one thing, the names of these foods are often misleading . What they look like is confusing too. For example, Brazil nuts and horse chestnuts certainly look like standard nuts, but they are indeed seeds. Additionally, walnuts sure look like traditional nuts too, but they are actually drupes or “stone fruits.” Almonds are drupes too, as are avocados and peaches.
Worst Nuts For Your Sweet Tooth
Check labels for sugar content
Just because something has nuts in it doesn’t make it good for you, says Caplan: “Don’t justify eating a Snickers because it’s got peanuts in it.” Anything coated with or tucked inside layers of sugar, toffee, chocolate, or ice cream isn’t going to give you much nutritional benefit, and the calories can quickly add up, she says.
It’s not just candy, though: Beware of seemingly healthful varieties, like Planters Sweet ‘N Crunchy Peanuts. Although they still have just 140 calories and 8 grams fat per ounce, the second and third ingredients after peanuts are sugar and butter. In fact, one ounce contains 13 grams of sugar . Considering peanuts only have about 2 grams of sugar naturally, that’s 11 grams of added sugar in just one handful, out of a recommended 25 for the whole day!
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Healthy Sources Of Dietary Protein
Those seeking to build muscles need to consume more protein than the standard RDA for their weight in order to facilitate the construction of these new and improved muscle fibers.
This being said, we’ve all found ourselves gorging on high-protein foods like steak or meatloaf to “bulk” only to find ourselves weighed down and unable to keep up with our regular exercise routine. So, then, how can we add protein to our diet without having to worry about its preceived ill effects?
Getting protein from lean, non-animal sources can preserve muscle tissue and help you maintain a healthy weight . When choosing proteins to add to your diet, the type of protein matters. Animal products are high in protein, but they can also have high amounts of saturated or trans fats.
The following list includes only foods that offer protein amidst an overall healthy nutrient profile. Pairing these protein sources with fiber-filled foods, like fruits and vegetables, and healthy starches, such as quinoa or oats, can keep your diet balanced and healthy.
Health Nuts: Ranking Nuts
Heres our list of favorite nuts, ranked by their nutrient density. These varieties contain the most protein, fiber, B-vitamins, calcium, minerals, and vitamin E for the least amount of saturated fat:
Almonds. Our Top Nut award goes to the almond. Here are the main nutrients in one ounce of almonds :
- 166 calories
- 4 grams of fiber , unblanched
- 80 milligrams of calcium
- 6.7 milligrams of vitamin E
- some B-vitamins, minerals, and selenium
Filberts, because they are high in the amino acid tryptophan, are a good nut for sleep. Almonds and filberts have the most vitamin E nearly 25 percent of the adult recommended dietary allowance.
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Best Nuts For A Salt Craving
Look for ‘lightly salted’
If you don’t have high blood pressure or haven’t been warned away from salt by your doctor for other reasons, a handful or two of salted nuts a day won’t hurt you, says Caplan, who has a private nutrition practice in Vienna, Va.
Nuts are, of course, available unsalted. But to satisfy a salty craving without going overboard, look for in-between varieties like Planters Lightly Salted peanuts, almonds, and cashews , or Wonderful Pistachios Lightly Salted . Check ingredient labels, too: Some brands, like Back to Nature Salted Almonds , contain less salt than others.