Six most healthful nuts

Nuts are a good source of healthful fats, fiber, and other beneficial nutrients. Each type of nut offers different nutritional benefits.

Nuts are among the best sources of plant-based proteins. According to a 2017 review study, a diet rich in nuts may help prevent risk factors, such as inflammation, for some chronic diseases.

In this article, we recommend the most healthful types of nut to eat based on their protein content and the other nutritional benefits that they offer.


1. Peanuts
Peanuts in and out of shells spilling out of wooden bowl.
Peanuts are often more affordable than other types of nut.
Eating peanuts is an excellent way for people to boost the amount of protein in their diet. Peanuts are widely available and provide several essential nutrients.

Although peanuts are technically a legume, which means that they belong to a group of foods from a specific plant family, most people consider them as a nut.

Peanuts contain a range of polyphenols, antioxidants, flavonoids, and amino acids. Research has shown all of these components to be beneficial to human health.

According to the nutrient database that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created, 100 g of peanuts contains 567 calories and the following quantities of other nutrients:

protein: 25.80 g
fat: 49.24 g
carbohydrate: 16.13 g
fiber: 8.50 g
sugar: 4.72 g
The fats in peanuts are mainly healthful monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), although these nuts do contain a smaller amount of saturated fats.

There are also plenty of minerals in 100 g of peanuts, including those below:

calcium: 92 milligrams (mg)
iron: 4.58 mg
magnesium: 168 mg
phosphorous: 376 mg
potassium: 705 mg
Peanuts also offer the benefit of being more affordable than many other nut varieties.

2. Almonds
Almonds have become increasingly popular in recent years, and they are now readily available in many places. They contain slightly less protein than peanuts, but make up for it with other nutrients.

Almonds may be the perfect snack for people who are looking for a healthful, protein-rich alternative to potato chips or pretzels.

According to the USDA, each 100 g of almonds contains 579 calories and has the following nutritional profile:

protein: 21.15 g
fat: 49.93 g
carbohydrate: 21.55 g
fiber: 12.50 g
sugar: 4.35 g
Most of the fats in almonds are monounsaturated fats. Almonds are also rich in vitamins and minerals, such as:

calcium: 269 mg
iron: 3.71 mg
magnesium: 270 mg
phosphorous: 481 mg
potassium: 733 mg
vitamin E: 25.63 mg
The health benefits of almonds
The health benefits of almonds
In this article, we take a close look at the health benefits of almonds and consider what the research says about them.

3. Pistachios
Pistachios contain plenty of protein and other vital nutrients. They are also a source of healthful fatty acids and antioxidants.

The popular green nut is technically a seed of the pistachio tree, but people generally view it as a nut due to its appearance and feel.

A study published in Nutrition Today noted that eating pistachios has a beneficial effect on blood pressure and endothelial function, which may lead to a reduced risk of heart-related health issues.

According to the USDA database, every 100 g of pistachios contains 560 calories and the following nutrient quantities:

protein: 20.16 g
fat: 45.32 g
carbohydrate: 27.17 g
fiber: 10.60 g
sugar: 7.66 g
Healthful monounsaturated fatty acids and PUFAs make up most of the fat content in pistachios.

While pistachios offer fewer minerals than some other nuts, they contain a substantial 1,025 mg of potassium per 100 g.

Other notable vitamins and minerals in pistachios include:

calcium: 105 mg
iron: 3.92 mg
magnesium: 121 mg
phosphorous: 490 mg

4. Cashews
Cashew nuts on wooden spoon.
Cashews are rich in monounsaturated fats.
Cashews have a creamy texture that makes them a great addition to many dishes and snacks.

As reported by the USDA, 100 g of cashews contains 553 calories and the following nutrients:

protein: 18.22 g
fat: 43.85 g
carbohydrate: 30.19 g
fiber: 3.30 g
sugar: 5.91 g
Most of the fats in cashews are monounsaturated fats.

The important vitamins and minerals in cashews include:

calcium: 37 mg
iron: 6.68 mg
magnesium: 292 mg
phosphorous: 593 mg
potassium: 660 mg

5. Walnuts
Walnuts are higher in calories than some other nuts despite being lower in carbohydrates than many of them. The high calorie count is due to the very high fat content.

However, the fats in walnuts are predominantly PUFAs, which may offer several health benefits.

While walnuts are known for their healthful fat content, they are a good source of protein and other nutrients as well.

Along with 654 calories per 100 g, the USDA list walnuts as containing:

protein: 15.23 g
fat: 65.21 g
carbohydrate: 13.71 g
fiber: 6.7 g
sugar: 2.61 g
Walnuts have a slightly lower mineral content than other nuts:

calcium: 98 mg
iron: 2.91 mg
magnesium: 158 mg
phosphorous: 346 mg
potassium: 441 mg
Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition states that walnuts are also a rich source of flavonoids and phenolic acid.

6. Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts have a distinctive flavor that makes them a favorite in sweet foods.

Hazelnuts contain less protein than other nuts but may make up for it with other health benefits.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, hazelnuts may help reduce cholesterol.

In the USDA database, 100 g of hazelnuts contains 628 calories as well as the following:

protein: 14.95 g
fat: 60.75 g
carbohydrate: 16.70 g
fiber: 9.7 g
sugar: 4.34 g
This protein and fat content makes hazelnuts more similar to walnuts than to other types of nut.

The majority of fats in hazelnuts are monounsaturated fats, but they include some polyunsaturated and saturated fats in addition. Hazelnuts also contain the following:

calcium: 114 mg
iron: 4.70 mg
magnesium: 163 mg
phosphorous: 290 mg
potassium: 680 mg

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