It’s not news to most of us that nuts are good for you. Furthermore, you probably already know that nuts are a great source of protein and healthy plant fatty acids, as well as a multitude of vitamins and minerals that your body craves so much. And while that’s all fine and dandy, why not go beyond this blanket statement and find out which nuts are the healthiest, and most importantly, why? Since each nut variety has its own nutritional content and benefits, knowing them will help you choose the varieties that meet your nutritional needs the best.
Funny enough, the first nut on this list is botanically-categorized as a seed of the pistachio tree, but its nutritional content is so close to that of other nuts we typically consider it a nut. Nut or not, pistachios have been found to reduce one’s risk of cardiovascular disease and to prevent blood pressure spikes after a meal.
Calories: 156 Fiber: 3 g Protein: 5.8 g Fats: 7.8 g Carbohydrates: 8 g Vitamin E: 3% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) Vitamin B6: 18% of the RDI Magnesium: 8% of the RDI Potassium: 8% of the RDI
Almonds are outstanding for one’s health, as they’ve been found to aid weight loss, reduce inflammation in the body and even to improve bad (LDL) cholesterol levels in some studies. Apart from that, consuming almonds may help with sugar spikes in type 2 diabetes and promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Calories: 162 Fiber: 3.5 g Protein: 6 g Fats: 14 g Carbohydrates: 6.1 g Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI Riboflavin: 13% of the RDI Magnesium: 19% of the RDI Phosphorus: 13% of the RDI Calcium: 8% of the RDI Manganese: 34% of the RDI
3. Macadamia Nut
Macadamia nuts are among the richest in monosaturated fats, which are exactly the fats that help prevent high LDL cholesterol, blood sugar spikes, and even overeating, so these creamy, crunchy nuts will be beneficial to those who want to lose some weight or want to prevent the development of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular issues.
Calories: 200 Fiber: 2.5 g Protein: 2 g Fats: 21 g Carbohydrates: 4 g Vitamin E: 1% of the RDI Vitamin B6: 5% of the RDI Magnesium: 9% of the RDI Copper: 11% of the RDI Iron: 6% of the RDI
Hazelnuts are slightly lower than most nuts in protein, but they are full of other beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, and their sweet taste makes them the perfect complement in desserts. There are also some studies suggesting they can help normalize cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular disease.
Calories: 176 Fiber: 3.5 g Protein: 6 g Fats: 9 g Carbohydrates: 6 g Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI Copper: 24% of the RDI Manganese: 87% of the RDI Magnesium: 20% of the RDI
5. Brazil Nut
Brazil nuts have a very impressive nutritional profile, as only one nut a day is enough to provide you with enough selenium, but brazil nuts are also high in other essential minerals that have many health benefits. For one, the high selenium content in the nuts may help you become more concentrated and helps prevent thyroid issues.
Calories: 182 Fiber: 2 g Protein: 4 g Fats: 18 g Carbohydrates: 13 g Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI Magnesium: 26% of the RDI Selenium: 100% of the RDI
Cashews are especially high in antioxidants. Apart from that, people suffering from metabolic syndrome may benefit especially from this nut, as studies have shown that they can decrease blood pressure and improve digestion among these patients.
Calories: 155 Fiber: 1 g Protein: 5 g Fats: 12 g Carbohydrates: 9 g Vitamin E: 1% of the RDI Magnesium: 20% of the RDI
7. Pine Nut
Pine nuts may be tiny, but they’re packed full of healthy nutrients, particularly antioxidants and lutein, with the latter having a beneficial effect on eyesight. Just a handful of pine nuts may also help with appetite control and contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Calories: 188 Fiber: 1 g Protein: 3.8 g Fats: 19 g Carbohydrates: 3.7 g Vitamin E: 13% of the RDI Magnesium: 18% of the RDI Manganese: 100% of the RDI Folate: 9% of the RDI
Walnuts have more calories than a lot of other nuts on this list despite being quite low in carbs. This is because walnuts are packed with healthy fats, such as omega-3 fats and alpha-linoleic acids. These fats may account for their observed beneficial effects on cholesterol levels and inflammation. Also, the little nuts don’t just look like brains, they can also good for your brains, having a beneficial effect on reasoning skills.
Calories: 182 Fiber: 2 g Protein: 4 g Fats: 18 g Carbohydrates: 4 g Vitamin E: 3% of the RDI Vitamin B6: 8% of the RDI Magnesium: 11% of the RDI Zinc: 6% of the RDI
Peanuts are interesting, as they’re not tree nut per se, they’re actually legumes, but their nutritional profile is very similar to that of tree nuts, which is why we think of it as a nut. Peanuts are affordable, easy to find, and are just as nutritious as any other nut on this list. It’s rich in various antioxidants and amino acids, both of which are associated with the prevention of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Calories: 176 Fiber: 3 g Protein: 4 g Fats: 17 g Carbohydrates: 5 g Vitamin E: 21% of the RDI Niacin: 19% of the RDI Folate: 10% of the RDI Magnesium: 11% of the RDI Manganese: 29% of the RDI Phosphorus: 10% of the RDI
Like many other nuts on this list, pecans are full of healthy nutrients, such as polyphenol antioxidants, and according to research, people who ate plenty of pecans had 20% more antioxidants in their blood than those who didn’t. This is kind of amazing, as antioxidants can guard your body against all kinds of degenerative diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Calories: 193 Fiber: 2.5 g Protein: 3 g Fats: 20 g Carbohydrates: 4 g Vitamin E: 2% of the RDI Magnesium: 8% of the RDI Zinc: 7% of the RDI