Nuts are a nutrient-dense addition to our daily diets. They are full of unsaturated fats that benefit our health and magnesium that provides a natural energy boost. However, each nut offers different benefits. Here is a guide to common varieties that may convince you to eat them all!
Almonds: Almonds provide the most nutrients per ounce. They are higher in fiber than other nuts and provide plenty of protein and calcium.
Brazil nuts: Brazil nuts are high in antioxidants that prevent free radical damage. They are also a good source of selenium, a mineral that boosts the immune system and produces thyroid hormones. Eating just two will provide your entire day’s dose!
Cashews: This buttery nut contains more iron, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus than any other tree nut.
Hazelnuts: Beside a delightful woodsy flavor, they are also the most plentiful nut-source of manganese with 633 percent of our daily value per 100 gram serving. Manganese is required for healthy bone development, nutrient absorption and blood sugar regulation.
Macadamia: Macadamia nuts are the highest in calories and fat, but still provide plenty of healthy mono-unsaturated fats. Don’t be afraid to indulge in a few!
Peanuts: These legumes pack the most protein aside from walnuts. Studies have shown that they, along with other nuts, can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. They are high in folate, a B-vitamin that reduces risk of cognitive decline.
Pecans: This traditionally Southern nut is the next highest source of manganese after hazelnuts.
Pistachio: Unlike other nuts, pistachios provide lutein and zexanthin, two nutrients that have been shown to reduce the risk of age-related eye disease.
Walnuts: Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent heart disease and depression.
Regardless of which is your favorite, all nuts provide healthy fats, fibers and nutrients essential to maintaining physical and mental health. They can be enjoyed in myriad ways; try them in smoothies, nut butters, flours, and sprinkled over sweet and savory dishes. Nuts will go rancid, so keep them in the refrigerator anywhere from three months to a year.