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What are the most healthful nuts you can eat?

The following list ranks six types of nut in order of protein content and discusses their other nutritional benefits. The nutrient measurements in each list are for 100 grams (g) of raw nut.

1. Peanuts

Share on PinterestPeanuts 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

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

Share on PinterestCashews 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

What Are the Healthiest Nuts?

Nuts are among the healthiest foods you can eat. They’re loaded with antioxidants, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fats. They can lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer, lead to better heart health, and keep your weight under control. But some nuts are healthier than others, and they all have different levels of healthful qualities. Here are five of the healthiest nuts.

Macadamias
Macadamia nuts contain more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat per serving than any other nut. This fat has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Cashews
Cashews are very high in iron, zinc, and magnesium. Iron helps keep your blood oxygenated, zinc is great for the immune system, and magnesium can improve memory.

Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium, which can help prevent cancer. Just one Brazil nut contains a day’s worth of this mineral, but stick to about five nuts: too much selenium can be toxic.

Almonds
Almonds contain more fiber than any other nut (about three grams per ounce), and are also the highest in Vitamin E.

Walnuts
Walnuts contain the most antioxidants of any nut around, and also contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation. They’re also high in manganese, which can reduce PMS symptoms.

All Nuts Are Good for You, But These 8 Are the Healthiest

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If you ask us, we’d say all nuts deserve love. They’re the perfect snack: nuts are crunchy, easy to pack and take on the go, and super tasty. Pairing well with chocolate never hurts, either.

But when it comes to nutrition, not all nuts are created equal. We spoke with Malena Perdomo, MS, RDN, CDE, about the health benefits of nuts and which ones we should be reaching for first.

The good news? All nuts are healthy. “They’re packed with good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), and they provide plenty of vitamins and minerals: folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and minerals like magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, selenium and phosphorous,” Malena says. They also contain fiber and protein.

“As a dietitian, I recommend snacking on a variety of nuts to get the full benefits of all their nutrients.” You don’t have to ask us twice. Here are the healthiest types of nuts and the science behind why.

Almonds

A superb snack to munch on. Almonds contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fat, and have a higher amount of dietary fiber than other nuts at 4 grams per one-ounce serving (about 23 almonds). Almonds also have the most vitamin E and protein of all tree nuts, providing 6 grams of protein per serving. That combination of fiber, good fats, and protein has proven to be able to keep you fuller, longer. Finally, almonds have been shown to reduce inflammation in people with type 2 diabetes.

RELATED: The 3 Major Mistakes You’re Making When Buying and Storing Nuts

Pistachios

The highest in potassium (291 milligrams) per ounce compared to other nuts, and the highest amount of vitamin B6. Pistachios are also one of the highest fiber nuts. Pistachios may also help improve other heart disease risk factors, including blood pressure, weight, and oxidative status. Even better: A one-ounce serving of pistachios is 49 kernels.

Walnuts

Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. They’ve also been shown to improve cardiovascular health by lowering your body’s cholesterol and blood pressure. In addition, walnuts may fight inflammation. A one-ounce serving of walnuts is 12 – 14 halves.

Cashews

A one-ounce serving of cashews is approximately 18 nuts, which provides 5 grams of protein. Cashews have the highest amount of iron per ounce and the highest in zinc per ounce of all nuts—both of which are important for maintaining our body’s immune system. (And if you’re a vegetarian looking for foods rich in iron, you’ll want to start snacking on cashews, stat.) They also serve as an excellent source of copper and magnesium.

Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts have 4 grams of protein per ounce (about 20 nuts) and are an excellent source of vitamin E. In comparison to other tree nuts, they’re the highest in folate—a very important nutrient for pregnancy—and one of the highest of monounsaturated fats.

Macadamia Nuts

The highest in calories and fat but who’s counting, right? So delicious. The calories of nuts vary from 160 to 200 calories per ounce. One ounce of macadamia nuts provides 200 calories, which is about 10 to 12 nuts. It’s the nut with the highest monounsaturated fat of all nuts. (If you’re on the ketogenic diet, look no further.) Macadamia nuts may also reduce risk factors for heart disease, including oxidative stress and inflammation.

RELATED: Yes, Healthy Cheeses Exist—These Are The Best

Pecans

One ounce of pecans is about 20 halves, which contains 196 calories and a good amount of dietary fiber (2.7 grams). They’re also high in monounsaturated fat. A few studies have shown that pecans can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol in people with normal cholesterol levels.

Pine Nuts

A good source of vitamin E and phosphorous, plus they’re high in vitamin K. An ounce of pine nuts is about 167 nuts.

RELATED: 20 Genius Ways to Use Peanut Butter That Aren’t PB&J

5 Best Nuts for Weight Loss

Nuts are the ultimate health food. High in protein, rich in healthy fats, and low in simple carbohydrates, nuts stimulate your body to burn excess fat and shed extra pounds. Plus, they make an incredibly versatile addition to your diet. Nuts are a handy snack to stash in your purse, taste great atop a mixed salad, and can be added to your favorite smoothie recipe for a protein boost.

When eating nuts for weight loss, remember to keep calories in mind. Nuts are an incredibly energy dense food, meaning that they pack a lot of nutrients into a relatively small size. Although this means that you get a lot of nutritional benefit from nuts, it also means that eating a huge serving of nuts could add extra calories to your diet (Mayo Clinic, 2015).

In spite of this, nuts have been scientifically proven to help you shed pounds. In a review of scientific literature on the topic, researchers found that eating nuts is associated with greater weight loss, better diet compliance, and improved satiety (Mattes, Kris-Etherton, & Foster, 2008). Choose one of these nuts for weight loss success.

Almonds for Weight Loss

Almonds are considered one of nature’s “superfoods” for their rich content of protein, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats. This makes them an excellent addition to your weight loss diet.

In fact, in a study of 65 overweight or obese adults, eating a diet high in almonds was associated with greater weight loss, decreased waist circumference, lower body fat, and reduced systolic blood pressure (Wein et al., 2003). These benefits are thought to be due to almonds’ high content of monounsaturated fats. Out of the 11 grams of fat in a serving of almonds, 7 grams are from these beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids (WH Foods, 2015).

Cashews for Weight Loss

Light in color and delicate in taste, cashew nuts have a unique curved shape. One serving of these nuts (about 16 to 18 nuts) contains 13 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein (MacMillan, 2015). Plus, cashews are an excellent source of magnesium, with a 100-gram serving (about an ounce) providing 73% of your recommended daily value of magnesium (Nutrition and You, 2015).

Magnesium is essential for regulating the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates (Volpe, 2014), which may help you lose weight. In addition to eating raw cashews, spreading cashew butter on whole-wheat toast is a great way to boost your consumption of these healthy nuts.

Brazil Nuts for Weight Loss

Large Brazil nuts have a unique texture and flavor that makes them a favorite of many. These nuts contain beneficial palmitoleic acid and oleic acid, which promote healthy cholesterol levels (Nutrition and You, 2015). Plus, Brazil nuts are one of the best known sources of the trace mineral selenium. Each serving of Brazil nuts contains more than 100% of your recommended daily intake of selenium, which acts as an antioxidant that may boost your immune functioning (National Institutes of Health, 2016).

Walnuts for Weight Loss

Like all nuts, walnuts are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats. However, walnuts are unique in that they contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats (other nuts typically contain high amounts of monounsaturated fats). There are several types of polyunsaturated fats; the form found primarily in plant foods is known as alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. ALA has been shown to decrease risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions (Erlich, 2014). It may also stimulate your body to lose weight faster.

Walnuts contain 2.5 grams of ALA per serving, making them a rich source of this beneficial fatty acid. In a recent study of 245 women, a walnut-rich diet was associated with greater weight loss, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol (Le et al., 2016). This suggests that eating a handful of walnuts every day could help to stimulate fat loss and promote a healthy body weight.

Pistachios for Weight Loss

The delicate green color and unique flavor of pistachios make them a favorite to toss into smoothies, to add to baked goods, or to simply eat as a snack. Each one-ounce serving of pistachios contains 3 grams of dietary fiber, or 12% of your recommended daily intake (Self Nutrition Data, 2015).

Getting enough dietary fiber helps your body feel fuller, sending signals to your brain that prevent you from experiencing intense food cravings. This can help you lose weight and burn more fat. In a recent scientific study, a pistachio-rich diet was associated with significantly smaller waist size, a sign that participants on the high-pistachio diet dropped excess belly fat (Girdwain, 2014).

Nutty Recipes from Nuts.com!

The following recipes are packed with nuts to help you get the most of your favorite snack foods. Try these recipes today and add your favorites to your regular rotation!

Banana Bread Recipe {gluten-free}

Walnuts add more than just a hearty crunch to this delectable confection. Enjoy the health benefits of ALA and the satiety of protein that these nuts offer in each sweet, fluffy bite. Grab a slice for breakfast, as a snack, or even dessert!
Ingredients: Overripe bananas, eggs, coconut oil, applesauce, almond milk, honey, vanilla extract, brown rice flour, coconut flour, walnuts, gluten-free rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder.
Total Time: 1 hour | Yield: 12 servings

Moringa Oatmeal Recipe

Pistachios act as a terrific topping on this hot cereal and fit the aesthetic of the healthful moringa blend. Enjoy all the benefits this oatmeal has to offer any day of the week with a brief prep time of 10 minutes!
Ingredients: Gluten-free rolled oats, almond milk, agave or maple syrup, vanilla extract, moringa powder, pistachios, dried mulberries, unsweetened shredded coconut, chia seeds.
Total Time: 10 minutes | Yield: 4 servings

Almond Butter Recipe

There’s no end to the possibilities with almond butter: sandwiches, cakes, hearty marinades for savory dishes, and much more can be made with this delectable spread. Enjoy a fresh batch with this easy to follow recipe!
Ingredients: Almonds, coconut oil, maple syrup, salt
Total Time: 45 minutes | Yield: 2 cups

No-Bake Granola Bars Recipe {gluten-free, vegan}

For a nutritious snack that’s both delicious and convenient, these no-bake granola bars are the perfect collation to bring to any destination. Walnuts and pistachios are just two of the healthful components of this wholesome bar, which includes seeds, fruits and more.
Ingredients: Gluten-free rolled oats, peanut butter, dried tart cherries, pistachios, flaxseed meal, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, agave syrup. unsweetened applesauce, melted cacao nibs or dark chocolate.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 8 – 10 servings

No-Bake Pistachio Cookies Recipe {gluten-free, vegan}

Occasional indulgence is to be expected with any endeavor- but, when you opt for a sweet, be sure it’s packed with the nutritive value of pistachios. These palatable cookies offer a sweet savor that is considerably more wholesome than your typical confection. Try one with a cool glass of almond milk when your sweet tooth beckons.
Ingredients: Pistachios, unsweetened shredded coconut, gluten-free rolled oats, maple syrup, moringa powder, water, vanilla extract, cashews, almond butter, vanilla, coconut oil.
Total Time: 20 minutes | Yield: 16 cookies

Gluten-Free Almond Cake Recipe

Another confection that includes a healthy helping of nuts, this almond cake utilizes almond milk, almond flour, and sliced almonds for a triple helping of the delectable collation. Be sure to watch your portions when eating, as it’s scrumptious savor will have you reaching for a second slice!
Ingredients: Eggs, almond milk, unrefined sugar, almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, sliced almonds.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 8 servings

Fat Burning Nuts

These products offer versatile ways to enjoy the nuts listed above. For more options, you can visit our full page for almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts, or pistachios.

Roasted Pistachios (Unsalted, No Shell)

$19.99/lb

Nothing beats the effortless reward of shelled pistachios and the abundant helping a single serving of these nuts offers. With 49 kernels to a serving on average, you can enjoy eating these nuts to your heart’s content!

Dark Chocolate-Covered Almonds

$10.99/lb

Dark chocolate almonds are a great treat to enjoy in moderation, as the healthful benefits of almonds provide substance to the snack. The protein and fiber will also help quell your cravings while the outer coat satisfies your sweet tooth.

Cashew Flour

$16.99/lb

Baking with cashew flour is an innovative way of adding nutrients to your confections. Not only does the flour carry the creamy taste and airy texture into the baked goods you make, but it also serves up trace minerals like magnesium.

Organic Cashew Butter (Roasted, Smooth)

$14.99

Cashew butter is another superb spread that can be enjoyed atop crackers, veggies, fruit, or bread for a filling treat that tastes great. This jar contains all natural cashew butter, so you can be sure of its pristine quality.

Chopped Almonds

$9.99/lb

Chopped almonds are convenient to eat and make a great addition to salads, pastries, and savory dishes to add a crunchy texture and subtle bitter taste. Grab a bag of these prepped nuts today!

English Walnuts (Raw, No Shell)

English walnuts are extremely enjoyable in their whole form and make for an excellent addition to a trail mix. Grab a bag of our walnuts to enjoy a fresh buttery flavor that will have you floating for the rest of your day!

Organic Walnut Date Rolls

$11.99/lb

The perfect treat for when your sweet tooth strikes, these date rolls are nature’s candy! Coated with crushed walnuts, each date roll also offers two sources of healthsome nutrients to keep you fully fueled.

Brazil Nut Pieces

Brazil nuts offer a buttery flavor that is extremely enjoyable, but their large size can prove cumbersome for simple snacking. Our brazil nut pieces are cut to the perfect portion to offer a nutritious nut that’s easy to eat!

Cilantro Lime Pistachios & Pepitas

$10.99

Pistachios and pumpkin seeds create a piquant pair in this mix that is seasoned with cilantro, lime and jalapeño juices. Pumpkin seeds also provide a source of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, zinc, and other essential nutrients.

How Can High-Calorie Nuts Aid Weight Loss?

Go Nuts on Your Diet!

Peanuts, almonds and more are good — and good for you

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic – Expert Column

Many weight-conscious people shudder at the idea of nuts as part of a healthy diet. For years, dieters have shunned nuts because of their high fat content. Well, you can forget everything you ever heard about nuts, and delight in knowing they are now considered health food! The key to including the great taste of nuts in a healthy diet without overdoing the fat and calories is portion control.

Even the government is leaning toward allowing a health claim on food packages touting the nutritious benefits of nuts. The Food and Drug Administration is now reviewing a proposal that would allow foods containing nuts to carry this label: “Diets containing one ounce of nuts per day can reduce your risk of heart disease.”

An Ounce of Prevention

Several studies over the past several years have shown the health benefits of nuts — which contain monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, copper, protein, and fiber, and are rich in antioxidant phytochemicals.

They are a powerhouse of good nutrition that can dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease. They’ve also been shown to play an important role in helping to lower “bad” cholesterol levels and raise “good” cholesterol levels. In addition, they can help dilate blood vessels and prevent hardening of the arteries.

In the Nurses Health Study, which followed 86,016 nurses for 14 years, found those who ate 5 ounces or more of nuts per week reduced their risk of dying from heart disease by 35%. The researchers also noted that the nut-eaters tended to weigh less than the nurses who did not eat nuts.

Dieter’s Dream Come True

To find a food that is delicious, nutritious and filling is a dieter’s dream come true. Dieters who eat nuts tend to stick to their diets because the fat and fiber content of nuts makes them very filling. As a result, they are not as hungry and ultimately eat less.

Several studies have found that eating small amounts of nuts helps dieters lose weight. One psychological benefit noted in a study done by Pennsylvania State researchers was that dieters did not feel like they were dieting when nuts were allowed in their eating plans — which helped them stay on their diets longer.

So here’s some food for thought for all our WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Are nuts in your eating plan? If not, consider creating a new plan and indicate your preference for nuts or peanut butter on the questionnaire. This will result in an eating plan that includes nuts without extra calories.

Nuts might be considered health food, but that’s not a license to overindulge. When you add nuts to your diet, you add calories along with the health benefits. So it’s important to decrease calories from other sources to avoid weight gain. Our program prescribes nuts within the context of a healthy diet to give you the health benefits without the extra calories.

A one-ounce serving of nuts contains between 160 and 200 calories, most of which come from the heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Nuts are also very high in dietary fiber, and are one of the best plant sources of protein.

Most nuts are consumed on their own, by the handful, which can be dangerous. This is the kind of food that often leads to “eating amnesia” — hand to mouth without much thought — and can easily lead to consuming lots of extra calories.

Avoid mindless eating by pre-portioning your nuts in small bags for a great snack to take on the go or to the office. Choose nuts in the shell and you’ll probably eat fewer since it takes time to crack them. Or take one handful and put the package away.

Your goal is to eat nuts instead of other sources of fat like cakes, cookies, or chips. You won’t feel deprived when you top your apple or celery slices with peanut butter!

“Nuts are very high in dietary fiber, and are one of the best plant sources of protein”

Here are some ways to add healthy “nut” fat to your diet:

  • Top hot or cold cereal with nuts for a nourishing breakfast.
  • Sprinkle almonds on top of yogurt.
  • Add peanuts to nonfat frozen yogurt.
  • Use fat-free salad dressing and add nuts to your salads.
  • Use nuts to replace croutons in salads or soups.
  • Bring pasta to life by sprinkling it with chopped nuts.
  • Remember that slivered almonds do wonders with everything from chicken to desserts.
  • Add nuts to bread, pancakes, waffles, or muffins.
  • Mix nuts into lite cream cheese for a delicious spread.
  • Add nuts to popcorn for a tasty snack.
  • Add great flavor to steamed veggies with a handful of nuts.
  • Toast nuts to enhance the flavor. Bake for 5-10 minutes in a 350-degree oven

How Calories in Nuts Add Up

A small handful of nuts is about 1 ounce. Here’s how many calories that will add up to for various types of nuts:

Eating as little as one ounce of nuts per day can provide you with all the health benefits. So do it, go nuts!

Originally published May 20, 2003.

Nuts have fewer calories than previously thought

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Not all of nuts’ calories are taken up by the human body; on some of them, the body gets a free pass, according to studies by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists.

Physiologists David Baer and Janet Novotny, with ARS’s Food Components and Health Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, recently looked at how many of an almond’s, walnut’s, and pistachio’s calories can actually be used by the human body rather than how many calories are in each nut.

For example, while an ounce of almonds has approximately 160 calories, not all of those calories may be available to be used by the human body. When food is eaten, it is broken down into its nutritional components, and its calories are burned for energy. However, just because nutrients are present doesn’t mean the body will readily use them. This is the concept of “bioavailability.”

Many factors beyond a food’s basic composition can influence the bioavailability of its calories. With nuts, that includes whether they are raw, roasted, or ground, and even how well they are chewed.

Nutrition is an integral component of one’s lifestyle—either in a positive or negative way. Over the years, nutrition science has become more sophisticated, and research by ARS scientists is showing that counting calories isn’t always as simple as it may seem.

In their studies, Baer and Novotny found the calorie uptake from pistachios was 22.6 calories per gram, which is 5 percent less than the currently accepted 23.7 calories per gram. An ounce of pistachios has 161.9 calories, but only 153.8 calories are bioavailable. That may not sound like a lot, but a calorie reduction of 5 percent can be quite significant on a daily basis.

Providing accurate information about metabolizable energy (ME) content-calories-of foods is important for reliable food labeling and has health ramifications, according to Novotny.

In a study of walnuts, the team found an even greater discrepancy between what is reported on the label and the ME value. They found that a 1-ounce serving of walnuts contained 146 calories, which is 39 calories—21 percent—less than the label, according to Baer.

Baer and his colleagues also looked at almonds, and here, too, found the trend continued. Almonds were found to have 32 percent fewer calories of ME than what is on the label, 129 calories instead of 168-170 calories.

Explore further

Does your diet contain empty calories? Provided by Agricultural Research Service Citation: Nuts have fewer calories than previously thought (2018, March 22) retrieved 1 February 2020 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-03-nuts-calories-previously-thought.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

When it comes to nuts, almonds get all the love. It’s true; you’ve probably got little almond butter packets (thanks, Justin’s) at the bottom of your purse, almond milk in your fridge, and chocolate-covered almonds in your pantry. But are they really the healthiest nuts?

“Generally, all nuts are good sources of healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, fiber, and many different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,” says dietitian Maggie Michalczyk, RD.

“Many of us don’t get enough fiber, so eating more nuts is an easy way to get more of it,” she says. Plus, many types of nuts are good sources of magnesium, another nutrient many people fall short on.

Another perk: Eating more nuts can support your heart by helping to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.

Whatever type of nuts you choose, they’re a super portable and versatile food. “There are so many ways to use nuts, whether as a snack, in nut butter, as a crunchy salad-topper, or as chicken or fish ‘breading,’” suggests Michalczyk.

Basically, you can’t go wrong—so feel free to mix up your nut game. Here are 10 super-healthy picks to load up on, from almonds and beyond.

1. Almonds

Sirinate Kaewma / EyeEmGetty Images

Okay, yes, there’s a reason almonds get so much health hype. In addition to being a solid source of fiber and protein, almonds have also been shown to help lower inflammation in the body and help you maintain a healthy weight. (Some of those inflammation benefits may stem from the fact that almonds are high in vitamin E. One serving provides 60 percent of your daily needs!)

Some research has even linked eating almonds with a decreased risk of developing colon cancer.

Just note that a one-ounce serving of almonds comes out to about 24 nuts, so keep an eye on your portions.

Per 1-ounce serving: 164 calories, 14 g fat (1 g sat fat), 6 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 3.5 g fiber, 6 g protein

2. Brazil Nuts

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“These nuts pack in plenty of selenium, a mineral involved in thyroid hormone production and that’s crucial in antioxidant function for processes that protect us against cancer,” says dietitian Kelly R. Jones, RD. It’s also great for hair skin and nail health.

“One study even showed an immediate impact on blood cholesterol improvements within nine hours of ingestion,” she says.

Take note, though: These are big-ass nuts. You only need to eat two or three a day to get the benefits, so don’t eat a whole handful of them like you would almonds.

Per 1-ounce serving: 187 calories, 19 g fat (4.5 g sat fat), 3 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein

3. Cashews

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“Cashews have more iron than any other nut,” says Jones. “With iron being the most common nutrient deficiency, more people should include them in their diets.”

The creamy texture of cashews also make them a great dairy replacement, Jones says. Try using ground salted cashews as a substitute for Parmesan.

Per 1-ounce serving: 160 calories, 12 g fat (2 g sat fat), 9 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein

4. Macadamia Nuts

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Generally associated with cookies, macadamias are highly underrated. “Macadamia nuts are high in thiamin (a.k.a. vitamin B1), manganese, and copper, and contain healthy monounsaturated fat, the kind found in avocados and olive oil,” says Michalczyk.

“They are also great in salads or as a more nutritious coating for chicken or fish,” she says.

Per 1-ounce serving: 204 calories, 21 g fat (0 g sat fat), 3.9 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 2.4 g protein

5. Peanuts

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“Peanuts, though actually not a nut at all, but rather part of the legume family, are a good source of protein and many different vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and phosphorus,” says Michalczyk.

Yes, you can reap their benefits by eating peanut butter, but try not to go at the jar with a spoon. “Keep in mind that peanut butter is high in calories, so stick to the serving size of two tablespoons,” Michalczyk says.

Per 1-ounce serving: 161 calories, 0.4 g fat (0 g sat fat), 4.5 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein

6. Pistachios

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“These little green gems make a great snack or salad-topper because of their high nutrient and antioxidant content,” Michalczyk says. They’re one of the nuts with the highest concentration of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which promote eye health.

“Even better: Behavioral research has shown that it takes you longer to de-shell pistachios, so you are likely to eat less of them,” she adds.

Per 1-ounce serving: 159 calories, 12.8 g fat (0 g sat fat), 7.7 g carbs, 2.1 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 5.7 g protein

7. Walnuts

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“Walnuts are a super plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential in our diet and help to reduce the risk of heart disease,” says Michalczyk.

Though they’re a little higher in calories and fat than other nuts, they contain healthy fat that the body needs (and which helps you stay fuller for longer), she says.

Add walnuts to banana bread or oatmeal, or snack on ’em plain.

Per 1-ounce serving: 220 calories, 22 g fat (0 g sat fat), 5 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein

8. Pecans

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“Pecans are one of the best known dietary sources of vitamin E,” says Michalczyk. “They are also a great source of thiamin, a B vitamin that plays a key role in energy metabolism.”

You can use them in yogurt, oatmeal, soups, veggie sides, and more. “Fall is the perfect time to sprinkle them on just about everything,” Michalczyk says.

Per 1-ounce serving: 196 calories, 20 g fat (0 g sat fat), 3 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 2.6 g protein

9. Pine Nuts

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“Pine nuts are a good source of vitamin E and K, as well as iron and magnesium,” says Michalczyk.

Iron, which is essential for oxygen transportation throughout the body, is especially important for vegetarians, who may fall short on the mineral without meat in their diet. Pine nuts contain nearly eight grams of iron per cup, so they’re a great source of the mineral, Michalczyk explains.

Use pine nuts to make pesto or sprinkle them on top of pastas, salads, chicken, or fish for a healthy crunch.

Per 1-ounce serving: 190 calories, 19 g fat (1.5 g sat fat), 0 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein

10. Hazelnuts

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In addition to tasting delish in Nutella, “hazelnuts are a good source of vitamin E, copper, manganese, and antioxidants,” says Michalczyk. Their antioxidants have even been shown to help decrease cholesterol and inflammation.

Enjoy hazelnuts as a snack, or add toasted hazelnuts to veggie dishes, salads, and pastas. (Just be sure to keep the skin on, since it contains the highest concentration of antioxidants, Michalczyk says.)

Or, skip the store-bought stuff and make your own hazelnut spread at home with hazelnuts, cocoa, and a touch of sweetener.

Per 1-ounce serving: 178 calories, 17 g fat (1.3 g sat fat), 0 mg sodium, 4.7 g carbs, 1.2 g sugar, 2.8 g fiber, 4.2 g protein

Isadora Baum Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5-Minute Energy.

Putting nuts in your mouth — okay, settle down — is easily one of the simplest ways to become healthier. In fact, I wrote about the many benefits of swallowing all sorts of nut (sorry) once before:

“A 2018 study of more than 81,000 people found that those who consumed large amounts of meat protein experienced a 60 percent increase in cardiovascular disease, whereas those who stuck to the squirrel diet — consuming more nuts and seeds (approximately a handful of mixed nuts and/or seeds per day) — decreased their risk of developing the same deadly heart problems by 40 percent. A 2017 study also found that plant and animal protein are equally capable of building muscle, meaning lentils are just as good a post-gym protein as chicken.”

But that doesn’t mean you should go round sucking every random nut you find resting on your buddy’s couch, because some nuts are healthier than others. To figure out which nuts are the best nuts, I asked Dana Hunnes, senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and nutritionist David Friedman, author of Food Sanity: How to Eat in a World of Fads and Fiction, to help me rank popular nuts by how healthy they are — from pretty healthy to X-tremely healthy.

Let’s nut…

1. Walnuts: “Walnuts are my top pick for healthiest nut,” says Friedman. “They contain the most antioxidants compared to any other nut and also offer the most healthy kind of fat, omega-3 fatty acids . Walnuts also contain iron , selenium , calcium, zinc , vitamin E and some B-vitamins.”

“Walnuts can help lower triglycerides and protect your heart,” Friedman continues. “They’re also extremely healthy for the brain — in fact, walnuts even look like a brain! Walnuts have even been shown to play a role in reducing colorectal cancer. According to a study published in May, walnuts also improve the gut microbiome, the collection of trillions of microbes or bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, which may be behind some of their health benefits.”

2. Chestnuts: “These have the least calories at only 55 per ounce,” says Hunnes. “But they also have the least protein and most carbohydrates. That said, if you’re watching your weight or calorie intake, these might be the best choice.” Chestnuts also provide a decent portion of manganese, which helps the body metabolize proteins and carbs.

3. Peanuts: While most of the nuts on this list are tree nuts, Hunnes explains that peanuts are actually legumes, since they grow underground, like beans. “These contain 160 calories per ounce,” Hunnes says. “These also have the most protein and high amounts of healthy monounsaturated fats.” These fats are, in fact, considered to be one of the healthiest fats, since they lower cholesterol, and therefore, reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Friedman, however, has a few warnings regarding peanuts. “Peanuts grow underground, which leaves them more susceptible to the growth of mold,” he says. “Since mold is an issue with peanuts, non-organic farmers often use pesticides and fungicides on peanut crops, which is why peanuts and products derived from them may contain high levels of pesticide residues.”

4. Pistachios: “These nuts aren’t only fun to eat, they’re also great if you’re a stressful eater or like to nosh while watching TV, since they give your hands something to do,” says Friedman. “Pistachios are a great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants and heart-healthy fats. They contain more vitamin B6 than any other nut, which is important for blood sugar regulation and the formation of hemoglobin, a molecule that carries oxygen in red blood cells. Pistachios are also rich in potassium , with one ounce containing more potassium than half of a large banana.”

5. Almonds: “Almonds contain more fiber than any other nut (about three grams per ounce) and are also the highest in Vitamin E,” says Friedman. “Almonds also contain lots of healthy fats, protein and magnesium . They may help lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels, and they’re great if you’re trying to lose weight, since almonds can help to reduce hunger.”

6. Pecans: “Pecans have many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,” Friedman explains. “They also contain monounsaturated fats, which may help improve cholesterol levels, and they provide more flavonoids than any of the nuts — flavonoids are among the most anti-inflammatory of all antioxidants, helping to combat cardiovascular disease and the negative effects of aging.” Hunnes mentions, however, that pecans are pretty high in calories at 200 per ounce, and contain less protein than many of the other nuts on this list.

7. Brazil Nuts: “Brazil nuts are one of the richest sources of selenium, a mineral that’s been shown to boost our immune system, improve our thyroid function and maybe even prevent cancer,” says Friedman. “Brazil nuts are also high in monounsaturated fat. They’re a great source of important nutrients, including magnesium, zinc, calcium, vitamin E and some B vitamins. On top of that, Brazil nuts are known for their cancer-fighting properties due to their high amounts of ellagic acid, which is a compound that has the ability to inhibit blood flow and reduce the growth of cancer cells.”

8. Cashews: “Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts — approximately 82 percent of their fat is unsaturated fat, the majority being heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, similar to those found in olive oil,” Friedman explains. “A study published earlier this year in the Journal of Nutrition shows cashews may help to reduce blood pressure and raise ‘good’ cholesterol levels.” Hunnes adds that cashews contains 160 calories per ounce and are slightly lower in protein than peanuts. “These are more buttery than peanuts, so if you like the flavor, they’re a great substitute,” she says.

9. Hazelnuts: “Hazelnuts contain a high amount of phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants that have been shown to help decrease blood cholesterol and inflammation,” says Friedman. “They’re also heart-healthy and have cancer-protecting properties.” Friedman also explains that hazelnuts are good for muscles, joints and digestion.

Hunnes adds that hazelnuts contains 180 calories per ounce and are high in monounsaturated fats, which again, reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. She also says that hazelnuts are fairly high in fiber.

10. Macadamia Nuts: “Macadamia nuts used to have a bad reputation, because they’re considered to be high in fat,” says Friedman. “However, 80 percent of this fat is monounsaturated fat. Macadamia nuts actually contain more monounsaturated fat per serving than any other nut, and they’re a good source of calcium, magnesium and potassium — the three minerals that help prevent bone loss.”

11. Cow Nuts, (aka Rocky Mountain Oysters): “One word for that: DISGUSTING,” says Hunnes.

So there you have it: Walnuts are really healthy, and, well, most other nuts are, too. “All of these nuts are good for you (again, except for Rocky Mountain oysters), so you can’t really go wrong. Just be mindful of portion size, since it can add up,” says Hunnes.

Can’t wait to go stuff a whole nut sack in my mouth right now!

Ian Lecklitner

Ian Lecklitner is a staff writer at MEL Magazine. He mostly writes about everyone’s favorite things: Sex, drugs and food.

In a world where everyone is so calorie-conscious, it’s nice to know there are healthy, satisfying, and delicious snack options like nuts. Nuts are high in protein and can be the perfect mid-day snack to satisfy hunger or add unique flavors to recipes. Below are the top 5 healthiest nuts you can easily incorporate into your diet.
1. Almonds
Almonds are known for being the nut highest in calcium and contain many other vitamins and minerals. They are great for your heart and may reduce the risk of diabetes.
2. Pecans
Pecans contain dietary fiber, which is great for your digestion because fiber helps your body cleanse itself of toxins. They also contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Research shows antioxidants reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Have Pecan trees? Check out our Pecan Harvesters!
3. Hazelnuts
Hazelnuts are awesome because they are often used to infuse desserts with a unique flavor. They’re also great for lowering bad cholesterol and have anti-inflammatory properties. A fun recipe to try with hazelnuts would be to make your own Nutella. Here is an easy 4 ingredient, healthy recipe: http://minimalistbaker.com/4-ingredient-nutella-vegan-gf/ In the North-West United States Hazelnuts are making a come-back. Many Hazelnut farmers are popping up and growing healthy Hazelnut trees. Many Hazelnut farmers use the Bag-A-Nut Hazelnut Harvester to help pick them up.
4. Macadamias
Another nut known for its delicious flavor in many desserts is the macadamia nut. Since they’re high in healthy monounsaturated fat, they may help maintain balanced cholesterol levels. Once again, they are heart-healthy and full of essential vitamins and minerals. If you are lucky enough to have a Macadamia Tree check out these Bag-A-Nut’s to help with your harvest.
5. Walnuts
Walnuts are a hearty nut that can be used in a variety of dishes. They can help with maintaining a healthy weight and healthy cholesterol levels. They are the nut highest in alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 essential fatty acid, which is great for your heart. Check out this delicious recipe for Gorilla Wraps that uses walnuts as the base ingredient: http://kimberlysnyder.com/blog/2013/10/13/raw-taco-gorilla-wraps-2/

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Dietary fats are often viewed as the enemy in the United States, the result of a low-fat diet craze that swept the nation beginning in the 1960s (La Berge, 2008). Many people view fat as harmful to health, particularly cardiovascular function. However, certain types of dietary fats are actually good for you, for example, omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that are an essential part of any diet.

What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat. The chemical conformation of these fats include a double bond, giving them a particular structure that determines their physiological role. Importantly, omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced by the body (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, n.d.). Instead, they must be obtained from dietary sources.

Types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

There are three major types of omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for human health: alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). ALA is the most common form of omega-3 fatty acid in Western diets, and the body readily uses this nutrient for energy (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, n.d.).

Physiological Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The most prominent positive role for omega-3 fatty acids is observed for cardiovascular health. A large body of scientific evidence suggests that increasing consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with lower risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular events (Office of Dietary Supplements, 2015). Omega-3 fatty acids appear to affect cardiac cells, helping them maintain efficient blood flow and a steady heart rate.

Omega-3 fatty acids are actively being studied for their role in other chronic diseases. For example, the anti-inflammatory properties of these nutrients may lower risk of multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other major medical conditions (Office of Dietary Supplements, 2015). More research is needed in these areas to clarify these associations.

Recommended Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

In response to growing awareness about the importance for omega-3 fatty acids for health, the Food and Nutrition Board of the U.S. Institute of Medicine has developed guidelines for adequate daily intake of this class of nutrients. It is important to note that the adequate intake represents a goal for daily omega-3 fatty acid consumption; however, the exact needed amount of these healthy fats is still unknown. The recommendations are as follows (Office of Dietary Supplements, 2015):

  • Adult men should aim to get 1.6 grams of ALA each day.
  • Adult women should aim to get 1.1 grams of ALA per day.
  • Pregnant women have slightly higher omega-3 fatty acid needs, at 1.4 grams daily.
  • Breastfeeding women should aim to obtain 1.3 grams of ALA daily.

To date, there are no formal recommendations for daily intake of DHA or EPA.

Dietary Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Healthy individuals readily absorb omega-3 fatty acids from food sources. Foods that are good sources of ALA typically differ from those that provide DHA and EPA. Food sources of ALA include (Jump, 2014):

  • Walnuts: 2.6 grams per ounce
  • Chia seeds: 5.1 grams per ounce
  • Flaxseed oil: 7.3 grams per 1-tablespoon serving
  • Canola oil: 1.3 grams per tablespoon
  • Ground flaxseeds: 1.6 grams per tablespoon
  • Tofu: 0.2 grams per ½ cup serving

The best sources of ALA come from plant-based foods. In contrast, DHA and EPA are found in high concentrations in animal foods. Food sources of DHA and EPA include:

  • Pacific herring: 1.06 grams EPA and 0.75 grams DHA per 3-ounce serving
  • Pacific salmon: 0.86 grams EPA and 0.62 grams DHA per 3-ounce serving
  • Sardines: 0.45 grams EPA and 0.74 grams DHA per serving
  • Oysters: 0.75 grams EPA and 0.43 grams DHA per serving
  • Trout: 0.4 grams EPA and 0.44 grams DHA per serving
  • Canned tuna: 0.2 grams EPA and 0.54 grams DHA per serving

Vegetarians and vegans, who do not consume fatty fish, may have difficulty getting enough DHA and EPA in their diets. The body can convert ALA to DHA and EPA, but this requires relatively large intakes of ALA (Jump, 2014). Taking a DHA supplement is a possible way to boost intake of these beneficial nutrients.

It is also important to consider the ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to a related nutrient, omega-6 fatty acids. Getting too much omega-6 fatty acids (found in corn, sunflower, and vegetable oils) relative to omega-3 fatty acids may be detrimental to health (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, n.d.).

Healthy Recipes Containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The following recipes provide a source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly ALA, to help you meet your nutritional needs. For more healthy sources of ALA and other essential fatty acids, visit our article on Food and Snack Sources of Omega Fatty Acids.

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

This simple breakfast recipe contains about one ounce of chia seeds per serving, which amounts to 5.1 grams of ALA in every cup. The recipe also contains sunflower seeds and almonds are each a source of omega-6 fatty acids.
Ingredients: Milk, pumpkin puree, chia seeds, maple syrup, pumpkin spice, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, fresh blueberries.
Total Time: 10 minutes | Yield: 4 servings

Homemade Granola Bars Recipe {gluten-free}

These homemade granola bars include a variety of fruits, nuts and seeds to supply a well-balanced and wholesome snack. Two ingredients, flaxseed meal and chia seeds, ensure that the bars contain a hearty supply of ALA as well.
Ingredients: Dried mulberries, dried strawberries, raw cashews, organic peanut butter, ripe bananas, raw sunflower seeds, hemp protein powder, gluten-free rolled oats, chia seeds, flaxseed meal.
Total Time: 40 minutes | Yield: 12 bars

Snack Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The following foods contain omega-3 fatty acids to increase your intake of these essential nutrients. The snacks selected primarily contain ALA. For more snack sources of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, see our article on the Food and Snack Sources of Omega Fatty Acids.

Walnuts contain 2.6 grams of ALA in a single ounce while also providing a source of protein and fiber. Our English walnuts make great snacks and can also be crumbled up to be included in your favorite recipes.

Black Walnuts

$14.99/lb

Another variety of the fatty nuts, our black walnuts supply a more robust flavor than traditional types. This potent sensation is ideal for saturating a dish with the buttery bitters of the nuts without all the added crunch.

Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Chia Seeds

For something sweeter that emphasizes healthy fats, this dark chocolate treat coats a source of ALA in a decadent covering so that you can enjoy the seeds by the handful. Enjoy these as a dessert or mix them into your yogurt for a delightful nutrient boost.

Organic Date Flax Energy Squares

$7.99

Made with ground flaxmeal, these energy squares supply more than the standard protein and carbs that are needed to power you through the day. Each cube’s inclusion of the meal makes it a veritable source of ALA, as each tablespoon of ground flax contains 1.6 grams.

Chia Ginger Superfood Cereal

For a snack that truly doubles up on its fatty acid sources, this superfood cereal supplies ALA through both chia seeds and ground flaxmeal to ensure that your diet contains enough of the EFA. Enjoy this crunchy snack on its own or mixed into yogurt for a satisfying treat between meals or for a quick and easy breakfast.

Top 10 Nuts With Protein

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key attributes of a Truth Bar?

Truth Bars are functional nutrition bars with many key attributes. They were the first bars with both prebiotics and probiotics; they are high in fiber (13-14g); low in sugar (4-5g); contain a full day’s supply of Omega-3 from white chia seed (250mg); and are made from natural, real food ingredients with no fillers. They are gluten-free, kosher, non-GMO, soy-free and all 200 calories or less. Truth Bars contain premium, mostly organic ingredients such as organic extra virgin coconut in our coconut bars. Truth Bars come in both Vegan and Non-Vegan varieties. Best of all, Truth Bars continue to receive mostly five stars for great taste!

Questions About Prebiotics and Probiotics:

What is a probiotic?

Probiotics are good bacteria in your digestive system that help to keep your gut healthy and that make a beneficial contribution to your overall health.

What is a prebiotic?

Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that come mainly from certain plant foods that feed the good bacteria in your gut.

Why is it important to have both prebiotics and probiotics together?

Prebiotics feed the probiotics to help them thrive and work longer in your body. When combining a nurturing base of prebiotics in the belly, with a good dose of probiotics, a garden of flora blossoms and fills the gut with a balanced, healthy microbiome.

How much probiotic is in each Truth Bar?

1 Billion CFU’s.

What is the strain of probiotic used in Truth Bars?

Lactobacillus sporogenes (bacillus coagulans). It is a stable Lactic Acid forming probiotic that has extensive studies of gut healing effects ranging across gastrointestinal issues, bloating, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. This spore-producing bacteria remains dormant in the package and on grocery store shelves, but becomes activated once eaten. This hardy bacteria strain has a protective shell that helps it survive the acid and bile in your stomach so that it can reach your intestines unharmed. Once there, the low ph and moisture in your intestines allows it to activate and multiply rapidly. This is especially true when it has prebiotics there to feed it.

Questions about ingredients:

How are Truth Bars sweetened?

In order to achieve a balance between sweetness and low sugar, Truth Bars are sweetened by a combination of natural sweeteners and real food ingredients.

How many grams of sugar do Truth Bars have?

The number of grams of sugar ranges from 4 grams per bar in the Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bar to 5 grams per bar in the rest of the Truth Bar flavors.

Are Truth Bars Made With All-Natural Ingredients?

Yes. Truth Bars are made with 100% all-natural ingredients and contain no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners, and no fillers. Truth Bar ingredients are also non-GMO.

Are Truth Bars Vegan?

Two Truth Bar flavors are vegan. Our Dark Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Raspberry Coconut bars are both 100% Vegan. They’re both rich in fiber and essential medium chain fatty acids that are easily digested, which makes them incredibly useful for a quick burst of energy.

Three of our Truth Bars are protein based (10g per bar) and non-vegan. Our Chocolate Almond Crunch, Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch bars feature a Non-Vegan blend of brown rice protein, whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate that supplies essential Amino Acids for a “complete” or “whole” source of protein.

Are Truth Bars 100% gluten free?

Yes. All Truth Bars are 100% gluten free.

Are Truth Bars soy free?

Yes. Though often found in chocolate, the specially formulated dark chocolate coating on all Truth Bars is completely free of soy. (the chocolate coating itself is also sugar free)

Are Truth Bars dairy and lactose free?

Truth Bar’s vegan bars (Dark Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Raspberry Coconut) are dairy and lactose free. Truth Bar’s protein bars contain both Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Concentrate. These whey proteins contain a small percentage of lactose.

What about other allergens?

If you have allergies, please read the food ingredients on the label carefully or talk to your nutritionist, allergist, or doctor about what is best for you. Also note that though not every Truth Bar contains these ingredients, they are made on equipment shared with peanuts, tree nuts, soy and dairy.

Are Truth Bars kosher?

Yes. They are certified OU Kosher by the Orthodox Union.

What is the source of Omega-3’s?

Truth Bars contain Omega-3s from white chia seed.

Do Truth Bars contain MCT (medium chain triglyceride) Oil?

MCT Oil can be found in four of our bars: Chocolate Raspberry Coconut, Dark Chocolate Coconut, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Almond Crunch.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch contains no MCT oil.

Where can I find a full list of ingredients?

You can find a full list of ingredients on each bar’s label and product page on truthbar.com. The ingredients can be found by clicking the second tab on each product page.

Where can I find nutrition information?

Each bar’s nutrition facts can also be found on the product pages on truthbar.com. Just click the third tab.

You can also find information on the ingredient page on truthbar.com that outlines key ingredients and their benefits.

Truth Bars & Popular Diets:

Are Truth Bars Keto Friendly?

Keto diets are very low in carbs, high in fat, ideally higher in fiber, and have some balanced amount of protein. The strictest Keto diets require very low to almost no carbs. Truth Bars would not be ideal for the strictest keto diet. But if you are looking for a snack option for a basic or moderate keto diet, Truth Bar’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch bar is a great choice — high in fiber (13g), high in healthy fat (12g), moderate protein (10g) and relatively lower net carbs (6g).

How many Weight Watchers points does a Truth Bar have?

Truth Bars have approximately 8-9 points per bar.

Are Truth Bars Paleo Friendly?

Paleo diets in their strictest form include foods that hunter-gatherers would have eaten. This means no foods that were not available to them (like sugar, processed foods, artificial ingredients) and lots of fruits, grains and lean protein. Paleo diets also restrict grains, legumes and dairy. Truth Bars, while gluten-free and only containing real food ingredients, would not fit in the Paleo diet in its strictest form as they contain some sugar (4-5g).

Other Questions:

What is the shelf life of Truth Bars?

Truth Bars have a shelf life of 12 months from the date of production. We make our bars in small batches, which should ensure that our retailer’s shelves are stocked with fresh bars when rotated correctly.

Do Truth Bars need to be refrigerated?

No. This type of probiotic is not in a live state on the shelf, it is activated only after it’s eaten. For this reason, Truth Bars do not need to be refrigerated.

Questions about buying Truth Bars

How do I find out if Truth Bars are sold in a store near me?

You can use the Store Locator on truthbar.com to search by zip code, city or state to find a store near you.

What if there aren’t yet stores near me that carry Truth Bars?

First, you can talk to your grocery store or health food store’s manager and ask them to stock Truth Bars in their store. They can contact us directly and we can help. Meanwhile, Truth Bars can be purchased on amazon.com/truthbar and truthbar.com.

What is your return policy?

100% satisfaction or your money back. You can reach out to us at [email protected] and we will help.

Please let us know if you have a question that is not listed above.
Simply write to us at [email protected] or [email protected] We are happy to answer any questions!

The 5 Healthiest Nuts You Can Eat

  • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “Cashew Consumption Reduces Total and LDL Cholesterol: A Randomized, Crossover, Controlled-feeding Trial.”
  • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “Health Benefits of Plant-derived α-linolenic Acid.”
  • California Walnuts. “History.”
  • Diabetes Care. “Beneficial Effect of Pistachio Consumption on Glucose Metabolism, Insulin Resistance, Inflammation, and Related Metabolic Risk Markers: A Randomized Clinical Trial.”
  • Journal of the American College of Nutrition. “Effects of Walnuts on Endothelial Function in Overweight Adults with Visceral Obesity: A Randomized, Controlled, Crossover Trial.”
  • Journal of the American Heart Association. “Effects of Diet Composition and Insulin Resistance Status on Plasma Lipid Levels in a Weight Loss Intervention in Women.”
  • Journal of Nutrition. “A Macadamia Nut-Rich Diet Reduces Total and LDL-Cholesterol in Mildly Hypercholesterolemic Men and Women.”
  • Journal of Nutrition. “Almond Consumption during Energy Restriction Lowers Truncal Fat and Blood Pressure in Compliant Overweight or Obese Adults.”
  • Journal of Nutrition. “Walnuts Have Potential for Cancer Prevention and Treatment in Mice.”
  • Lipids. “Macadamia Nut Consumption Modulates Favourably Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease in Hypercholesterolemic Subjects.”
  • Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders. “Effect of Almond Supplementation on Glycemia and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Asian Indians in North India with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A 24–Week Study.”
  • Metabolism. “Effects of Pistachios on the Lipid/lipoprotein Profile, Glycemic Control, Inflammation, and Endothelial Function in Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Trial.”
  • Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. “Hydro‐ethanolic Extract of Cashew Tree (Anacardium Occidentale) Nut and its Principal Compound, Anacardic Acid, Stimulate Glucose Uptake in C2C12 Muscle Cells.”
  • National Institutes of Health. Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
  • Nutrients. “Walnut Phenolic Extract and Its Bioactive Compounds Suppress Colon Cancer Cell Growth by Regulating Colon Cancer Stemness.”
  • Nutrition Journal. “Effects of Pistachios on Body Weight in Chinese Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome.”
  • Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. “Antioxidant and Anticancer Activities of Walnut (Juglans regia L.) Protein Hydrolysates Using Different Proteases.”

Best and Worst Nuts for Your Health

Should you go nuts?

Nuts are nature’s way of showing us that good things come in small packages. These bite-size nutritional powerhouses are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of different nuts, as well as the best and worst products on supermarket shelves today. Of course, you can get too much of these good things: Nuts are high in fat and calories, so while a handful can hold you over until dinner, a few more handfuls can ruin your appetite altogether. And although nuts are a healthy choice by themselves, they’ll quickly become detrimental to any diet when paired with sugary or salty toppings or mixes.

Best nuts for your diet

Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios

All nuts are about equal in terms of calories per ounce, and in moderation, are all healthy additions to any diet. “Their mix of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber will help you feel full and suppress your appetite,” says Judy Caplan, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The lowest-calorie nuts at 160 per ounce are almonds (23 nuts; 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat); cashews (16 to 18 nuts; 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat); and pistachios (49 nuts; 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat). Avoid nuts packaged or roasted in oil; instead, eat them raw or dry roasted, says Caplan. (Roasted nuts may have been heated in hydrogenated or omega-6 unhealthy fats, she adds, or to high temperatures that can destroy their nutrients.)

Worst nuts for your diet

Macadamia Nuts, Pecans

Ounce for ounce, macadamia nuts (10 to 12 nuts; 2 grams protein, 21 grams fat) and pecans (18 to 20 halves; 3 grams protein, 20 grams fat) have the most calories—200 each—along with the lowest amounts of protein and the highest amounts of fats.

However, they’re still good nuts: The difference between these and the lowest calorie nuts is only 40 calories an ounce. As long as you’re 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.

Best nuts for your heart

While all nuts contain heart-healthy omega-3 fats, walnuts (14 halves contain 185 calories, 18 grams fat, 4 grams protein) have high amounts of alpha linoleic acid (ALA). 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.

Best nuts for your brain

Peanuts

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. (It also makes peanuts a great choice for vegetarians, who can come up short on folate, and pregnant women, who need folate to protect their unborn babies from birth defects, says Caplan.) Like most other nuts, peanuts are also full of brain-boosting healthy fats and vitamin E, as well. One ounce of peanuts (about 28 unshelled nuts) contains about 170 calories, 7 grams protein, and 14 grams fat.

Best nuts for men

Brazil Nuts, Pecans

Creamy Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, a mineral that may protect against prostate cancer and other diseases. Just one nut contains more than a day’s worth, so eat these sparingly: Recent research has hinted that too much selenium may be linked to type 2 diabetes risk. One ounce of Brazil nuts (6 nuts) contains about 190 calories, 19 grams fat, and 4 grams protein.

Pecans are also good for men’s health: They’re loaded with beta-sitosterol, a plant steroid that may help relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate. One ounce of pecans (18 to 20 halves) contains about 200 calories, 21 grams fat, and 3 grams protein.

Best nuts for disease prevention

Relatively low in calories, almonds have more calcium than any other nut, making them a great food for overall health. Plus, they are rich in fiber and vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps fight dangerous inflammation and possibly health conditions such as lung cancer and age-related cognitive decline.

Because they’re so versatile, almonds are often a favorite among nut eaters: You can buy them raw, toasted, slivered, or coated with a variety of fun flavors, from Wasabi & Soy Sauce to Lime ‘n Chili.

Best snack packaging for nuts

Choose 100- to 200-calorie packs

Because nuts are so high in calories (and so tasty, to boot!), it’s important to practice portion control when eating them as a snack. We love Blue Diamond Almonds 100-calorie snack packs, available in six flavors, including Cinnamon Brown Sugar and Dark Chocolate. Want more variety? Pick up Planters Nutrition Wholesome Nut Mix on-the-go packs, each containing a 200-calorie mix of cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts.

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 (or in this case, the giant tub) when a craving hits. Beer Nuts’ “original” formula—peanuts coated with a sweet and salty glaze—aren’t a bad choice themselves (170 calories, 14 grams fat, and 2 grams sugar per ounce), 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.

Best nuts for chocolate lovers

Go for cocoa-dusted almonds

Rather than hiding your nuts under a thick layer of sugary chocolate candy—think Jordan almonds or peanut M&Ms—keep it simple with Emerald’s Cocoa Roast Almonds. These nuts are lightly dusted with cocoa powder and sweetened with Sucralose, and have 150 calories, 13 grams fat, and 1 gram of sugar per ounce.

We’d give you a “worst” nuts for chocolate lovers, but the possibilities are practically endless. Just think of it this way, says Caplan: Anything that’s more chocolate than nut really should be considered candy—not as a way to get your daily quota of healthy fats.

Best nuts for your sweet tooth

Try all-natural glazed nuts

Want something sweet and satisfying but without the extra calories and high-fructose corn syrup? Look no further than Sahale Snacks glazed nuts, in flavors like Almonds with Cranberries, Honey, and Sea Salt (160 calories, 11 grams fat, 5 grams protein per ounce) or Cashews with Pomegranate and Vanilla (150 calories, 10 grams fat, 4 grams protein per ounce). They’re sweetened with organic cane juice and tapioca syrup, and each contains only 6 grams of sugar per ounce. Just be careful not to eat the whole bag!

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 (in just a 28-gram serving size). 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!

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 (45-55 mg sodium), or Wonderful Pistachios Lightly Salted (80 mg). Check ingredient labels, too: Some brands, like Back to Nature Salted Almonds (75 mg sodium), contain less salt than others.

Worst nuts for a salt craving

Steer clear of BBQ or boiled nuts

If you’re watching your sodium intake, watch out for hot and spicy or barbecue flavors too. Kar’s Nuts Blazin’ Hot Peanuts, for example, contain 370 mg of sodium per ounce (along with 160 calories and 14 grams fat)—a whopping 15% of your daily recommended value, in just one handful!

Beware boiled peanuts, as well: This Southern treat is made by soaking fresh, raw peanuts, in their shells, in a salty brine. Sodium amounts will vary based on the exact preparation, but Margaret Holmes Peanut Patch boiled peanuts, for example, contain 390 mg per ounce.

Best trail mix

Raw nuts, seeds, and dried fruit

Trail mix is available in countless varieties and from countless brands. “Look for trail mix with raw nuts,” suggests Caplan. “Or if the nuts are roasted, look for the words ‘dry roasted’ rather than ‘oil roasted.’”

Nuts pair great with fruit, seeds, and perhaps even a little dark chocolate, Caplan adds; just pay attention to the calorie count and serving size. We love Eden Foods’ “All Mixed Up” blend (160 calories, 12 grams fat, 8 grams protein per ounce) of organic almonds, pumpkin seeds, and dried tart cherries. If you’re more of a granola guy or gal, treat yourself to a quarter cup of Bear Naked’s Banana Nut mix (140 calories, 7 grams fat, 3 grams protein) with almonds and walnuts.

Worst trail mix

Save high-calorie mixes for the trail

High-calorie trail mix is fine when you’ve got a long hike ahead of you, but too often we eat these store-bought blends while sitting at our desks or driving in our cars. Don’t make that mistake with Planter’s Energy Go-Packs, a 1.5-ounce mix of nuts, semisweet chocolate, oil roasted soynuts, and sesame seeds: With 250 calories and 20 grams of fat a pop, they fall slightly above our healthy snacking guidelines.

Also check labels for sky-high sugar contents: Some trail mixes—especially those with raisins, dried cranberries, and/or candy-covered chocolate pieces—can contain up to 18 grams of sugar per serving.

Best nut butter

Keep ingredients simple

When choosing a nut butter, look for spreads with the fewest ingredients possible: Just nuts (and salt, if you want). Arrowhead Mills Organic Peanut Butter, for example, contains 100% dry-roasted peanuts, and has 190 calories, 17 grams fat, and 8 grams protein per 2 tbsp serving. (We also like their creamy cashew and almond butters, which do contain some natural canola oil.) Keep natural peanut butter in the fridge, advises Caplan, to keep it from going rancid and to prevent oily separation.

Worst nut butter

Skip added oils and sugars

Major brands have eliminated trans fats from their nut butters, but most still contain hydrogenated oils (high in saturated fat) to increase spreadability and prevent separation. Some “natural” product lines swap hydrogenated oils for palm oil, also high in saturated fat. Skippy Natural with Honey, for example, contains 200 calories, 16 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated), and 5 grams sugar per 2-tablespoon serving.

Nutella’s creamy chocolate-hazelnut combo is terrific for an occasional treat—but it’s hardly part of a “balanced breakfast,” as its commercials say. Two tablespoons contain just 200 calories, yes, but 21 grams of sugar. In fact, sugar and palm oil are the product’s first ingredients, even before hazelnuts.

Best way to eat nuts

Pair them with a healthy carb

Now you know all about which nuts are good for what—but to get the most health benefits, it’s also important to pay attention to how you eat them. “Nuts are a great thing to eat when you’re having a carbohydrate like fruit or juice, because it helps slow down digestion and the breakdown of sugar,” says Caplan.

A few winning nut-and-carb combos: Sprinkle them on salads, add them to low- or nonfat yogurt, or spread nut butter on slices of apple or pear. On the go? Pick up a 150-calorie pack of Earthbound Farms Dippin’ Doubles Apples & Peanut Butter (11 grams fat, 5 grams protein).

Best nuts overall

A mixed bag!

So which is the healthiest nut overall? A 2004 review in the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide tackled this tough question. Luckily, they concluded, we don’t have to pick just one. Mixed nuts, ideally raw and unsalted, provide the best variety of nutrients and antioxidants.

The 10 Healthiest Nuts and Seeds

Photo: John Lawson, Belhaven / Getty Images

Nutrition experts agree that the more plant-based foods you can get into your diet, the better-including healthy fats through nuts and seeds. But what are the healthiest nuts and seeds anyway?

Good news: You can’t really go wrong. However, some nuts and seeds have more nutrient bang-for-their-buck than others.

Most people are pretty good at incorporating nuts into their diet already. For the best nut options, you’ll want to choose unsalted raw or roasted varieties. For nut butter, look for versions without added oil or sugar. (Here’s a complete guide to nut butter.)

On the other hand, seeds don’t often get the love they deserve. “For those who are looking to shift to a more plant-based diet, seeds are a great option,” notes registered dietitian Kristin Koskinen, R.D.N., L.D., C.D. Seeds contain the embryo of future plants, which means they’re stocked with energy and nutrients. “This efficient packaging means they offer a concentrated amount of calories. It’s easy to overdo it when choosing seeds for a snack or as an addition to a smoothie, so be mindful about measuring your serving sizes.”

The Healthiest Nuts

1. Walnuts

They might not seem like the most exciting nut, but they’re a great source of antioxidants (which can help fight free-radical damage), according to Alix Turoff, R.D., C.D.N., C.P.T., a registered dietitian and personal trainer. “Walnuts are also significantly higher in omega-3 fatty acids than any other nut,” she says. The Institute of Medicine has set the adequate intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) at 1.1 to 1.6 grams per day (for women and men respectively), which can be met with a single serving of walnuts, she says.

Her favorite way to eat them? “As a topping for Greek yogurt!”

2. Pistachios

“Pistachios are rich in arginine, an amino acid that has been shown to improve blood flow,” says Koskinen. “Not only is this good for your heart, but it may also help with conditions such as hypertension and leg cramps.”

Red-dyed pistachios are mostly not a “thing” anymore, but if you need to choose, go for the ones in a natural-colored shell. Shelled nuts are also an option, but Koskinen recommends the in-shell version as a mindful eating tool. “The process of shelling your own is a built-in tool for portion control, as it slows down the eating process. Pistachios are a great snack, salad topping, or used as a crust for salmon.”

3. Peanuts

Zigler personally opts for peanut butter in a powdered form because it’s lower in calories and fat. “I enjoy mixing it into my smoothies for a great peanut butter taste!”

4. Almonds

“One serving of 23 almonds has about 160 calories with 6g protein and over 3g fiber,” says registered dietitian Stacey Mattinson, R.D.N.

They’re a great alternative to peanuts for those who are allergic, and they pack 12 vitamins and minerals. “Among those are phosphorous, copper, riboflavin, vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese,” Mattinson says. “I like to eat roasted, unsalted almonds (I grab them from the bulk section!) by themselves if I’m on the go, or paired with fruit if I’m at home.”

5. Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are the most concentrated source of selenium, an essential mineral, Koskinen points out. “Selenium is necessary for thyroid function, the immune system, and reproductive health. Eating just one or two a day can bolster selenium levels.”

But it’s a good idea to eat them in moderation only: “They are such rich sources of selenium that it’s possible to overdo things and end up with symptoms of an overdose, such as diarrhea, brittle nails, or hair loss,” she adds.

The Healthiest Seeds

1. Sesame Seeds

“Sesame seeds are an excellent source of calcium and magnesium, and are also a good source of iron, zinc, and omega-6 fatty acids,” says registered dietitian Brooke Zigler, R.D.N., L.D. If you want to eat them whole, she recommends sprinkling them on baked goods, vegetables, and salads.

“Sesame can also be consumed in oil form, and is a great addition to many recipes, including a base for salad dressings and drizzled on vegetables in a stir-fry. Additionally, it can be turned into tahini, which is a form of a seed butter.” (BTW, check out these brilliant tahini tricks you’ve never heard of.)

2. Quinoa

Yep, quinoa is a seed-mind blown. “Quinoa can boast that it’s one of the few plant foods that is a complete protein, offering all the essential amino acids. The high ratio of protein to carbohydrate found in quinoa translates to feeling full longer,” says Koskinen. Plus, quinoa has a glycemic index of around 53, which means it doesn’t tend to cause dramatic spikes in blood glucose levels.

“Quinoa is easy to prepare and quite versatile. It can be served cooked or sprouted. Cooking in stock or broth adds extra flavor and nutrition to your quinoa, but it can also be prepared using water. Serve as a side dish, mixed with greens for a hearty salad, or with your favorite milk and spices like cinnamon or nutmeg for an easy breakfast.”

3. Flaxseed Whether you’re using them as an egg substitute in baked goods or sprinkled over your oatmeal, flaxseed is a great way to add more fiber and ALA omega-3’s into your diet, says Zigler. “Fiber helps to slow digestion, which provides for a steady blood glucose level and sustained energy for hours. Flaxseed may also help to lower LDL cholesterol, which may help to reduce the risk of heart disease.”

However, it’s important to note that in order to get all the benefits of flaxseed, it should be milled (ground) before consumption, she explains. Whole flaxseed may pass through your body undigested, which means you could miss out on the nutritional benefits.” (Need more ideas? Here are 10 tasty ways to eat flaxseed.)

4. Chia Seeds

“Chia seeds are high in both protein and fiber, and contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants,” says Turoff. “Because they’re so high in soluble fiber, they can absorb 10 to 12 times their weight in water, which allows them to form a gel-like texture and expand in your stomach. This can slow the absorption of food and lead to a feeling of fullness.” (No wonder you feel so full after that chia seed pudding.)

5. Cucumber Seeds

When you think of the healthiest nuts and seeds, you’re probably not thinking about…cucumbers. Turns out, those little seeds inside a cucumber have tons of health benefits.

“Cucumber seeds contain a host of health-supporting nutrients including carotenoids and flavonoids,” says Koskinen. “You don’t have to head to a specialty market looking for cucumber seeds-just eat the ones that come conveniently packed within this cool fruit. Cucumbers are great served sliced, as part of a Greek salad, or fermented into pickles.” (Related: How to Pickle Vegetables-and Fruits!- In 3 Easy Steps)

Which nut is the healthiest?

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