Nuts are highly nutritious, offering a host of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. While all nuts can contribute to a healthy diet, certain ones are particularly noteworthy for their nutrient profiles:
Almonds: Almonds are rich in vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber. They also contain a decent amount of protein and healthy monounsaturated fats. Almonds have been associated with heart health and may aid in managing blood sugar levels.
Walnuts: Walnuts are the only nut significantly high in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can promote heart health. They're also packed with antioxidants, which can combat oxidative stress in the body.
Pistachios: Pistachios are high in fiber and protein. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants important for eye health. Plus, because they're often eaten with the shell, they can help slow down your eating and potentially contribute to weight control.
Cashews: Cashews are a good source of magnesium, a mineral that plays a key role in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including energy production and nerve function. They're also rich in iron and zinc.
Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are the richest known source of selenium, a mineral and antioxidant crucial for thyroid health. Just one Brazil nut can provide a day's worth of selenium. However, they should be eaten in moderation due to their very high selenium content, as too much can lead to selenium toxicity.
Hazelnuts: Hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E and have a high concentration of monounsaturated fats. They also contain notable amounts of folate, an essential nutrient for brain health and fetal development.
While these nuts are especially nutritious, it's beneficial to include a variety of nuts in your diet to get a mix of different nutrients. Also, keep in mind that while nuts are healthy, they are also high in calories, so portion control is essential. Opt for raw or roasted unsalted nuts.