If one eats just 30g of nuts a day, which is around a handful, you can meet your daily nutrient needs and maintain your health. In fact, science shows eating a handful of these superfoods five or more times a week can lower your risk of heart disease by 30-50%, reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by around 25% and assist in managing your weight. Recently a daily 30g handful has also been found to improve longevity.
Good Things come in Small Packages.
These bite-size nutritional powerhouses are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. So it’s time to go a little nutty! Sprinkle some on your morning oats or snacks for that extra crunch. Keep some in the office drawer for the perfect snack.
They 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 they are a healthy choice for themselves, they’ll quickly become detrimental to any diet when paired with sugary or salty toppings or mixes.
What does 30g of Nuts equal?
- 20 almonds
- 10 Brazil nuts
- 15 cashews
- 4 chestnuts
- 20 hazelnuts
- 15 macadamias
- 15 pecans
- 2 tbs pine nuts
- 30 pistachio kernels out of the shell
- 9 walnuts
- A small handful of mixed varieties
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 fibre 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 pcs; 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat); cashews (16 to 18 pcs; 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat); and pistachios (49 pcs; 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat). Avoid those 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 too high temperatures that can destroy their nutrients.)
Best Nut 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 fibre 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 favourite among nut eaters: You can buy them raw, toasted, slivered, or coated with a variety of fun flavours.
Best Nut for your Brain
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 Nut for your Heart
While all nuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, walnuts (14 halves contain 185 calories, 18 grams fat, 4 grams protein) have high amounts of heart-healthy alpha linoleic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. 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 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.
Brazil Nuts benefits to a man
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.
So which is the “Healthiest Nut” overall?
A mixed bag!
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. Check out a wonderful antioxidant boosting supplement in our store for great results.