Healthy Nuts For Every Need + How To Eat More Of Them
There are over 50 types of nuts around the world, with over 20 of them being edible and boasting a powerful source of plant-based proteins, heart-healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
A few of the healthiest nuts include almonds, cashews, walnuts, and macadamia nuts.
To add nuts to your diet, consider snacking on them raw, making your own nut butter, or adding them to salads.
Whether sprinkled into salads or added to your favorite trail mix, the healthiest nuts add a significant amount of texture, flavor, and, most importantly, nutritional value to meals and snacks. But which are the healthiest nuts you can eat, and how do their nutritional benefits compare?
The healthiest nuts
For the record, unless you’re snacking on the sugarcoated, candied varieties, all nuts are inherently healthy.
Almonds: Best for skin health
For anyone struggling with skin ailments or traumas, like uneven pigmentation, add a handful of almonds to your snacking rotation.
Almonds are the nut with the most vitamin E, an antioxidant which supports skin health by protecting skin cells from the damaging effects of free radicals caused by pollution, UV rays, cigarette smoke, and other factors.
For example, a 2019 study published in the journal Phytother Research found wrinkle severity reduced when a randomized control trial of 50 postmenopausal women consume 20% of their daily calories in almonds for 16 weeks.
Peanuts: Best for stress relief
Aside from being delicious, research shows that peanuts contain a slew of health benefits.
For instance, according to a 2022 randomized clinical trial consuming 25 grams (a little under an ounce) of peanuts every day could help reduce cholesterol levels, thanks to the superfood’s healthy amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
And, in addition to its cardiac benefits, research suggests that the bioactive compounds in peanuts can help reduce stress levels, as well as improve memory.
Cashews: Best for high blood pressure
Cashews are equally rich in nutrients.
Aside from their being loaded with magnesium which supports muscle relaxation, nerve function, and energy production, plus iron, which is great for the immune system, studies show that cashews can help reduce cholesterol levels and therefore keep blood pressure levels stable as well.
Pistachios: Best complete plant-based protein source
Pistachios are crowd-pleasers, with their smooth texture and sweet flavor profile, but they also come highly recommended by experts.
This is because pistachios are a “complete” plant based protein source and also a good source of fiber and a great source of healthy fats, making them a satiating snack if you’re on the go or in need of a quick energy boost.
Walnuts: Best for brain health
It’s kind of ironic that walnuts are shaped like a brain. A review of both human and animal data published in the journal Nutrients noted that walnuts’ strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may play a role in protecting the brain against cognitive decline.
Walnuts are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 polyunsaturated fat.