Nuts should be a staple of any healthy person’s diet. I love them soaked and pureed into sauces, when I need a snack, to add interest to a salad, or my newest hobby to make homemade nut milks for breakfast granola or yummy golden milk made with cinnamon and turmeric. Which got me thinking, which nuts are healthiest? Here is what I learned.
Pistachios: Most health professionals will pick the pistachio as the healthiest. It is a great source of protein, fiber, and heart healthy fats; they are also great for people who are prone to eat when stressed. Shelling this nut give the hands something to do, which is a very soothing and calming effect on the mind. I recommend them to client because they slow the eater down every time you have to shell one. You also get more nuts per serving, about 49 nuts, than other nuts. Enjoy them in a recipe or by themselves
Walnuts: These amazing nuts contain essential omega-3 fatty acids in the form of Alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA), which play a role in brain function. Walnuts are shown to help protect against heart disease and lower inflammation in the body. I add them to my oatmeal for breakfast or make a raw vegan brownie with them for dessert.
Brazil nuts: Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, (which is necessary for iodine absorption) a mineral that is been touted for its antioxidant properties. It’s also important for reproductive health and thyroid function. I consume 1-2 per day as a supplement.
Cashews: I love to make vegan sauces or milk with cashews by soaking them over night. They are loaded with copper and magnesium. Copper is an important mineral, which plays a role in iron usage. Magnesium regulates muscles and nerve function. This is such a versatile nut to cook with.
Almonds: Almonds contain vitamin E, which is good for the skin, improves immune function, and protects the body from oxidative damage. They contain folate, calcium, and magnesium. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, which reduce inflammation and lower heart disease. I like a frozen banana with a spoonful of almond butter and a dash of almonds slivers for crunch, for a sweet treat on a hot summer day.
Pecans: Another nut loaded with monounsaturated fats; which may help improve cholesterol profile. They contain 19 different vitamins and mineral as well as antioxidants (flavonoids). They have 3 times the antioxidants of almonds, and 10 times that of walnuts. My favorite way to eat pecans is in granola.
Macadamia nuts: These nuts are high in caloric content, but loaded with nutritional benefits. I buy them raw and keep them in my freezer. I will grab 4-5 out of the freezer and love the hard cold crunch. This nut is high in omega-9 essential fatty acids, which have been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Additional, they are rich in vitamin A, iron, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folates. I’ve also made milk and flour with this nut. Great in the winter with hot cocoa!
****Eat your nuts unroasted and raw will give you more bang for your buck nutritionally