Doctors Named the 5 Healthiest Nuts

Close-up of various nuts in bowls

Thanks to their super-nutritious properties and bright flavor, nuts can be an ideal snack. Nuts are tasty and satisfying, suitable for any type of diet, and can be added to a wide variety of dishes or eaten separately as a nutritious snack. All nuts are a great source of healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, they differ in composition and their most important properties.

Cashew. A favorite nut of plant-based nutritionists and vegans, because protein-rich cashews can be used to make amazing cream cheese and other dairy products. These nuts are also ideal for Asian cuisine: salads, curries, fried noodles, and rice.

Cashews contain a lot of copper (more than a third of the daily value in a handful of nuts) – it provides powerful antioxidant protection and helps to absorb many important vitamins and minerals. It also contains a lot of magnesium (which strengthens bones and the nervous system) and iron (which saturates the body with oxygen).

Walnut. These nuts are 65% fat, and they are completely healthy. They contain a lot of omega-3 essential fatty acids (only fish and chia seeds contain more of it), which reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory processes.

It’s not for nothing that the walnut is shaped like a brain. Due to a large number of polyphenols, vitamin E, and the same omega-3 in the composition, these nuts can improve memory, and concentration and reduce anxiety.

Cedar. You shouldn’t overdo it with pine nuts – they are quite fatty and high in calories, but they are a great finishing touch to salads, pasta, cereals, and other dishes. Eating them regularly can reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

Cedar contains a lot of magnesium and phosphorus, which strengthen bones, as well as zinc, a mineral that plays an important role in the immune system. Finally, cedar is high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body at the cellular level.

Almonds. Ideal nuts for those who want to improve the functioning of the digestive system and balance weight. Almonds can improve the state of microflora and increase the growth of beneficial bifidus and lactobacilli. Secondly, this nut contains a lot – but not too much – fat (mostly healthy unsaturated), enough protein, and little sugar.

Almonds make delicious and nutritious milk, cheese, and butter. And almond chips perfectly complement desserts and salads with fruit. However, people with kidney and gallbladder diseases should eat almonds with caution: they contain a lot of oxalates, which can aggravate the pathologies of these organs.

Brazil nuts. These incredibly nutritious “creamy” nuts are actually the seeds of one of the largest trees in the Amazonian tropics. They are the richest source of selenium (its deficiency is more common in people who eat a plant-based diet) – this mineral works as a powerful antioxidant and boosts immunity.

Studies show that regular consumption of small portions of Brazil nuts (up to 50 grams) can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, improve lipid metabolism, and reduce oxidative stress (a condition in which our body is slowly breaking down at the cellular level).

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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