Though all nuts
are a great addition to a balanced diet, each type of nut has its own unique nutrition properties. The nuts that work best for your diet may depend on your individual needs, goals and taste preferences, so don’t sweat it if you don’t care for a particular type! Here’s a handful of nuts that are considered nutrition powerhouses for you to choose from.
are an excellent pick for anyone looking to improve their cholesterol levels, as they can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. Walnuts are a rich source of polyunsaturated fats which are linked to heart health benefits. Walnuts also pack a punch in the protein department (5 grams per ¼-cup serving) and are perfect for boosting protein in salads, oatmeal or even baked goods.
differ from other nuts as they contain folate and are also high in the micronutrient copper, which helps the body maintain its cell’s protein structure. One serving of cashews (1/4 cup) contains 1/3 of the recommended daily copper intake.
are higher in fiber and protein than most nuts, containing 3 grams and 6 grams, respectively. Pistachios also contain high amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, and B6 which are important micronutrients to get in each day. If that weren’t enough, pistachios also boast more antioxidants (specifically lutein and beta-carotene) – a definite nutrition bonus!
We all know and love pecan pie for the holidays, but pecans
are really great to enjoy every day of the year. These nutritious nuts contain monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid along with antioxidants that help fight free radicals and protect cellular health.
are pretty popular in the nut world, and for good reason. More than just delicious, these nuts are packed with fiber to support digestion and also provide the powerful antioxidant vitamin E. Almonds are also incredibly versatile and are useful in milk alternatives
and nut butter
Ways to fit more nuts into your diet
To get the best benefits from nuts, it’s essential to strive for variety and incorporate as many types of nuts in your diet as possible. Here are a few tried and true ways to enjoy them:
- Add some crunch to breakfast by sprinkling a few tablespoons of any nut to your morning yogurt. Add some berries or bananas for an even bigger nutrient boost.
- Mix up a filling trail mix by combining your favorite nuts with some dried fruit, cereal or even some popcorn for a deliciously crunchy snack.
- Top breakfast cereal with nuts to add some healthy fat and protein to your morning meal.
- Add some crunch to salads or pasta by topping with walnuts, almonds or pecans.
- Top your morning toast with nut butter.
- Snack on individual packets of almond butter or peanut butter for on-the-go protein and healthy fat.
- Fuel up pre-workout with an energizing and easily digested snack of bananas and peanut butter.
Nuts are an incredibly nutritious and versatile add-on for meals or snacks. They easily enhance your diet with plant-based nutrients and antioxidants. You really can’t go wrong with any type, so choose your favorite and enjoy the crunch and health benefits!