There are several different approaches to defining nuts.
For example, peanuts are legumes from the point of view of botany, while tiger nuts are tubers, and we both refer to them in our everyday vocabulary as “nuts” or “stone fruits”, although botany sees them as completely different types of fruits.
Nevertheless, we can notice an important feature that is common to all nuts, and therefore they are classified in this category. As the name itself tells us – these are the fruits of plants with a hard shell, inside which there is a seed that is edible.
Many nuts can be eaten completely raw, and can be processed if desired, while some require mandatory heat treatment before consumption. These fruits are allowed for consumption even in the strictest diets, such as keto and vegan diets.
The found primitive tool made just for breaking the shells of nuts dates back to the Pleistocene, which is just one of the proofs that confirm the thesis that stone fruit has been present in the human diet for millennia! However, although it has a long history and is very popular, stone fruit is one of the most common allergens, so you should pay attention to the body’s reactions to various nuts.
Nuts that are popular differ in taste, origin, shape, texture, calories and fat content, as well as many other characteristics, but in general – they generally have a very similar nutritional composition.
Nuts are full of various nutrients and a top source of many vitamins and minerals, as well as health benefits.
One handful of mixed nuts contains approximately:
Protein 5 grams
Fat 16 grams (including about 9 grams of unsaturated fatty acids)
Carbohydrates 6 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Vitamin E about 12% of RDI
Magnesium about 16% of RDI
Phosphorus about 13% of RDI
Manganese about 26% of RDI
Selenium about 56% of RDI
Hazelnut (Corylus avellana)
Hazelnut is one of the most popular nuts. They have a sweet taste. They come from Asia.
Hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E, healthy fats, protein and fiber. Hazelnuts contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and are a very rich source of various minerals, such as: magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium.
It is interesting that about ⅓ of all hazelnuts in the world come from Turkey. Experts claim that it is recommended to eat up to 30 hazelnuts a day, so they are an excellent, healthy substitute for snacks.
100 grams of hazelnuts have about:
61 grams of fat
17 grams of carbohydrates (10 grams of fiber and about 4.5 grams of sugar)
Walnuts are the oldest fruit tree known to man, and they date back to 7000 BC. The ancient Greeks and Romans were well acquainted with all the benefits of walnuts, and they consumed them regularly, and records of the use of walnuts for medicinal purposes from that period were found!
Walnuts have more antioxidant activity than other nuts, and are great to incorporate into your daily diet.
Walnuts are also full of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, iron and zinc.
Walnuts are also full of omega 3 fatty acids, more precisely – alpha-linolenic acid, an essential fat that you must take in through your diet and which the body cannot produce on its own. 1/4 of a cup of walnuts provides as much as 90% of the recommended daily dose of omega 3 fatty acids.
100 grams of walnuts have about:
54 grams of fat
21 grams of carbohydrates (7 grams of fiber and about 4.2 grams of sugar)
Almond (Prunus dulcis)
Almonds are actually the seeds of the fruit of the almond tree. They come from Asia.
Almonds are a very popular stone fruit both because of their subtle taste and because of their relatively soft structure.
Almonds are rich in nutrients typical of nuts, so they can bring many important health benefits. Suffice it to say that almonds were one of the first foods declared a healthy, recommended food in the United States. It is interesting that almonds come from the rose family, and many have called them: “kings of the rose family”.
Almonds have the highest content of vitamin E, not only among nuts, but also among all foods!
Due to their high fat content, almonds, as well as other nuts, should be consumed in limited quantities. As certain research claims – about 4 almonds a day can be quite enough, in order to encourage all the health benefits of these stone fruits.
100 grams of almonds have about:
49 grams of fat
21 grams of carbohydrates (12 grams of fiber and about 3 grams of sugar)
Peanut (Arachis hypogaea)
Of all the nuts, peanuts are the most popular as a snack, and are most often served salted. Like other nuts, peanuts have a variety of health benefits, but it should be emphasized that they also have a very high fat content, as well as calories.
It is very interesting that, although we colloquially call them nuts, from the point of view of botany – peanuts are not. Peanuts are legumes.The seeds grow on annual shrubs. They are believed to originate from Peru.
It contains oleic acid, unsaturated fats and folic acid and also contains an antioxidant – resveratrol.
Peanuts have a low glycemic index.
100 grams of peanuts have about:
49 grams of fat
16 grams of carbohydrates (9 grams of fiber and about 4 grams of sugar)
Pistachio (Pistacia vera)
Pistachios have such a specific taste that you either adore them or you don’t like them – there is no middle ground.
Pistachios grow on a tree that reaches a height of up to 10 meters, and whose natural habitat is southwest Asia.
Pistachios are very popular and widely known for their unique taste.
Pistachios are also an extremely rich source of protein and especially rich in the antioxidant lutein (a natural carotenoid).
They are rich in potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium.
100 grams of pistachios have about:
45 grams of fat
28 grams of carbohydrates (10 grams of fiber and about 8 grams of sugar)
Chestnut is one of the oldest edible plants.
Chestnut originates from Asia Minor, and has been known as a food for all eternity – it was known in the Stone Age. In ancient Greece, it was valued as a remedy for fever and cough. Today, as in the past, the most important domestic chestnut growers are in Asia – China, Japan and South Korea, and in the Mediterranean, from Spain and Italy to Turkey. Therefore, chestnut is an important ingredient in the national cuisines of these countries.
The fruit of the chestnut is found in a prickly shell that protects it until it ripens. Then the green shell opens and the fruit falls from the tree. The skin of the fruit is thin, characteristically brown in color and bitter in taste. The fruit must be peeled before eating.
The raw chestnut fruit has a bitter and floury taste and is considered inedible. A high temperature is needed, which develops a characteristic taste in chestnuts, because it turns starch into sugar and chestnuts become a sweet fruit.
Chestnut is a nut that has an advantage over other nuts: it has a relatively low fat content, few calories, is rich in vitamins and does not contain gluten.
However, unlike other nuts, chestnuts are full of carbohydrates. They are the only nut that contains vitamin C. 30 g of chestnuts contain 7.6 g of vitamin C. Chestnuts are an excellent source of potassium and folic acid.
100 grams of chestnutss have about:
2 grams of fat
46 grams of carbohydrates (8 grams of fiber)
Pine nut (Pinus pinea)
Pine nuts are the fruit of an evergreen conifer from the pine family, and are picked from its open cones.
They come from Asia. They are very small, but don’t let their size fool you because they are rich in nutrients.
Pine nuts are collected from November. Spain, as the largest producer, annually produces 6,250 tons of pine nuts, which represents 40-60% of the total world production. Pine seed is highly valued and its price is so high that it is grown in other parts of the world. Thanks to the climate very similar to the Mediterranean, this species thrives well, for example, in New Zealand.
Pine nuts are an excellent source of protein, contain alpha – linolenic acid, which is great for the heart and contain vitamin B. They are the only source of pinolenic acid.
They have a mild and pleasant taste. Pine nuts are very rich in nutritional value.
100 grams of pine nuts have about:
68 grams of fat
13 grams of carbohydrates (4 grams of fiber and about 4 grams of sugar)
Pecan Nut (Carya illinoinensis)
Pecan is one type of walnut. It has an excellent taste, which, unlike European walnuts, is not bitter. It is a type of walnut that originates from Mexico and the southern United States.They became popular in Europe only in the 16th century.
This plant is actually a member of the Juglandaceae family. Pecan is not really a real nut, but botanically belongs to the fruit.
This walnut grows primarily in North America, Central Asia and some southern regions of Russia.
It has very good characteristics and has special healing effects.
They are a good source of fiber and protein. It contains zinc, vitamin B and monounsaturated fats, they do not contain sodium. A handful of walnuts will meet about 20% of your daily zinc needs.
100 grams of pecan nuts have about:
67 grams of fat
10 grams of carbohydrates (3 grams of fiber and about 7 grams of sugar)
Macadamia nut (Macadamia integrifolia)
Macadamia is a genus of four tree species that are native to Australia and form part of the plant family Proteaceae. Aborigines used Australian nut (macadamia) as their main dietary supplement.They are native to north-east New South Wales and central and south-east Queensland.
Only two types of Macadamia tree seeds can be eaten, the rest are poisonous.
Macadamia nuts hang on a tree in long clusters that resemble grape clusters. A hard greenish-brown shell envelops a spherical and edible nut whose diameter is two to three centimeters. Walnut is white, sweet in taste and contains up to 80% oil and up to 4% sugar. The brown skin of the fruit is wrapped in thick green skin. When the nuts are ripe they fall off the tree on their own.
They are a rich source of vitamin A and protein. They also contains moderate amounts of zinc, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Macadamia nuts are high in fat – monounsaturated fatty acids that are considered good fats.
100 grams of macadamia nuts have about:
70 grams of fat
13 grams of carbohydrates (7 grams of fiber and about 3 grams of sugar)
Cashew (Anacardium occidentale)
Cashew nut comes from the fruit of a tropical evergreen tree on which grow red flowers that turn into succulent apples from which a cashew nut in its shell protrudes. As the apple is also edible, it is considered a secondary fruit, while the nut is the primary fruit.
Cashew originates from South America, more precisely from the coastal areas of northeastern Brazil. Cashew nuts were brought to India by the Portuguese, while today India is its largest producer.
Cashews are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and most of the fat in them falls on healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids – 63% of total fat.
It has more iron than any other. In addition, it is rich in zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B6 and essential amino acids. It is an excellent source of plant proteins – approximately 5 g per handful of walnuts.
100 grams of cashew nuts have about:
40 grams of fat
30 grams of carbohydrates (7 grams of fiber and about 3 grams of sugar)
Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa)
The fact that Brazil nuts grow on one of the tallest trees in the world (Bertholletia excelsa grows up to 50m in height), and that the lifespan of these trees is up to 700 years, tells us enough about the treasure that grows on it.
Brazil nut is still one of the main sources of energy for the indigenous people of the Amazon.
They come from Brazil.The world’s largest producer of Brazil nuts is Bolivia, followed by Brazil, Ivory Coast, Gambia and Peru.
Brazil nut tastes similar to coconut. Brazil nuts contain B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, calcium, selenium, in fact Brazil nuts are the richest natural source of selenium.
It also contains alpha – linolenic acids and omega 3 fatty acids.
100 grams of brazilian nuts have about:
63 grams of fat (of which 15 grams saturated)
10 grams of carbohydrates (7 grams of fiber and about 0 grams of sugar)