Now that I’ve given you all the details about almonds, walnuts, cashew, and pecan, let’s have a look at the rest of the nuts and their nutritional values:
1. Hazelnuts – Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids.
If you like hazelnuts or hazelnut chocolate butter, then all you have to do is find out its benefits. They have monounsaturated fatty acids (91% to be exact), 132 calories and 3.3 g of protein per portion. It seems they are good for the health of the heart, and they contain vitamin E, arginine, vitamin B6, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. They also help reduce bad cholesterol LDL.
2. Peanuts – the eyes’ food.
Peanuts are also very beneficial. Apart from the proteins, fibers, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K, they also contain lutein. Lutein is an antioxidant belonging to carotenoids and improves vision and eye health. Peanuts also contain monounsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols – specifically 61 mg per portion – 126 calories and 4.2 g of proteins per portion.
3. Macadamia – an Australian nut.
They are widely spread abroad, and not that much in Greece. They are used to make various snacks, are added to breakfasts and “healthy bowls”, smoothies, and lots of protein or cereal bars. They contain 152 calories and 1.6 g of protein per portion and have a creamy taste. They are a source of thiamine, vitamin B6, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and help raise energy levels and increase good HDL cholesterol.
4. Brazil – one of the best sources of selenium.
Another nut gaining more and more ground nowadays is brazil nuts. They contain 140 calories and 3.3 g of protein and are rich in vitamin E, thiamine, potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and copper. Due to the antioxidants they contain, it seems that eating them reduces the possibility of arthrosclerosis, while the selenium enhances thyroid function.
So? Can you choose one of the nuts above? I’d say no because they all have some amazing nutritional qualities.
Since I put you in the position of choosing though, I just want you to know that the winners of this comparison are definitely the almonds, as they are rich in vitamins, minerals and "good" fats while they contain more protein than the rest of the nuts. Next in line are the cashews, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts -based on how much protein they contain as they are almost equal in calories. In the last places, we put pecans, Brazil nuts and macadamia, due to the fact that they are low in protein but also due to that they have more calories and fats. Apart from all these, we can eat any kind of nut that we want, provided that we do not overdo it with the quantities and that we make sure to take advantage of all their benefits!
This article was written in collaboration with Kitchen Lab’s Sports Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.