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In a Nutshell: The Benefits of Nuts

By Sara Butler

Nuts previously had a bad reputation as high in fat, but research over the last several years has revealed that nuts are actually a good addition to a healthy diet. Nuts have many health benefits such as fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; they also happen to be a great source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – both of which are great for heart health. Here are some of the benefits of different kinds of nuts … in a nutshell.

Almonds

A serving of almonds is about 23 nuts, a serving that packs in Vitamin E, calcium, folate, and magnesium. Almonds can be used blanched, sliced, whole or even made into butter or flour to be used in recipes.

Pistachios

You get 49 nuts in a serving of pistachios, and they are full of zeaxanthin, lutein, and antioxidants. The fact that these often come in the shell is a benefit too, since removing them from the shell one by one forces you to take your time as you eat them. They’re a great addition to salads, whole grains and even as a coating for baked meat.

Cashews

You get about 18 cashews in a serving that provides your body with magnesium and copper. You can eat them raw or roasted, or add then to your favorite recipe. They make great nut butter and are often used by vegans to make cheese that actually tastes pretty darn good!

Macadamias

Transport yourself to the tropics with a 10- to 12-nut serving of these unique nuts. Macadamia nuts are high in fat, but most of it is monounsaturated. They are a great source of manganese too.

Hazelnuts

A serving of hazelnuts is about 21 nuts, rich in monounsaturated fats and a great source of manganese, copper, and Vitamin E. You may also see these nuts under their other moniker: Filberts. You can buy them whole, sliced, diced and even ground to use in baking gluten-free goodies.

Walnuts

Walnuts are the big daddy of the nut world, and 14 halves will give you a punch of antioxidants and alpha-linolenic acid, the plant version of omega-3 fatty acid.

Pecans

These sweet and mellow nuts provide antioxidants and monounsaturated fats in a serving of 19 halves. They make a great addition to morning oatmeal, sprinkled on a salad, or as a way to add texture to a variety of dishes. Experiment and see how you can incorporate them!

There are many different types of nuts in the world. Explore them to find a heart-healthy and satisfying snack to have on hand!

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