There are several different kinds of nuts available. Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts and macadamias. Though there are others, these are the ones I have eaten before and know where to buy them. Please feel free to comment and add any information pertaining to other nuts not mentioned in this article.
Almonds are super healthy when eaten raw! They possess monounsaturated fats that help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Whenever I am on a diet, almonds seem like this healthy food that is as flavorful as on phony sugar filled candy bar. And though almonds aid flavor in sweets such as Hershey’s chocolates, they are just as satisfying on their own! Limit yourself to about 12 almonds per serving.
Brazil nuts have got to be one of my new favorites! When I go grocery shopping these tend to be harder to find than other nuts. They do score the highest percentage of saturated fats compared to any other nut! They are still packed with vitamins and minerals. 8 Brazil nuts per serving.
Cashews pack in some omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and are a good source of potassium. I am not the biggest fan of them raw, but I’ll eat 12 of them and not regret it one bit.
Hazelnuts are known to blend really well with coffee blends. Also known as filberts, the hazelnut is another mineral and vitamin carrying powerhouse. When turned into it’s butter or spread form, it is known as dukka. Like most nuts these ones are at peak health in raw form and possess polyunsaturated fats. BEWARE: In researching hazelnuts there were allergy warnings. Upset stomach, skin rash near your mouth, or challenged breathing can be symptoms of possible nut allergies. This may go for any kind of nut depending on the consumer. Just check with your doctor if you are concerned.
Macadamia nuts are a common production in the south pacific. They boast 84% monounsaturated fatty acids which are quality fats. Remember nuts are great protein sources and energy carriers. Macadamias are right up there in the protein/energy market. These nuts are tasty like the Brazil nut, but contain some saturated fats and sugars. That being said, it doesn’t make them unhealthy at all! Just cut the serving size down to 8 nuts instead of the standard 12.
Now we come to the least expensive, not really even a nut, the peanut! It contains the proteins, oils, and fiber that all the other nuts provide. A max serving side would = about 1/4 cup of peanuts. Of course they are much healthier in raw form. But of course we don’t always see them sold in raw form. Peanuts have become in many ways like corn. This food is used to add to other processed foods and snacks. Peanut butter is a very popular product of the peanut. Raw peanut butter, in my opinion, is much tastier than eating raw peanuts. Salted, roasted, glazed, and candied peanuts are certainly more tasty, but they alter health content. My advice on peanuts are to refine your taste buds and learn to love them in raw form. Raw butter forms of all nuts are available, but peanut butter tends to be the most affordable and common in commercial grocery stores. For spread or butter forms of other nuts check out specialty health food grocers.
When I think of pecans, I think of ice cream or a cinnamon roll with a pecan in the middle. This nut adds to desserts very nicely. It isn’t so much known for a raw snacking nut as much. Other foods that associate pecans are salads. Spinach, mixed greens, dried fruits and berries mix well with pecans. They pack a few more calories while offering less protein then most other nuts.
Pine nuts almost resemble more of the shape of a thick seed. They can find great use as a salad or dinner item with cooking, but are not the best for snacking with. They do include 7 grams of protein per ounce. I saw pine nuts at $17.99 per pound at a grocery store a few months ago! Just get enough to add to a chicken salad or stir fry.
Pistachio nuts were always one of my favorites when I was younger! I had an uncle that ate red shelled pistachio nuts which he refered to as “private stock”.