We all know by now that kale, chia seeds, and quinoa are simply filled to the brim with vitamins and minerals, and although that we’ve been told nuts are good for us — some are even considered the ultimate superfoods — they often seem to get a bad rap.
Many people shy away from nuts because they hear that they’re high in calories and fat. But what people might not realize is that most of the fats found in nuts are the really good heart-healthy kind known as monounsaturated fats. So the fat you’re consuming is only benefiting your health and not damaging your waistline.
Now that you know not to be scared of nuts simply because of their high fat counts, it’s important to realize that certain nuts will offer different health benefits. For example, peanuts contain high amounts of folate, while almonds contain more calcium than any other kind of nut. In addition to each of their specific nutrient strengths, they each provide various amounts of other nutritional properties including protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Nuts are also one of the best sources of antioxidants, too.
Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet, often recommends nuts as a snack to her clients. "There are so many different nuts to select from that even the fussiest eater will be able to find one type they like," she says.
"They are also perfect for snacking since they’re easy to transport and require no refrigeration or heating," she added. Gans confirms our belief that the fat found in nuts isn’t bad for you, too. "Most contain a good amount of nutrients, some protein, and primarily 'good' fats,” she explains.
Gans also notes that people with health issues such as diabetes, gestational diabetes, and people with cardiac risks may include nuts into their diet and enjoy them. "If you’re worried about the calorie content, my tip would be to portion them out ahead of time, as they can be hard to put down," she suggests. "Also, if possible, try to purchase only the unsalted and unroasted kind."
So, if you’re as convinced as we are about the fact that nuts are great for our health, then you’re probably wondering which to start snacking on. With the help of Gans, we’ve come up with a list of 10 of the healthiest nuts, from common kinds like almonds and pecans, to not so common ones like Brazil nuts. If you’re ready to go nuts for nuts and start improving your health with them, check out these 10 healthiest nuts.