Other significant vitamins/minerals: riboflavin, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc.
The word superfood gets tossed around in respect to walnuts more than any other nut. This basically means while we now know walnuts are nutrient-packed, we're still in the process of discovering all the benefits they can bring.
Among the latest studies was one that found that walnuts may actually enhance reasoning skills in teenagers! Considering the insane popularity of Justin Bieber, this is no small feat.
A well-publicized study in 2006 found that the fatty acids derived from regular walnut consumption decreased subjects' total cholesterol level and LDL cholesterol in short-term trials.
And you don't have to eat a tree's worth to see the benefits!
Just a quarter cup serving of walnuts daily provides almost 100 percent of the total recommended omega-3 fatty acid intake and contains just 163 calories. Just a one-ounce serving has more omega-3s than a 4 oz piece of salmon.
Walnuts also contain phytonutrients and antioxidants that are known to be helpful in reducing inflammation levels and warding off type 2 diabetes. Another interesting walnut factoid: They're a rich source of melatonin, which encourages a healthy sleep cycle.
What's in an ounce of walnuts?
Serving Size 14 halves
Amount per serving
Total Fat 18.5g
Total Carb 3.9g
Other significant vitamins/minerals: thiamine, vitamin B6, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc.
Pistachios are also the inspiration behind the "pistachio effect, " an interesting approach to eating highlighted in a recent study at Eastern Illinois University. The authors of the study found that subjects who were offered pistachios in shells ate an average of 125 calories worth of nuts, whereas those who were offered shelled nuts consumed an average of 211 calories. However, participants on both sides rated their fullness and satisfaction the same, despite the difference in calories.
The Takeaway: Eating more slowly and mindfully can help you stick to caloric restrictions and get more satisfaction through less food. Your mother always told you that eating slowly was better for you, and here's proof mom may have been onto something. So take your time and savor this healthy comfort food!
What's in an ounce of pistachios?
Serving Size 49, dry roasted without salt
Total Fat 12.7g
Total Carb 8.3g
Other significant vitamins/minerals: thiamine, vitamin B6, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc.
Cashews have a buttery, fatty flavor that puts them right up with macadamias as the most feared nuts. Fear not! Cashews are one of the most nutrient-rich nuts in the orchard, with plenty of iron, zinc, and trace minerals.
A 1 oz serving provides nearly a quarter of your daily phosphorus requirements!
What's in an ounce of cashews?
Serving Size 18 halves and pieces, dry-roasted without salt
Total Fat 13.1g
Total Carb 9.2
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 7.7g
Other significant vitamins/minerals: thiamin, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc.
Sometimes you learn as an adult that you had it right as a kid. That bag of nuts is definitely the healthiest thing you can eat at the ballpark!
Peanuts come in endless flavors and mixes of varying nutritional worth, but for many of us, they are still first and foremost the base of peanut butter. But not all peanut butters are created equal! When shopping, look for natural varieties with oil on top.
These varieties contain less sugar and added ingredients. Also consider making your own in your blender or food processor. It's easier than you think and there's no step down in taste.
Peanuts are one of the great energy foods, no matter if you're an athlete or a desk-jockey trying to maintain focus through a long work day. They are high in protein, dietary fiber, and antioxidants.
Consuming peanuts also reduces the chances of stroke, as they increase your natural production of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels.
What's in an ounce of peanuts?
Serving Size 35, dry roasted without salt
Total Fat 14.1g
Total Carb 6.1g
Other significant vitamins/minerals: potassium, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, niacin, vitamin E, folate.
* Nutritional data from the USDA National Nutrient Database.
- Manchester, L.C. et al. (2005). Melatonin in walnuts: Influence on levels of melatonin and total antioxidant capacity of blood. Tarrytown, NY: Nutrition (pp 920-4).
- Mattes, R.D., and Dreher, M.L. (2010). Nuts and healthy body weight maintenance mechanism. London: Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (pp: 137-41).
- Sabate, J. (2003). Nut consumption and body weight. Bethesda, MD: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (pp: 647s-650s). The World's Healthiest Foods. George Mateljan Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 May 2012. whfoods.org.