9 types of nuts to eat for better health

Almost everyone knows that nuts are good for health. But fewer people know that sometimes they could turn out to be very harmful to you as well.

Eating a variety of nuts provide many healthy vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, fibers, and proteins.

Let’s discuss them one by one in detail here in this article.

Nuts are a very popular food and are very healthy snack options despite being full of fat.

Fats in nuts are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 and omega-6. They also contain some saturated fats as well.

Nuts contain proteins and fibers. They can reduce your weight by increasing your metabolism rate.

Health Benefits of Nuts

Nuts have several vitamins and minerals including magnesium and Vitamin E.

According to the meta-analysis of clinical trials published by PubMedClinical Trials, and Oxford Academia Journal for Nutrition, taking nuts in diets does not affect weight gain or weight loss.

Studies have also shown that people eating nuts regularly live longer than those who don’t. This may be their ability to help prevent many chronic diseases. [Published in PubMed 1234]

Metabolic syndromes like high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure risks can be reduced by eating nuts. [PubMed Research 1234]

Nuts can reduce the risk of cancer and hypertension while improving glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. [Published research in PubMed 12]

First of all, What Are Nuts?

According to Wikipedia

“A nut is a fruit composed of an inedible hard shell and a seed, which is generally edible. In general usage, a wide variety of dried seeds are called nuts, but in a botanical context “nut” implies that the shell does not open to release the seed.”

But don’t worry, you can buy “pre-shelled” nuts from stores.


Now, let’s take a look at the most commonly used nuts.

Nuts infographic helpinhealth.com 1 - Help in Health


Almonds are the most popular tree nuts, having a lot of beneficial nutrients. [1]

Almonds have been found to reduce inflammation in people with type 2 diabetes. [2]

One ounce (approximately 28 grams) or a small handful of almonds contains roughly:

  • Calories: 161
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Magnesium: 19% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI


A study has found that Almonds and almond skin have beneficial effects on your intestinal microbiota profile and a modification of the intestinal bacterial activities by supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. [3]

Almonds can help to improve cholesterol levels.

According to studies published in PubMed [4567], it can reduce LDL cholesterol and oxidized LDL cholesterol levels, as these are one of the main factors of heart diseases.

Although, almonds consumption by overweight and obese people in the restricted low-calorie diet help in weight loss and also lowers blood pressure. [PubMed Research 89]

Eating one ounce (28 grams) of almonds with a meal can reduce about 30% of the rising in blood sugar in people with diabetes. [PubMed Research 10]

In many controlled studies, almonds have shown weight loss rather than weight gain.

In one study (of 108 overweight obese women), those who consumed almonds lost nearly three times as much weight and experienced a greater decrease in waist size compared to those eating no almonds. [PubMed Research 11]

Studies have shown that during digestion a portion of fat stays within the nut’s fibrous wall. That’s why despite being high in calorie count, your body doesn’t absorb all of them. [PubMed Research 121314]

From all these studies almonds certainly contain several important nutrients that may help reduce heart disease, diabetes risk factors, and weight loss. However, despite these studies, larger studies are needed to confirm these effects.


Walnuts are many popular nuts and are an excellent source of omega-3, omega-6, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. [1]

They look like a brain structure.

They are rich in antioxidants.

A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of walnuts contains roughly:

  • Calories: 182
  • Fat: 18 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Magnesium: 1% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 11% of the RDI


Several large studies found that walnuts can significantly reduce bad cholesterol levels. And helps increase the good cholesterol level. [PubMed Research 234]

Nuts can help in lowering heart disease risks and also preventing stroke risk. That is because of their benefits for cholesterol levels, artery function, LDL particle size, and inflammation. [PubMed Research 56789101112]

They may help to improve blood pressure and the flow of blood through the circulatory system. [Published in PubMed 1314]

Walnuts are also helpful in losing weight.

Walnuts help in reducing inflammation. [PubMed Research 15]

Study shows that walnuts are very effective in improving the brain. They increase a measure of cognition called “inferential reasoning”. [Published in PubMed 16]

Studies show that walnuts may be helpful to prevent different types of cancer that include breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer. [Published in PubMed 171819]

So it is now certain that walnuts are a great source of omega-3 and many other nutrients. Eating walnuts may benefit your heart health and your brain.


Pistachios are common nuts and are high in fiber. [1]

Like almonds, pistachios may improve good cholesterol levels like HDL cholesterol, also they may reduce coronary heart disease. [Published in PubMed 2]

What is coronary heart disease?

Well, according to “U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood institute” coronary heart disease (CHD) is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. These (arteries) are responsible to supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. [NLH 3]

The building up of plaque in arteries is called atherosclerosis and it is done over many years.

One ounce (28 grams) of pistachios contains roughly:

  • Calories: 156
  • Fat: 12.5 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Magnesium: 8% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 3% of the RDI


Study shows that pistachios may help to lower triglycerides in obese people. [PubMed research 45]

Pistachios may help to reduce the blood sugar level rise that happens after a meal. [PubMed research 6]

They are a good source of dietary fiber, which makes you feel full and satisfied for a longer period.

The fibers send signals to the brain to prevent you from overeating.

Pistachios may also be helpful in heart disease risk factors like blood pressure, oxidative status, and weight.

So what is the oxidative status?

Oxidative status refers to blood levels of oxidized chemicals, which can play a part in heart disease. [PubMed Research 78910]

From all these studies we can say pistachios when eaten in a high quantity of more than one ounce (28 grams) per day may have beneficial effects on heart disease risk factors.


Cashews are also in the tree nut family having a good number of nutrients. [1]

They have a creamy texture that makes them a great addition to many dishes and snacks.

In, one-ounce (28 grams) of cashews contains roughly about:

  • Calories: 155
  • Fat: 12 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 9 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Magnesium: 20% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 1% of the RDI


Several studies have discovered that diets enriched with a high amount of cashews can improve symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Now you may have a question, don’t you? What is metabolic syndrome? Right?

Well, according to Wikipedia “Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of at least three of the five medical conditions that include central obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high serum triglycerides and low serum HDL (High-density lipoprotein).”

It has been discovered in a study that involved 62 subjects with MS that Cashew's enriched diet improved the blood pressure in people that has metabolic syndrome. [PubMed Research 2]

Studies show that diets high in cashews may increase blood sugar in people with metabolic syndrome. [PubMed Research 34]

Another study (of 64 volunteers) discovered that cashews increased the antioxidant potential of the diet. [PubMed Research 5]

Although, one large study (of 300 adults) observed that a diet enriched with cashews reduced blood pressure and increased levels of (good) HDL cholesterol; however, it has no significant effects on body weight or blood sugar levels. [PubMed Research 6]

From all these studies we can say that cashews contain several important nutrients that may improve blood lipid levels and reduce blood pressure.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts contain a wide range of nutrients and are a great source of monounsaturated fat. [1]

Due to their high content of monounsaturated fat, many health benefits of macadamia nuts are related to heart health.

In, one-ounce (28 grams) of macadamia nuts contains roughly about:

  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 21 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 2.5 grams
  • Magnesium: 9% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 1% of the RDI


It has been discovered that a diet enriched with macadamia nuts produces effects similar to a heart-healthy diet recommended by the American Heart Association. [PubMed Research 2]

Many studies have discovered that diets rich in macadamia nuts lower cholesterol levels of both total cholesterols and (bad) LDL cholesterol in people who have high cholesterol levels. [PubMed Research 3]

They may help reduce other heart disease risk factors, including inflammation and oxidative stress. [PubMed Research 4]

In short macadamia nuts are rich in monounsaturated fat that may reduce risk factors for heart disease.


Pecans are often served in desserts, but they are highly nutritious on their own. [1]

Like other nuts pecans are also antioxidants.

In, one-ounce (28 grams) of pecans contains roughly about:

  • Calories: 193
  • Fat: 20 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 2.5 grams
  • Magnesium: 8% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 2% of the RDI


Studies have shown that in people with normal cholesterol levels, pecans can lower (bad) LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. [23]

In one study of four-week long, people who ate pecans as 20% of their daily calorie intake showed that antioxidant profiles in their blood improved.

Pecans may help to prevent skin damage by removing toxins and waste from your body.

Pecans help improve brain function. They are also known as brain food.

In, short we can say that pecans contain a variety of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants so they may help lower the (bad) LDL cholesterol.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are also from the tree nuts family they originated from a tree in the Amazon and are an amazingly rich source of selenium. [1]

Selenium is a mineral and antioxidant needed for a healthy immune system. It helps to prevent our nerves and cells from damage.

Although it is used for several bodily functions, you only need to obtain small amounts of it through your diet.

In, one-ounce (28 grams) of Brazil nuts contains roughly about:

  • Calories: 182
  • Fat: 18 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Magnesium: 26% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI


A one-ounce serving of Brazil nuts will provide more than 100% of the RDI for selenium.

Selenium deficiency is rare and usually occurs in certain disease states.

For example, one study discovered that people undergoing hemodialysis for kidney disease were selenium deficient. When these affected people ate just one Brazil nut daily for three months, their blood selenium levels returned to normal, and improved their antioxidant status. [PubMed Research 2]

As these nuts are rich in selenium it helps in improving your mood-related disorders which include anxiety, fatigue, and depression. [PubMed Research 3]

But don’t take too many Brazil Nuts, or take it while eating selenium supplements as it will lead to selenosis. A condition in which hair loss, nail loss, and skin loss occur. So best not to take too many.

Brazil nuts can also help reduce cholesterol levels. They may also help in reducing oxidative stress and improve the function of blood vessels in obese teenagers. [PubMed Research 45]

Brazil nuts may reduce inflammation both in healthy people and those undergoing hemodialysis and can also increase antioxidant defenses in hemodialysis patients. [PubMed Research 67]

From all these studies it is clear that Brazil nuts are rich in selenium which helps to improve mood, protects nerves and cells, reduces oxidative stress and improves the function of blood vessels, and reduces inflammation.


Hazelnuts have a distinctive flavor which makes them a favorite in sweet foods.

They are also tree nuts.

Hazelnuts are incredibly nutritious. [1]

Like many other nuts, hazelnuts have also very beneficial effects on heart disease risk factors.

In, one-ounce (28 grams) of Hazelnuts contains roughly about:

  • Calories: 176
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Magnesium: 20% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI


One study discovered that a hazelnut-enriched diet reduced total cholesterol, (bad) LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol compared with no hazelnut-enriched diet. [PubMed Research 2]

Hazelnut-enriched diets also improved blood vessel function and lowered markers of inflammation. [PubMed Research 3]

Another study (of 15 volunteer men) on a hazelnut-enriched diet showed that it can improve cholesterol levels and increase the amount of vitamin E in the blood. [PubMed Research 45]

Hazelnuts can help in managing diabetes. As they are rich in magnesium which helps in decreasing the risk of diabetes. [PubMed Research 6]

Studies show that Hazelnuts can improve memory, hinder anxiety, and healthy aging. In, older adults it improves slow brain-related degeneration. [PubMed Research 78]

So from all these studies, it is clear that Hazelnuts can help to prevent heart-related risks, improve the brain, lowering bad cholesterol levels, lower the marker of inflammation, increases the amount of vitamin E in the blood, and decrease the risk for diabetes.


Eating peanuts is an excellent way to boost the amount of protein in your diet. Peanuts are easily and widely available and provide several essential nutrients.

Unlike other nuts, peanuts are not tree nuts but belong to the legume family.

Legume means they belong to a group of foods from a specific plant family, they grow under the soil. Most people consider them nuts.

However, they have similar nutrient profiles and health benefits as tree nuts. [1]

Peanuts contain a range of polyphenols, flavonoids, antioxidants, and amino acids.

In, one-ounce (28 grams) of dry-roasted peanuts contains roughly about:

  • Calories: 176
  • Fat: 17 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 5 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Magnesium: 11% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 21% of the RDI


A study of a huge amount of participants over 120,000 people found that a higher amount of peanut intake was associated with lowered death rates. [PubMed Research 2]

Like other nuts peanuts may also improve heart disease risk factors. [PubMed Research 3]

Peanuts also help in lowering the rate of type 2 diabetes. For example, a study found that women who ate peanut butter more than five times a week had lower rates of type 2 diabetes. [PubMed Research 4]

Like other nuts peanuts also help in maintaining weight rather than gaining it. Study shows that it helps in weight loss and reduce the risk of obesity. [PubMed Research 5678]

Eating Peanuts may help prevent or cut the risk of gallstone disease. [PubMed Research 910]

As peanuts have cholesterol-lowering effects that is why they are much more useful for gallstones, as gallstones are mostly made of cholesterol. [PubMed Research 11]

Despite their many benefits peanuts are also allergen. Peanut allergies sometimes may be severe or even life-threatening, which is why they are sometimes considered severe allergens. [PubMed Research 12]

Peanuts may help lower asthma and allergic disease rates in children of mothers who ate peanuts once or more per week during pregnancy. [PubMed Research 13]

From all these studies it is clear that peanuts can lower death rates, improves heart disease risk factors, lower the rate of type 2 diabetes, and weight loss, lowering asthma, and prevent gallstone disease risks.

When to see a doctor?

In most cases, nuts are a safe and healthful addition to the diet. But they should be taken in balance as nuts are calorie-dense.

Anyone who experiences digestive problems from eating nuts may want to see a doctor. They may be intolerant or sensitive to specific components of nuts.

Nuts are a common allergen and people can develop an allergy while eating nuts that they did not have before. Severe nut allergies can sometimes be fatal.

Anyone having an allergic reaction such as itching in the throat or face or swelling, should stop eating nuts and get urgent medical care.


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