Superfood Number Eight

We are back on to the superfoods folks; I will get these finished if it's the last thing I do!

Today's superfood is nuts. Are you nuts about nuts? I am! It's only in the last year or so I have started eating nuts; I used to avoid them because of their high fat content but these fats are good fats and are extremely beneficial to our bodies.

This post will be a bit different as there aren't really many recipes I could show for this; there are too many! You can add nuts to any dish! Eat them as a snack, sprinkle on top of salad, mix in with stir-fries and chicken dishes, use them in baking ... The possibilities are endless! So here is a list of some of the most beneficial nuts out there, why they are so good for you and the nutritional content of each.

Just to point out, when buying nuts it is best to stick with the unsalted, uncoated, dry roasted (rather than cooked in oil) kind. And remember; although they are really healthy, nuts are still high in fat so try and just have a small-handful portion.

  • Almonds: these nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats (great for lowering cholesterol and therefore the risk of heart disease); high in the antioxidant vitamin E as well as the minerals manganese and phosphorus; rich in dietary fibre and contain the highest amount of calcium of all nuts. Per 30g serving (approx. 25 nuts), almonds contain 160 calories, 14g fat (1g sat fat) and 6g protein as well as 35% of your vitamin E RDA and 30% of your manganese RDA.

  • Brazil Nuts: an extremely good source of the mineral selenium (3 nuts contain your full RDA). Selenium is an antioxidant which has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Brazil nuts are also high in zinc, for digestion and metabolism, and are a complete protein. Per 30g serving (approx. 8 nuts), brazil nuts contain 200 calories, 19g fat (4g sat fat) and 4g protein.

  • Cashew Nuts: cashews are an excellent source of magnesium (for strong bones and teeth) as well as iron and copper. They are also high in protein and contain phytochemical antioxidants which can help to protect the body from cancer and heart disease. Per 30g serving (approx. 17 nuts), cashew nuts contain 160 calories, 13g fat (3g sat fat) and 4g protein. 


  • Chestnuts: chestnuts are relatively low in calories compared to other nuts and also contain less fat whilst still providing many vitamins and minerals; they are also great at Christmas time, roasted over an open fire (!). They are a great source of dietary fibre as well as monounsaturated fats (such as oleic acid, great for reducing cholesterol) and they are surprisingly high in Vitamin C. Per 30g serving (approx. 3 nuts), chestnuts contain 65 calories, 0.7g fat (0.3g sat fat) and 0.7g protein. 

  • Hazelnuts: these nuts are high in vitamin E (which helps to form red blood cells) as well as vitamin B (for metabolism) and the amino acid thiamine (enhances energy). They also contain significant amounts of protein, fibre and iron. Per 30g serving (approx. 21 nuts), hazelnuts contain 180 calories, 17g fat (1.5g sat fat) and 4g protein.

  • Macadamia Nuts: macadamia nuts are high in fibre and vitamin B (good for metabolism) as well as some antioxidants which can help to reduce the risk of cancer. Per 30g serving (approx. 11 nuts), macadamia nuts contain 200 calories, 22g fat (3.5g sat fat) and 2g protein. 


  • Pecan Nuts: pecan nuts are high in antioxidants (which can protect against cell damage and help fight diseases such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's, as mentioned above). They also have significant amounts of vitamin E and fibre. Per 30g serving (approx. 19 halves), pecan nuts contain 190 calories, 20g fat (2g sat fat) and 3g protein. 


  • Peanuts: peanuts are actually a legume rather than a nut. They are rich in folate, protein and fibre as well as the antioxidant resveratrol, which can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and viral infections, as well as vitamin E. Per 30g serving (approx. 22 nuts), peanuts contain 165 calories, 15g fat (2.5g sat fat) and 7g protein. 


  • Pistachios: these are full of antioxidants which can help to protect the cells from damage. They can help to destroy the LDL cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes as well as prevent cancer with their relatively high amount of vitamin A (from the carotenoids they contain). Per 30g serving (approx. 50 nuts), pistachios contain 160 calories, 13g fat (1.5g sat fat) and 6g protein. 

  • Walnuts: walnuts are extremely rich in omega 3 fatty acids which can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). On top of this, walnuts contain many popyphenolic antioxidants which help fight off disease causing free radicals. They are rich in minerals (manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium and iron) as well as various vitamins (predominantly E and B). Per 30g serving (approx. 14 halves), almonds contain 190 calories, 18g fat (1.5g sat fat) and 4g protein. 

Are you nuts about nuts?! What's your favourite kind? Least favourite? What is your favourite way to eat them?

4 click here to leave your opinion :) :

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