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What Are the Healthiest Nuts?

What Are the Healthiest Nuts?

Some nuts are healthier than others

Wikimedia Commons

Almonds contain more fiber than any other nut.

Nuts are among the healthiest foods you can eat. They can lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer, lead to better heart health, and keep your weight under control. But some nuts are healthier than others, and they all have different levels of healthful qualities. Here are five of the healthiest nuts.

Macadamias
Macadamia nuts contain more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat per serving than any other nut. This fat has been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Cashews
Cashews are very high in iron, zinc, and magnesium. Iron helps keep your blood oxygenated, zinc is great for the immune system, and magnesium can improve memory.

Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium, which can help prevent cancer. Just one Brazil nut contains a day’s worth of this mineral, but stick to about five nuts: too much selenium can be toxic.

Almonds
Almonds contain more fiber than any other nut (about three grams per ounce), and are also the highest in Vitamin E.

Walnuts
Walnuts contain the most antioxidants of any nut around, and also contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation. They’re also high in manganese, which can reduce PMS symptoms.


Healthy Nut Recipes That Go Way Beyond Snack Time

While bread crumbs can be soggy when you try to coat moist fish, pistachios are guaranteed to give you that satisfying crunch. This nut recipe pairs well with a side of sweet potatoes and veggies.

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tilapia fillets (4 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Grind pistachios, garlic, basil, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small food processor. Transfer mixture onto a plate.
  3. Rinse tilapia and pat dry with a paper towel. Coat top side of each fillet with 1 teaspoon honey. Press honey-coated side into pistachio mixture.
  4. Place fish, pistachio side up, on prepared pan. Bake 15 to 17 minutes until fish flakes with a fork.

Nutrition score per serving: 237 calories, 10.5g fat (1.5g saturated fat), 10g carbs, 26g protein, 2.5g fiber, 7g sugars

Recipe provided by Lauren Harris-Pincus, R.D., and Kathy Siegel, R.D., co-founders of NutritionBabes.com.


1. Brussels sprouts and walnut pizza with whole wheat flax crust

You might not thing pizza would be among our list of the healthiest recipes, but there’s no need to feel guilty about eating it when you do it right. In this recipe, the crust is made using whole wheat flour and flax seed meal. If you don’t want to make your own crust, then purchase whole wheat dough from your local pizzeria or head to the market to purchase refrigerated or frozen whole wheat dough.

Skill level: Beginner
Yields: 2 (14-inch) pizzas
Start to Finish: 1 hour, 51 minutes, plus 1 hour for dough to rise
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Ingredients:

For the crust
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup flax seed meal

For the toppings
1 shallot, minced
1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic olive oil (1/2 tablespoon for each pizza)
1 cup walnuts, crushed and toasted
8 oz burrata (4 oz for each pizza)
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chestnut honey (or any high-quality honey- ½ tablespoon for each pizza)

Instructions:

1. Combine all ingredients except flax in a large bowl either by hand or using a mixer. Add the flax and knead mixture together until no longer sticky. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Cut dough in half and separate to rise for another hour.
2. While rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
3. Roll the dough out onto a pizza stone until 14” in diameter. Bake on the lower rack for about 10 minutes, until the edges start to slightly brown. Remove from oven and arrange toppings. Repeat for second pizza.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. On a baking sheet, toast the walnuts for approximately 8 minutes, until they begin to brown. In a medium to large roasting pan, toss together the olive oil, Brussels sprouts and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees and roast for 50 minutes, until Brussels sprouts are tender inside and crisp on the outside.
3. Brush 1/2 tablespoon garlic olive oil all over dough and add half of the Brussels sprouts, walnuts and burrata (save the rest for second pizza.) Bake for another 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is slightly brown.
4. Remove from the oven and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle honey over pizza and serve. Repeat for second pizza.

Recipe and photo by Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, RYT of The Foodie Dietitian.

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How to make honey roasted nuts? It's easy! The recipe card below provides the full details. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:

1. Your first step is to coat the nuts with melted butter, honey, and smoked paprika (yes! as explained above, the smoked paprika adds wonderful smoky flavor).

2. Then you roast them until golden. Roasting in a slow oven (300°F) ensures that the nuts roast slowly and evenly and don't burn. I tried to roast them in a 350°F oven, and the results weren't as good. I roast them for about 30 minutes and stir them twice during that time, to ensure even roasting.

3. The last step, when they're done, is to spread them on a tray lined with wax paper, sprinkle them with sea salt, and allow them to cool.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ pounds walnut halves and/or pecan halves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease a 15x10-inch baking pan. In a very large bowl beat together egg white, the water, and vanilla with a fork. Add nuts, tossing to coat.

In a small bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle sugar mixture over nut mixture, tossing to coat. Spread nuts in the prepared baking pan.

Bake about 40 minutes or until nuts are toasted and crisp, stirring once halfway through baking time. Spread nuts on waxed paper cool. If necessary, break into pieces.


Brown Sugared Walnuts

Sour cream is the secret ingredient in this brown sugared walnuts recipe—combining it with brown and white sugars and vanilla creates a sweet and tangy coating. Simple to make, the toasted walnuts are coated with the warm mixture and then left to cool on a baking sheet, resulting in a crunchy candy everyone will love.


These Are The 5 Healthiest Nuts You Can Eat

If you want a fitter body or a quicker mind, it&rsquos time to get cracking.

By now you&rsquove probably heard that, barring a serious allergy, nuts are great for you. Underneath their tough shells resides a powerful trio of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. These nutrients that battle hunger and heart disease, help you live longer, and may even make you smarter.

In addition to their mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, some nuts contain inflammation-fighting omega-3s, antioxidants, and other beneficial vitamins and minerals, says Melissa Halas-Liang, R.D., a spokesperson for the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In general, it&rsquos best to eat a variety of nuts in order to maximize the unique benefits of each kind. While portion sizes can vary greatly (you get 25 pistachios for 100 calories, but just 8 walnut halves) you can&rsquot go wrong with a handful a day.

Not only do they look like brains, they may help protect yours. A 2019 study in the journal Nutrients found that depression scores among people who regularly ate walnuts were 26 percent lower than those on nut-free diets. Eating other kinds of nuts was only associated with an 8 percent lower risk of depression. Walnuts taste great stirred into Greek yogurt with fresh berries and unsweetened coconut flakes.

2. Pistachios

These green machines may help keep you lean. That&rsquos because, nut-wise, they&rsquore among the lowest in calories and highest in fiber (one ounce has 3 grams). They&rsquore also full of antioxidants, says Halas-Liang, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are responsible for their vibrant color and may provide protection for your eyes, skin, and heart.

Among tree nuts, these pie stars contain the lowest in carbs (four grams per ounce compared to 6 for almonds and 9 for cashews). Their abundant phenolic compounds make them a great snack after an intense workout, when free radicals naturally increase from exercise, says Halas-Liang. They&rsquore also one of the best natural sources of a compound called beta-sitosterol, which may help lower cholesterol and has been studied for its effectiveness in treating enlarged prostate, a gland that is normally, appropriately enough, pecan-sized.

Despite what Trader Joe&rsquos would have you believe, they&rsquore not just for milk (even though they do contain the most calcium of any tree nut). Almonds are also rich in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, and zinc, which has been linked to fertility.

The latter may explain the results of a recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in which researchers recruited more than 100 men aged 1 to 35 and had them eat a nut snack containing almonds for 14 weeks. At the end, their sperm count measured 16 percent higher than men who didn&rsquot eat nuts, and their swimmers had greater vitality and motility.

Sure, they&rsquore technically legumes and not tree nuts, but nutritionally speaking, they belong on this list. A recent study in the journal Nutrients found that the fiber-fat-protein combo in peanuts helped control blood sugar in diabetics. And peanuts are top in both protein (seven grams per ounce) and plant sterols, the naturally occurring compounds that may block cholesterol from being absorbed into the blood.


Healthy Soup Recipes

Nothing chases away the winter chill like a cozy bowl of soup, made with plenty of good-for-you ingredients. Chicken noodle, minestrone, lentil and more — we’ve got healthy recipes for all your favorites!

Related To:

Photo By: Kana Okada ©Kana Okada 2010

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

Cabbage Soup

This warm and comforting soup celebrates the humble cabbage and box grater — we use one to grate most of the vegetables. The fine pieces simmer and melt into the broth, adding body, not to mention plenty of vitamins and minerals. Add some chopped flat-leaf parsley if you want a pop of color.

Spicy Bean Soup

Giada's Spicy Bean Soup is warm, comforting and packed with tons of nutritious veggies.

Alton's Lentil Soup

Cozy up with a bowl of lentil soup. Alton's version is packed with fiber, potassium, folate and other B-vitamins.

Kale-Potato Soup with Bacon

This soup has so much delicious flavor (thanks to bacon, garlic, leeks and fresh rosemary) that you&rsquoll find it hard to believe you&rsquore eating healthy!

Hearty Italian Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Healthy Dried Mushroom and Barley Soup

If you're looking for a hearty and healthful meal, consider this dried mushroom and barley soup. The barley adds nuttiness, a sprinkle of flour lends viscosity to the broth and the dried mushrooms provide meatiness and umami. If you have fresh mushrooms on hand, you can add them, too. The result is a deliciously nourishing, vegetarian dish that everyone will love.

Healthified Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ginger-Carrot Soup

Minestrone with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Swiss chard, carrots, cannellini beans and spinach come together in Bobby's version of this hearty vegetable soup.

Clam and Bacon Soup

You may not think of adding bacon when you&rsquore cooking something healthy but when used in moderation as it is here (less than one strip per bowl) it adds a great, smoky flavor for not too many calories.

Mushroom-Caraway Soup

Rachael's Fisherman's Stoup

Chickpea Soup with Spiced Pita Chips

A healthy meal is never out of reach, thanks to this soup that&rsquos made with a ton of pantry and refrigerator staples. We use canned chickpeas and diced tomatoes, dried spices and always-on-hand veggies to whip up a delicious and satisfying soup in just 40 minutes.

Rachael's 3-Bean Minestrone

Broccoli Soup with Cheddar Potato Skins

Potatoes, broccoli and Cheddar are a classic combination. Enjoy all three in this super-simple soup. It comes together with just 6 ingredients (plus cooking spray, salt and pepper).

Mushroom Hummus Soup

Ellie's Tomato Tortilla Soup

New! New England Clam Chowder

Lentil and Ham Soup

The secret to this hearty soup's texture? A little flour added to the butter and aromatic vegetables at the beginning of the cooking process. It creates a roux which gives the finished soup a nice, thick broth.


Mint Chip Coconut Protein Cookie Bites

Courtesy of Purely Twins

Our favorite thing about these mint chip cookie bites is that there is absolutely no food dye. Instead, they are colored with chlorophyll, the naturally occurring pigment found in plants. It also helps that they are gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, and nut-free—because everyone deserves dessert.

Get the recipe from Purely Twins.


Blueberry Cobbler

Posie Brien/ Eat This, This Not!

This is one of those healthy dessert recipes you are going to want to make again and again! Lemon juice and zest will brighten up the berry filling. If you can't find fresh berries, frozen ones will do, but the filling will have more liquid pooling under the topping.

Get our recipe for Blueberry Cobbler.