Why Not? Go Nuts!

Looking for a quick, filling, and delicious snack that is easy to pack?  Go for nuts! With vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants, these crunchy powerhouses really are all they’re cracked up to be.

Let’s look at the description of nine different types of nuts and the benefits they provide to your health.


Peanuts are technically a legume, and they’re chock-full of protein (7 grams per oz.) and fiber. Research shows that those who eat peanuts or peanut butter with breakfast are less hungry throughout the day.

Protein takes longer for the body to digest than carbohydrates to provide energy, thus keeping the blood sugars more stable and promoting a sense of fullness longer. Not only peanuts but all nuts have this ability to keep you fuller longer.


Almonds are heart-healthy darlings, helping to lower the LDL cholesterol and maintaining or raising levels of HDL cholesterol, which protects your cardiovascular system.


Pistachios have been shown in research to boost your gut health. They are also high in two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, that can help reduce your risk of chronic eye diseases. Having to shell pistachios may help you control how many you eat.


Walnuts have a high level of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that work together to help keep memory and cognitive function sharp. Recent research has found walnuts may play a role in preventative measures for Alzheimer’s disease.


Cashews are rich in copper (key for immunity) and magnesium (healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels).


Pecans can help improve blood glucose levels and insulin resistance, risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Keeping in mind, moderation of intake is necessary to not exceed daily caloric needs. Stick to a 1.5 oz portion (about a handful) to curb calories and fat.


One serving of hazelnuts has almost a third of your daily dose of vitamin E, which boosts immunity.


Macadamia nuts are a lot higher in calories and fat than other nuts, but most of the fat they contain is healthy monosaturated fat, which helps lower cholesterol.


Brazil nuts offer up more than a day’s worth of selenium- a nutrient crucial to thyroid health. Keep your intake of these nuts to no more than eight nuts a day since too much selenium can cause nausea and rashes.

Top to bottom: peanuts, almonds, pistachios (without shells), walnuts, cashews, and walnuts.


Nutrition experts: Amy Kimberlain, RDN Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Jessica Levinson, RDN




Author: Michelle Hanson

Michelle Hanson, MA, RD, LD is Fresh & Natural Food’s Registered Dietitian. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics with a minor in Community Health from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She is a registered dietitian and current member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Michelle has been a nutrition consultant for numerous years as well as a nutrition research director at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Michelle is passionate about food and nutrition and believes in helping people find simple, realistic ways to make healthy eating a part of their everyday lifestyle.
If you are interested in meeting Michelle or have questions for her, you can email her at: michelle@fnfoods.com. She will look forward to meeting you!