Each nut variety contains its own unique combination of nutrients and is generally rich in a few nutrients such as Almonds: protein, calcium and vitamin E.
Now more than ever, nuts are recommended as the perfect healthy snack. They are known for being very high in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, much more nutritious than a bowl of potato chips, and—if eaten in moderation—can help you lose weight. Eating nuts also improve heart health and have been shown to lower cholesterol.
Almonds are the most popular nuts in the United States. A favorite of dieters, in recent years almonds have become famous for their versatility and health benefits. Almonds have been prized since ancient times as one of the humankind’s most beloved nuts. They were popular in the diets of ancient Egyptians and Indian populations. Ancient Indian Ayurvedic practitioners even believed that almonds were capable of increasing brain capacity, intellectual ability, and longevity.
Basically, almonds are actually very small stone fruits in the Amygdalus family and related to other fruits that contain hard pits, including cherries, plums, and peaches. Almonds are a type of drupe nut, which means along with other nuts like macadamias, pecans, and walnuts, they have multiple layers that enclose a single, hard seed in the center.
The delicately flavored cashew nut is a favorite between meal snack that can be readily found in your local market year round. It also makes wonderful nut butter and a special addition to salads and stir-fry dishes.
Cashew nuts are actually the kidney-shaped seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree, which is native to the coastal areas of northeastern Brazil. While cashew apples are not appreciated in the United States, they are regarded as delicacies in Brazil and the Caribbean. Cashews are always sold shelled because the interior of the shells contains a caustic resin, known as cashew balm, which must be carefully removed before the nuts are fit for consumption. This caustic resin is actually used in industry to make varnishes and insecticides.
Pistachio nuts are the dry fruits from trees belonging to the genus Pistacia. The trees are indigenous to the warm, dry mountainous regions of western Asia, although they are now grown in the Mediterranean region, Middle East, and the United States as well. Several types of pistachios exist, but the most popular commercial variety is called Kerman.
Pistachios are a rich source of energy that comes mainly from fats. One cup of raw pistachios provides 685 calories in a caloric ratio of 67 percent fat, 20 percent carbohydrates, and 13 percent protein. About 33 percent of the fat is saturated.