The Top 9 Nuts to Eat for Better Health

8. Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts are very nutritious (57).

One ounce (28 grams) of hazelnuts contains roughly:

  • Calories: 176
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 20% of the RDI

Like many other nuts, hazelnuts appear to have beneficial effects on heart disease risk factors.

One study found that a hazelnut-rich diet reduced total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It also lowered markers of inflammation and improved blood vessel function (58Trusted Source).

Other studies have shown that hazelnut diets can improve cholesterol levels and increase the amount of vitamin E in the blood (59Trusted Source, 60Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Hazelnuts are a good source of many nutrients, such as vitamin E. They may also reduce heart disease risk factors.

9. Peanuts

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

However, they have similar nutrient profiles and health benefits as tree nuts (61).

One ounce (28 grams) of dry-roasted peanuts contains roughly:

  • Calories: 176
  • Fat: 17 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin E: 21% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 11% of the RDI

A study in over 120,000 people found that higher peanut intake was associated with lower death rates (2Trusted Source).

Peanuts may also improve heart disease risk factors(62Trusted Source).

Interestingly, one study found that women who ate peanut butter more than five times a week had lower rates of type 2 diabetes (63Trusted Source).

Furthermore, asthma and allergic disease rates may be lower in children of mothers who ate peanuts once or more per week during pregnancy (64Trusted Source).

However, many brands contain large amounts of added oils, sugar and other ingredients. Therefore, it’s best to choose peanut butter with the highest peanut content.

Similarly, peanuts are usually salted, which may eliminate some of their associated health benefits. Instead, try to choose plain, unsalted, unflavored peanuts.

SUMMARY

Unlike most other nuts, peanuts belong to the legume family. However, they have nutrient profiles that are similar to tree nuts and may also help reduce risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.

The Bottom Line

Nuts are one of the healthiest snacks you can eat, as they contain a wide range of essential nutrients.

However, their beneficial effects are attributed to nuts that have been minimally processed and have no added ingredients.

Many processed nut products, such as peanut butter, often contain high amounts of salt or added sugar. As a result, it’s best to buy nuts with nothing else added.

When incorporated into a healthy diet consisting of other natural, whole foods, nuts may help reduce risk factors for many chronic diseases.