Are you looking for better skin, shinier hair, less fat, more muscle, or a better mood? Then getting enough protein in your diet is a must! Finding a nutritious, plant-based way to add protein in the diet, however, can sometimes be a struggle. Enter the nut! Nuts and seeds are gaining popularity with diets as diverse as vegan to paleo as the benefits of plant-based protein are becoming well-known. These nuts with protein provide a delicious boost for anyone looking to increase their nutrition. Take a look at these top ten nuts with protein to add to your diet today:
Not only do walnuts provide an impressive 4 grams of protein per ounce (which is about a ¼ cup serving), but they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. An essential fat that is critically lacking in most diets, each ounce of walnuts provides a whole day’s serving! This fat not only reduces the risk of some cancers and heart disease, but is key in supporting mental health. Walnuts have even been studied for their promising role in aiding weight-loss!
Pistachios contain 6 grams of protein per ounce and have less calories than most nuts with protein. It is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for eye health. In fact, these antioxidants are being researched for their ability to lower the risk of developing Macular Disease (or AMD). Pistachios have also been shown to be helpful with aiding weight-loss as a nutrient-dense snack. Lastly, pistachios are a good source of fiber with 3 grams per serving. This fiber is great for digestion and promoting regularity.
Cashews, which have 5 grams of protein per serving, are rich in minerals. The calcium and potassium in cashews are vital for bone health and the high level of magnesium in cashews is essential for optimal health. It is implicated in improved blood pressure, maintaining nerve function, regulating blood sugar, and various functions throughout the body.
Containing 4 grams of protein per ounce, Brazil nuts are protein-packed as well as nutrient dense. Every ounce of Brazil nuts is an exceedingly rich source of selenium, containing 775% daily value. Hard to get in the typical modern diet, selenium is an essential nutrient with a wide array of benefits. Selenium has anti-cancer properties, supports thyroid function and is even shown to help prevent depression.
Although not as high in protein as other nuts on this list, pecans still offer a significant amount at 2.6 grams per serving. Pecans are very high in fiber, which works to clear the gastrointestinal system and lower the risk of colon cancer. They are also helpful in supporting skin health by containing vitamins A and E, as well as zinc.
Almonds are a nutritional powerhouse and contain 6 grams of protein per ounce. They are especially high in vitamin E which offers a wide array of benefits. Some of the benefits include inhibiting cell damage, supporting a healthy pregnancy, and preventing many conditions from Alzheimer’s to cancer. Almonds are also well-known for their skin benefits, with some companies even including it in their lotions and creams to smooth and silken skin. However, consuming almonds is most helpful of all for reaping these benefits. Almonds have also been studied for their role in weight-loss and are a powerful aid in obtaining an ideal weight.
The highest nut with protein on this list, peanuts pack a hefty 9 grams per ounce. Although technically a legume, peanuts are often lumped with nuts because they offer many of the same benefits of other nuts. Some of these benefits include lower risk of heart disease, various cancers and weight loss aid. Plus, the amount of protein in peanuts bring additional benefits, including skin, hair, muscle and organ health!
Don’t be put off by the lower protein content of Macadamia nuts: at 2.2 grams a serving, Macadamia nuts still have a lot to offer. Macadamia nuts are a particularly rich source of manganese. Manganese is essential for bone health and helping to prevent osteoporosis. Neurotransmitters in the brain also require manganese, so macadamia nuts also help with mental health. For happy bones and a healthy brain, consider adding some Macadamia into your diet.
The last two on our list are actually seeds, but their impressive protein content and health benefits are worth mentioning. Sunflower seeds bring in the highest amount of protein on this list at an amazing 9.6 grams per ounce. They are also rich in vitamin E, which has a wide array of health benefits from supporting pregnancy to preventing certain cancers. However, sunflower seeds also have a good amount of healthy fat to help the body absorb the vitamin. Sunflower seeds are also high in manganese and thiamin, which are essential for bone and brain health.
Chia seeds offer an impressive amount of protein at 4.4 grams per ounce, but the health benefits do not end there. Chia is one of the highest antioxidant- rich foods available. Antioxidants stop chronic inflammation, which is an underlying factor in many diseases and premature aging. Also, chia is extremely high in fiber. One serving fulfills a day’s requirement, which is tremendously helpful for digestive health.
Ways to Incorporate Nuts into Your Diet
One of the great things about these high protein nuts is how easily they can be incorporated into any diet. The most straightforward way, of course, is to have a handful for a snack. They are a satisfying snack on-the-go that can be stashed for anytime hunger hits. Place a bag in your car, purse, backpack or desk to be there right when you need it. Nuts and seeds can also add a delicious crunch to your meals—add it to your stir-fry, or as a topping to your salad or dessert.
Chia seeds can add delicious texture to your snack. Chia puddings are a healthy way to satisfy your sweet cravings, or put it into your smoothie for an extra boost. Nuts can also be enjoyed as a topping to your baked treat, or even use nuts in place of flour! Almond flour has become popular for those who cannot tolerate gluten and is a great way to get more nuts into your diet.
There are, however, other delicious ways to use nuts to add variety to your diet. Nut and seed butters, including peanut, almond, sunflower and cashew butter, can add richness and depth to your food. Add them to smoothies, spread them on apples or celery, or on toast. This is also a healthy way to make your meals and snacks more satisfying if you find that you're hungry soon after.
Nut milks have also gained popularity in recent years. As more people are finding themselves lactose-intolerant, nut milk, especially almond and cashew, is replacing the traditional dairy in many diets. Add them to smoothies, or any place you would use cow milk: in recipes, with tea or coffee, or even in your cereal.
It's so easy and delicious to add these high protein nuts into your diet, so go ahead -- go nuts! You'll enjoy the health benefits that go along with them!
Truth Bars are a great way to get more nuts in your life -- try Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Truth Bar or Chocolate Almond Crunch Truth Bar for a delicious, low sugar, high fiber snack with probiotics and prebiotics!