Nuts provide a range of nutrients, including large quantities of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (49–74% total fat), and some protein (9–20%), except chestnuts which are low fat.
Nuts are also a good source of dietary fibre and provide a wide range of essential nutrients, including several B group vitamins (including folate), vitamin E, minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium, antioxidant minerals (selenium, manganese and copper), and other phytochemicals such as antioxidant compounds (flavonoids and resveratrol) and plant sterols.
• Each nut variety contains its own unique combination of nutrients and is generally rich in a few nutrients such as;
Almonds: calcium and vitamin E
Brazil nuts: fibre and selenium
Cashews: non heme (plant based) iron and a low GI rating
Chestnuts: low GI, fibre and vitamin C (although much vitamin C is lost during cooking)
Hazelnuts: fibre, potassium, folate, vitamin E
Macadamias: highest in monounsaturated fats, thiamin and manganese
Pecans: fibre and antioxidants
Pine nuts: vitamin E and arginine amino acid
Pistachios: protein, potassium, plant sterols and the antioxidant resveratrol
Walnuts: alpha linoleic acid: plant omega 3 and antioxidants
• Nuts are naturally low in sodium, contain potassium and most contain some carbs in the form of natural sugars. Chestnuts are different they are rich in low glycemic index carbs and low in fat making them more like a grain than a tree nut.
• Nuts With The Most Fiber – Almonds have the most fiber (12%) and cashews & pine nuts the least (3-4%). Chestnuts have the most sugar and Brazil nuts the least. Lastly, peanuts, almonds, and pistachios have the most protein (21-26%) and chestnuts the least (2%).
• Nuts Vary By Type Of Fat – Protein quality doesn’t vary widely across different nuts, but fat quality does. In terms of absolute amounts (g/100g), Brazil nuts & macadamia nuts have the most saturated fat, where chestnuts have the least.
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