You already know about the heart-healthy power of nuts. But these snacks offer loads of other health benefits. Because every nut has its own special virtues, treat yourself to a variety, says Tonia Reinhard, RD, author of Superfoods. Just don’t go too nuts: These protein powerhouses are also high in calories.
2 of 9James Worrell
Serving Size: 18 nuts Calories: 163
Not a spinach fan? You can get nearly 10% of your daily value of iron in a single serving of cashews. Compared with other nuts, they’re also a good source of folate and vitamin K, which helps keep bones strong and blood clotting normally.
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Serving Size: 14 halves Calories: 185
Hearty walnuts fit the typical nut profile—they’re a good source of protein, fiber, and magnesium. What makes them standouts? They have a high level of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acid.
4 of 9James Worrell
Serving Size: 23 nuts Calories: 163
A favorite snack of dietitians, almonds do much more than just help lower cholesterol. They pack more fiber and calcium than any other nut on our list, are lower-cal than most other varieties, and are an excellent source of vitamin E.
5 of 9James Worrell
Serving Size: 10 to 12 nuts Calories: 204
While they contain the most fat of any nut here, they also have the highest percentage of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. They’re also a good source of thiamine, which helps your nervous system function.
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Serving Size: 49 nuts Calories: 162
These green gems have fewer calories per nut than many other varieties, but that’s not the only perk: They’re rich in lutein, an antioxidant that’s also found in leafy greens and is important for healthy vision and skin. Plus, one serving gives you almost as much potassium as a small banana.
7 of 9James Worrell
Serving Size: 6 nuts Calories: 186
This oft-overlooked variety is the poster nut for selenium, a mineral crucial for thyroid health. One nut contains more than a day’s worth, so you get a big health boost for around 30 calories. (There is such a thing as too much selenium, so make these a rare treat.)
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Serving Size: 19 halves Calories: 196
This southern specialty is rich in beta-sitosterol, a type of plant sterol found to lower cholesterol as well as contribute to prostate health—so encourage the men in your life to eat up!
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Serving Size: 167 nuts Calories: 191
Pine nuts are loaded with manganese, a trace mineral that helps you maintain proper blood sugar levels and metabolize carbohydrates and protein. Bonus: Research suggests that the nut’s fatty acids may boost satiety hormones, which can help you feel full.