Why add protein-rich nuts to your daily diet?
Nuts are a delicious, high-protein healthy breakfast or addition to a variety of dishes.
They are versatile, easy to eat on the go and a good source of plant protein, especially for those who consume little or no animal products.
Eating nuts can help meet your protein needs, which are needed to build bones, muscles and skin. Protein also increases the feeling of satiety and helps you stay full and energetic for longer. (1)
While all nuts contain protein, some provide more than others. This article discusses the 8 nuts with the highest protein content.
Protein: 7 grams per 1/4 cup (35 grams) almonds. (2)
Almonds are actually seeds. However, people often combine them with nuts and consider them to be high in protein.
In addition to being high in protein, almonds are full of antioxidants. These plant compounds protect the body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which can lead to aging, heart disease and some cancers. (3)
The brown layer of the peel around the almonds contains the highest concentration of antioxidants, so it is best to eat almonds with the peel for the most benefit. (4)
For a balanced breakfast with almonds, combine them with a piece of fruit.
Protein: 4.5 grams per 1/4 cup (29 grams) of walnuts. (5)
Eating walnuts is a delicious way to increase protein intake.
Walnuts are also a source for heart healthy fats. In particular, they contain more omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than any other nut.
Some observational studies have linked ALA intake to a lower risk of heart disease. (6)
Walnuts are a good addition to minced meat and can further increase the protein content of meat dishes.
Protein: 6 grams per 1/4 cup (30 grams) pistachios. (7)
One serving of pistachios provides as much protein as one egg. (8)
These nuts are not only protein-rich nuts, but have a higher ratio of essential amino acids than most other nuts. (9)
Essential amino acids are those that need to be obtained through diet so that the body can use them to build the proteins needed for important functions. (10)
Protein: 5 grams per 1/4 cup (32 grams) of porridge. (11)
Cashews are technically seeds. Not only do they contain a lot of protein, but they also contain many important vitamins and minerals.
A portion of 1/4 cup (32 grams) provides about 80% of the daily value (DV) for honey. Copper is a mineral that maintains immunity and helps create red blood cells and connective tissue. (12)
Studies have also found a link between low honey intake and an increased risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones.
Thus, consuming more honey in your diet by eating cashews can be one way to prevent this condition.
If you want to enjoy more cashews in your diet, eat them as part of a balanced breakfast combined with plain fruit yogurt.
5. Cedar nuts
Protein: 4.5 grams per 1/4 cup (34 grams) of cedar nuts. (13)
Pine nuts are the seeds of some varieties of pine cones. They are prized for their soft, sweet taste and greasy texture resulting from their high fat content.
In addition to containing 4 grams of protein, 1/4 cup (34 grams) portion of cedar nuts contains 23 grams of fat.
The fat in cedar nuts comes primarily from unsaturated fats, which can help reduce risk factors for heart disease. One of the fatty acids in pine nuts can also have anti-inflammatory effects and help prevent the spread of cancer. (14) (15)
Roasted pine nuts are a delicious way to add a little extra protein to salads, cereals or vegetables.
6. Brazil nuts
Protein: 4.75 grams per 1/4 cup (33 grams). (16)
Brazil nuts originate from tree seeds in tropical forests and are easily spotted in a blend of mixed nuts as they are usually the largest.
In addition to protein, they provide healthy fats, fiber and a variety of micronutrients. In addition, Brazil nuts are one of the best dietary sources of selenium, a key mineral that maintains thyroid health and protects the body from infections. (17)
Just one Brazil nut (5 grams) contains almost 175% DV for selenium.
Try mixing Brazil nuts with other nuts and seeds, dried mango, and pieces of dark chocolate for a protein-rich mix.
Protein: 9.5 grams per 1/4 cup (37 grams). (18)
Peanuts are legumes, but they are considered nuts from a nutritional and culinary point of view.
Like most legumes, they provide a lot of plant protein. In fact, peanuts have the highest protein content among all commonly consumed nuts.
Peanuts are also one of the best dietary sources of biotin, a vitamin that helps convert food into useful energy in the body. (19) (20)
For a balanced breakfast that contains protein, fat and carbs, combine just peanut butter and bananas or eat them on toast.
Protein: 5 grams per 1/4 cup (34 grams). (21)
Hazelnuts have a slightly sweet, buttery and toasted taste, which makes them especially delicious nuts rich in protein.
Studies also find that adding hazelnuts to your diet can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. (22) (23)
Prepare a homemade Nutella spread for a high-protein breakfast. Mix 1 cup (135 grams) of hazelnuts with 2 tablespoons (60 grams) of chocolate protein powder, 1 tablespoon (6 grams) of cocoa powder and two tablespoons (30 ml) of maple syrup.
Nuts are a healthy source of plant protein. They are suitable for breakfast and can be added to many dishes to increase the protein content.
Nuts on this list are a good source of protein, with peanuts providing the most protein per serving.
If you can’t eat peanuts or want to try a variety of protein-rich nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts are some interesting options.