Macronutrients like carbs, fat, and protein are often the focus when it comes to determining what makes a healthy diet. Vitamins and minerals, which are considered micronutrients, are also important to think about when you want to make sure you’re getting all the nutrition your body needs. Micronutrients are required for our bodies to function properly, and since they’re not made in the body, we have to get them through the foods we eat. Nuts are known for being rich in protein and healthy fat. Did you know they’re also a great source of essential vitamins and minerals?
Pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds are very similar when it comes to the micronutrients they contain. According to Nutrition and You.com, they are all high in Vitamin E, which protects our skin from harmful free radicals that contribute to aging. “The nuts are very rich sources of several important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Together, these vitamins work as cofactors for the enzyme metabolism inside the human body. The nuts are also a rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.” Iron is good for the blood, while magnesium and phosphorus are good for your bones.
Macadamia nuts also contain some Vitamin E, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
Chestnuts have a more unique nutritional makeup because they’re high in Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant and “required for matrix formation in teeth, bones, and blood vessels”. They are similar to green leafy vegetables because they are high in folates, unlike other similar nuts. Folic acid is important for building healthy red blood cells and is also essential for healthy pregnancies and babies. Chestnuts also have a good amount of B Vitamins and the same minerals as the nuts listed above.
Nuts really do have it all. Even the nuts not mentioned are great options for snacking, cooking, and baking. They satisfy hunger, have a hearty taste, and provide you with some of the most important nutrition to give you energy and keep you healthy!