The Top 5 Healthiest Nuts

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on
Healthy Nuts

For many years, nuts have gotten a bad rap for being high in fat. But in reality, nuts should be a vital part of our diet, as they are high in monounsaturated fats that help keep us heart-healthy and disease-free. Healthy nuts are also great sources of protein, minerals and other life-enhancing nutrients. Scientific studies now show that different types of nuts and seeds may support factors that help prevent heart disease, weight gain and the accumulation of LDL cholesterol.

All nuts should be organic, eaten in their raw state, and not irradiated or roasted. In no particular order, here is my list of the five healthiest nuts you should add to your diet.

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1. Almonds

A small handful of almonds gives you almost 25% of your daily needs for magnesium, and more bone-strengthening calcium as an equal amount of cow milk.

They are also high in many antioxidants, such as vitamin E and selenium. Studies show that almonds may play an important role in preventing colon cancer due to their high fiber content. Almonds also helps lower negative forms of cholesterol in the blood stream.

2. Walnuts

One of the best nuts on earth, walnuts may actually support your brain function. Studies show that consumption of walnuts is related to heart-health, better cognitive function, as well as the reduction of skin and bone conditions. Packed full of an antioxidant known as ellagic acid, researchers have shown that walnuts contain 16 disease-fighting polyphenols.

3. Pecans

Recent clinical studies show that pecans significantly lower cholesterol. Pecans are also a great source of over twenty essential vitamins and minerals.

4. Brazil Nuts

Brazil Nuts are Healthy

High in heart-healthy nutrients and minerals like copper, niacin, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, and selenium, studies on Brazil nuts show that they are a protein-packed snack that may aid in the prevention of breast cancer.

5. Cedar Nuts

Siberian cedar nuts, originating in Russia, hold 70% of the essential amino acids your body needs. They also contain high amounts of vitamins A, B and D, and tocopherol-containing vitamin E. This exotic nut also contains a fatty acid similar to fish oil, which is known for reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol, keeping the arterial walls free of disease-causing inflammation and plaque.

Raw nuts are a big part of my diet and pack more energy than any other food. They make a healthy snack that is low in calories and can be a great addition to your diet.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Louise Black

    I’m so glad that you mentioned Brazil nuts. They are my favorite nuts and they really are healthy for you. The only problem is that brazil nuts are sometimes hard to find. Luckily, there is a Whole Foods near my house that sell raw brazil nuts, as well as other nuts, so I pick those up alot.

    Brazil nuts are my favorite healthy snack at work. I’ll have to try Cedar nuts.

  • NHE

    I have been munching on a bag of almonds all week – great to see that they are so good for me!

  • Generally i take almonds because it provides clarity and shine to skin.. The Cedar nuts are my favorite.. Even in chocolates, i love taking up almond and cedar chocolates..

  • Have never even seen cedar nuts! Will have to try them out.

  • what about shelled Hemp Seeds? Try reading up on these amazing natural food… you might be suprised how good they are for you. they are a good source of EFA’s (essential fatty acids) and help a multitude of conditions.

  • Healthy Nuts

    This is a great list of nuts, I’ve also never had cedar nuts but it sounds like I need to give them a try. Raw almonds are also great, so are brazil nuts.

  • Raw nuts are also a great source of essential fatty acids like Omega-3. Wonderful for your health!

  • Abiy

    Pistachios and Pine nuts are missing in this list.

  • Nuts are too good for health. But, you can’t eat more on a day. It might cause some ill effects if you take more nuts. Otherwise, when you take up two nuts for a day, your health will be good.. I love wallnuts..

    Angeline @ marcus evans scam

  • John

    I love CASHEW nuts 🙂

  • Kali

    Actually Sam, if you have a Whole Foods Market near you, they usually carry brazil nuts a great number of the months of the year, if not year-round.

  • zedz

    90% of all ALMONDS in US are from California. Despite of being promoted as “raw”, they are NOT. FDA is forcing the farmers to PASTEURIZE them. So, these almonds are not raw anymore, they are dead almonds, with no nutritional value. Look for almonds from other sources in US, and imported. That includes also almond milk of course.
    Don’t trust whole foods market too much. A lot of their products are not organic, including vegetables and fruits. They are clearly labeled.

  • Eva Yellow Hair

    To all the “nut lovers” out there:
    I consider myself the “worst of all, but research “phytic acid” and “oxalic acid” content of raw nuts and seeds!!!
    – raw nuts and seeds contain “anti nutrients” which prevent untimely sprouting and being “exterminated” by all the nut lovers like insects, animals and us included
    – If you eat raw nuts and nut butters daily, in larger amounts, you SHOULD soak the raw nuts and seeds in warm water with a couple of teaspoons of seasalt over night and then thorougly rinse, drip dry and dehydrate in the oven at about 150 degrees Fahrenheit
    – Wilderness Family sells nutbutters from soaked and dehydrated nuts, but it is spendy!
    – Phytic acid depletes your body of important minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc! And vegetarians are especially at risk and “raw foodists”!
    – Traditional ways of preparing those foods need to be observed and re-learned – there is great wisdom and knowledge there – soaking, sprouting, fermenting reduce phytic acid to a tolerable level and increase the phytase content (enzyme which “breaks down” phytic acid) – that’s why sour dough bread is health wise far superior to yeast leavened bread!
    Just thought you should all know!
    Great source are the Weston A. Price Foundation magazines!

  • Loren

    for some true info on Phytic Acid see below

  • Tanner Williams

    I am glad! For sometime I have been trying to lower my cholesterol and thought that nuts would interfere with that! I’m a nut lover and can feel better about eating them, in moderation of course!

  • Sarah

    Almonds and Walnuts are my favourites. 🙂 Raw sweet almonds naturally have a hint of marzipan about them so they’re a great alternative to a sugary desert if you’re on a diet or healthy eating plan.

  • Helaine in Medford

    I have been trying to bring down my cholesterol for too many years. Almonds being added to my diet with breakfast and as a regular snack has lowered my cholesterol from 223 to 186. I eat plenty of greens and vegis while treating myself to a PB&J sandwich a couple of times a week without feeling guilty!

  • Brandy Vance

    Awesome. I’m sitting here eating almonds right now… they aren’t raw almonds though.

  • Plastische Chirurgie

    I’m well aware of just a few of these nuts and surely after reading, I can say that I’m really not that much informed about it.

    I’ve watched an episode or so of a Chef Competition show before where the contestants will guess what kind of nut is on the plate. FYI, there were around 15+ nuts at that time, and funny story, I can’t even name more than 5. Interestingly, all the nuts you’ve mentioned was also present on that episode!

  • Marsha Allen

    My question is..How many almonds is 1.5 ounces that should be eaten each day…around 29 or so, I figured.

  • Stephanie

    Cashews and pine nuts are my favorite! I have never heard of cedar nuts.

  • Babafemi Lagundoye


  • Durex

    If they arnt raw almonds they will be processed and definetly give you cancer. Good luck.

  • jujubeans

    jeez–you say for some TRUE info and then post a wikipedia link. smh…

  • jujubeans

    it says the TOP 5, not the exhaustive list. It doesn’t mean pistachios or pine nuts are bad for you, just that they aren’t in the top 5 in terms of nutritive value.

  • I love nuts and use to have an easier time finding them without salt,
    especially in bulk, but the local Hannafords discontinued them and
    they’ve been hard to find. Luckily I took time to explore a local Indian
    store and they have multiple varieties, all without salt and for the
    cheapest prices I’ve seen in years. If you’ve got an Indian store in
    your area, check them out. Also, I’ve just learned how to make my own
    granola and it’s 90% nuts and seeds. Goes great on granola in the a.m.
    and for snacks. It can even be made as bars.

  • Kansas

    Why do other sights say, Not to eat nuts raw?
    They state that there are health dangers in eating raw nuts.

  • ghc_health

    Who said that and what was their reasoning?
    -Dr. Edward Group

  • Nannamegrandma

    You can remove much of the salt by putting salted nuts in a
    flour sifter. Just put in nuts and shake or sift over a trash can.

  • Nannamegrandma

    I am so lucky to get pecans from my daughter in North Carolina.
    They are raw and must be baked or toasted. I put a variety of
    nuts in my toaster oven and roast them and then shell them.
    I put them in the food processor and make nut butter. It is
    so yummy and so healthy. You won’t believe the flavor of
    FRESH no additives nut butter.

  • Fenwick’s in the manger

    Raw pecans are my all-time favorite. I’ve also been making almond milk from raw [unpasteurized – secret supplier ;p ] almonds for a few years. I used to love cow-juice but my gut decided otherwise. Almond milk is wonderful when made at home, terrible store-bought stuff tastes like almond-flavored sugar-water.

    Raw pecans with Beecher’s cheese – “No Woman” – is so good it should be illegal 😀

  • Fenwick’s in the manger

    Why do you bake or toast them? Fear of salmonella? If so, you really shouldn’t be.

  • just organic

    Hi Dr Eduard,

    I have tried to look where i can purchase the cedar nuts but all i could find is an European companies. can you recommend on a place or a website that is reliable and truly organic that can order it from?

    I appreciate your time.

  • I don’t have a preferred source for those but I can tell you that searching for “organic cedar nuts” produced more than a few acceptable outlets 🙂

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  • Poolmeister

    I would advise keeping them raw. Soak them overnight in water, then dehydrate in a dehydrator at or below 115F. Otherwise in a normal oven on lowest temperature with the door open a bit. There is a company out there which does it for you called “Better than Roasted”. They really do taste better than roasted if you activate them like i explained above!!

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  • Bayo

    It is very good but high in calories so I think that’s why it was not mentioned.

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