Botanically an edible seed with a hard covering which is inedible also nut implies the fact that the shell of this seed does not open to release the seed and hence many of the legumes and fruits that we consume and call nuts do not fit into this category.
Thus, to simplify the definition and to cover and adjust all the seeds and fruits that we have accommodated in the category of nuts, we can say nuts are any seeds with oil content and surrounded by a hard – outer shell.
Nuts are highly nutritious and thus, are popular among people who are health conscious. They are a common food used for snacking and can also be used as a protein source for our body.
There are many types of nuts available to us, some of them have been listed below:
Almonds are a great source of protein, vitamin E, and calcium. They are one of the healthiest nuts available to us. Almonds themselves are found in many types.
These nuts are usually sweet and rich in fiber and selenium. Coconuts and these nuts have a similar consistency. The brazil nut tree is big and thus, produces a large number of seeds every season, though now due to a significant drop in their production, brazil nuts cannot be plucked off a tree in Brazil.
These nuts are a native of Africa and North America. Cashew nuts are rich in iron and have the lowest fat content in comparison to all the other nuts. Just like almonds, they are sold raw, dry and roasted and are also available in various types and sizes.
Chestnuts have an attractive mahogany color which is formed inside burrs. The open once the nut is ripe. They have a high content of fiber and starch.
Hazelnuts have an acorn shape and taste sweet. They are rich in fiber, vitamin E, and potassium. Their outer husk is fuzzy, and it opens as the seed or kernel ripens revealing a hard but smooth shell.
• Macadamia Nuts
The Macadamias have a sweet taste and rich and creamy in their texture. They are usually very expensive and are often consumed as desserts. They need a lot of pressure for shelling and hence are often sold with the shell. Macadamia nuts have the highest amounts of monounsaturated fats, thiamin, and manganese.
The delicious flavor of pecans can be attributed to their high-fat content. It has a high count of both mono and micronutrients. They have a great taste by themselves.
• Pine nuts
One of the most rarely available nuts is pine nuts. They are a great source of vitamin E and the arginine amino acid and are very beneficial for your healthy growth.
Pistachios are one of the richest sources of potassium which helps in building protection against heart diseases. They are also known for protecting our liver.
The cacao nuts are thick shelled and once cracked a cacao bean is gained which can be processed in many ways the most famous one being the cocoa bean which is majorly responsible for the existence of chocolate today.
• Hickory Nuts
Hickories can be found in several tastes ranging from sweet to bitter. The two most well-known sweet varieties of hickory nuts are:
- Shagbark– These have thin skin and can be shelled easily.
- Shellbark– These hickories are thick shelled.
Palm nut is so delectable and sweet that they are often termed as irresistible in taste. They are a rich source of Vitamin E. One such variety is
- Karuka– which grow on the palm tree.
The name itself calls it a nut, though there is no seed inside the hard shell. Instead, the shell itself has the flesh or the white pulp with it on the inside. They are rich in fiber, and like the culinary definition states, they can be used for extraction of oil too.
• Bread Nut
It is a green fruit with spiky green covering though majorly a fruit yet a nut by its name. It grows on a milk tree and has an oblong shape.
• Gingko Nuts
These nuts are of high value in the Chinese heritage. They are a reddish-orange fruit similar to a wild plum. The soft tissue around the seed needs to be removed before consuming it due to its inedible nature and foul smell. These seeds are easily available canned as well.
• Pili Nuts
These are the fruit of the pili tree and are protected by a hard shell followed by a fiber-rich seed coat. They have a unique nutritional composition so much so that a single serving of these nuts can be enough for your daily copper needs.
• Coquito Nuts
These nuts grow on the Chilean Palm trees. Often called mini coconuts as these have meat which tastes similar to that of coconut.
• Soy Nuts
Soy is soaked in water, and then the water is drained, the soy is then baked or roasted to get soy nuts. These are just complete proteins and are cheaper than most other nuts.
• Deek Nut
These nuts are often grown in excessively dry and hot areas. They are often used for garnishing the dishes in the middle eastern part of the world.
These nuts are buttery smooth and are accompanied by a sweet flavor. They have round and a thin shell just like that of a pecan. They are believed to be a cross breed between a pecan and a hickory nut.
• Sunflower Seeds
• Tiger Nuts
Not widely known yet, but these nuts have a high nutritional profile. They are rich in fiber and also contain milk which is so nutritious that it can be used as a substitute to cow milk.
• Candle Nut
It is a native of Queensland. These seeds need to be roasted before consumption when cooked they have a pleasant taste.
Acorns from red oaks first need to shelled to remove the bitter tannins around the seed, though the acorns from white oaks need not go through this and can be roasted and consumed.
These nuts grow on a Manketti tree which in itself is a huge tree with unique hand-shaped leaves. These nuts are egg-shaped and have a very thick shell which is hard and pitted.
• Butter Nuts
• Yeheb Nut
These seeds are rich in protein and essential amino acids. Two varieties of the Yeheb seeds are:
- Moqley: These nuts are rich fats and proteins.
- Suley: These nuts have a higher content of proteins than the Moqley variety.
These nuts are found on the beech tree and are triangular. They taste similar to walnuts. The outer husk is spiky and pops up when the seeds are ripe.
Walnuts are known to be a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid which is plant omega 3 and also antioxidants. They have a rich saturation of good fats and no cholesterol. Lastly, walnuts provide us with ellagic acid which helps in prevention of cancer and diseases related to the heart.
These Nuts are not just amazing to taste but have various health benefits too. Some of them have been listed below:
• Nuts are a great source of your daily nutrient needs.
• Their high antioxidant nature helps us fight against cardiovascular diseases and even cancer.
• As nuts are fat-free thus if we snack on them instead of junk food, then we can initiate weight loss.
• Nuts offer good cholesterol and help us manage cholesterol levels of your body.
• Also, since nuts have high fiber content, they are helpful in managing your digestive system and gut.
Nuts thus have a large variety from which we can choose your favorite snacking option and let go off all the junk food that we use for snacking. This way we add healthy food to your diet and also take a step towards fat reduction and healthy living.