The Scoop on Nuts

Variety is the name of the game


When you look at a nutrient profile of nuts, you can readily see a wide variation in the amounts and contents of different nutrients. It definitely gives you the impression that nuts are designed to be alternated in the diet to gain from the full array of benefits. Nuts are a good source of minerals. They also contain fats. Some nuts contain a much higher ratio of omega 6 oils which tend to be pro inflammatory. Other nuts contain a higher ratio of omega-3 oils which are more anti-inflammatory.

Mix it up

Some examples of the wide variation of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids found in nuts are as follows:

Almonds- Highest in Calcium, Riboflavin (Vit B2) and Vitamin E (Alpha and Beta Tocopherol). Unfortunately however, almonds have the worst Omega 3 to 6 ratio of 2,028:1

Walnuts- Have the best Omega  3 to 6 ratio of 4:1 and very high in Gamma and Alpha Tocopherol

Pecans- Highest in Vitamin E (Gamma Tocopherol) and Beta Cryptoxanthin

Hazelnuts- Highest in Vit C, Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Brazil Nuts– Highest in Magnesium and Selenium

Pistachios- Highest in Potassium, Vit A and very high in Gamma Tocopherol

Macadamias- Highest in Monounsaturated fat, and Thiamine (Vit B1)

Pine Nuts- Highest in Vit K

Peanuts (not actually a nut, but a legume)- Highest in Folate


The bottom line is that nuts, just like vegetables, berries, fruit, meats and seeds all have different profiles of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids and fats. All foods found in nature are designed to be eaten in variety. That gives a person the broadest spectrum of nutrients to cover all of a person’s health care bases. It also prevents the body’s immune system from developing a sensitivity reaction to the proteins in the food from having that food in the diet too repetitively. A good game plan is to eat a handful of a different type of nut every day. My daily “treat” is to eat a handful of nuts with a small piece of dark chocolate. YUM!

Alan Palmer

I have been a practicing chiropractor for 30 years. Originally from Minnesota, I graduated from Northwestern College of Chiropractic in 1985. Since 1996 and 1998 respectively, I have provided chiropractic care for the players, coaches and employees of the Arizona Coyotes National Hockey League Hockey Club and the Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball Team. In addition, I provided care for the San Francisco Giants in spring training for 7 years. Since 1985 I have been studying functional medicine applications, Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) concepts and advanced clinical nutrition strategies. I welcome stubborn and complicated cases and those that traditional allopathic medicine has failed. One of my goals is to help people to reduce their dependency on medications. I do this by addressing the underlying causes of their illness or disease rather than treating their symptoms. This is accomplished by focusing on the restoration of normal healthy biochemistry and function through diet, exercise, supplementation and lifestyle modification.