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!