While walnuts are the flagship nuts in this SuperFoods Rx category, all nuts and seeds are significant contributors to your good health. It makes sense that nuts and seeds are rich sources of a wide variety of nutrients. They are, after all, nature’s nurseries. A nut or seed is basically a storage device that contains all the highly concentrated proteins, calories, and nutrients that a plant embryo will require to flourish.
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While walnuts are the flagship SuperFoods Rx nut, my other two top choices include almonds and pistachios. My top-choice seeds are pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Walnuts are the headliner for this category of SuperFood for a number of reasons. They are one of the few rich sources of plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids (called alpha linolenic acid, or ALA) along with canola oil, ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil, soybeans and soybean oil, wheat germ, spinach, and purslane. They are rich in plant sterols—plant sterols can play a significant role in lowering serum cholesterol levels—a good source of fiber and protein, and they also provide magnesium, copper, folate, and vitamin E. Finally, they’re the nut with the highest overall antioxidant activity.
Nuts in a Nutshell
A serving of shelled nuts is 1 ounce. One ounce of nuts is 10 to 48 nuts, depending on their size. A single serving of nuts provides between 150 and 200 calories.