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High protein nuts

8 high protein nuts to add to your diet

Nuts are delicious and packed with nutrients, and while all nuts contain protein, some provide more than others. These 8 nuts are especially high in protein.

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8 high protein nuts to add to your diet
Last updated on September 8, 2023, and last reviewed by an expert on February 7, 2023.

Nuts make a delicious, protein-rich snack or addition to meals.

8 high protein nuts to add to your diet

They’re versatile, easy to eat on the go, and a good source of plant-based protein, especially for those who eat few or no animal products.

Eating nuts can help you meet your needs for protein, which is necessary for building bones, muscles, and skin. Protein also increases feelings of fullness, helping you stay satisfied and energized.

While all nuts contain protein, some provide more than others. This article reviews 8 nuts that are high in protein.

1. Almonds

Protein: 7 grams per 1/4 cup (35 grams) serving of almonds.

Almonds are a seed. However, people often group them with nuts and consider them a high-protein option.

In addition to being high in protein, almonds are loaded with antioxidants. These plant compounds protect the body from free-radical-induced oxidative stress, which can lead to aging, heart disease, and some cancers.

The brown layer of skin surrounding almonds contains the highest concentration of antioxidants, so it’s best to eat almonds with the skin for the most benefits.

To make a balanced snack with almonds, pair them with a piece of fruit.

Summary: Almonds provide 7 grams of protein per 1/4-cup (35 grams) serving. They’re also packed with antioxidant compounds that can help protect your cells from damage.

2. Walnuts

Protein: 4.5 grams per 1/4 cup (29 grams) serving of chopped walnuts.

Eating walnuts is a delicious way to boost your protein intake.

Walnuts are also a source of heart-healthy fats. Specifically, they contain more omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), than any other nut.

Some observational studies have linked ALA intake to a lower risk of heart disease.

With their fatty texture and mouthfeel, walnuts are a good addition to ground meats and can further increase the protein content of meat-based dishes.

Summary: Walnuts contain 4.5 grams of protein per 1/4 cup (29 grams). Adding walnuts to your diet is a good way to boost your protein intake and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Pistachios

Protein: 6 grams per 1/4 cup (30 grams) serving of pistachios.

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A serving of pistachios provides as much protein as one egg.

These nuts have a higher ratio of essential amino acids relative to their protein content than most other nuts.

Essential amino acids need to be obtained through the diet so that the body can use them to build proteins necessary for important functions.

For a fun way to eat pistachios, try blending them into nut butter to eat on toast, apples, or crackers.

Summary: With 6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup (30 grams), pistachios contain as much protein as an egg per serving, plus a high amount of essential amino acids.

4. Cashews

Protein: 5 grams per 1/4 cup (32 grams) of cashews.

Cashews are technically seeds. They’re high in protein and contain several important vitamins and minerals.

A 1/4 cup (32 grams) serving provides about 80% of the daily value for copper. Copper is a mineral that supports immunity and aids the creation of red blood cells and connective tissue.

Studies have also found a link between low copper intake and an increased risk of osteoporosis, characterized by weak and brittle bones.

Thus, getting more copper in your diet by eating cashews may be one way to help protect against this condition.

To enjoy more cashews in your diet, eat them as part of a balanced snack on top of plain yogurt with fruit.

Summary: Cashews contain 5 grams of protein per 1/4-cup (32 grams) serving. Along with protein, cashews contain essential micronutrients like copper.

5. Pine nuts

Protein: 4.5 grams of pine nuts per 1/4 cup (34 grams).

Suggested read: The top 9 nuts to eat for better health

Pine nuts are the seeds of certain varieties of pine cones. They’re prized for their mild, sweet taste and buttery texture, which comes from their high-fat content.

In addition to providing 4 grams of protein, a 1/4 cup (34 grams) serving of pine nuts has 23 grams of fat.

The fat in pine nuts mostly comes from unsaturated fats, which may help reduce risk factors for heart disease. One of the fatty acids in pine nuts may also exhibit anti-inflammatory effects and help prevent cancer from spreading.

Toasted pine nuts are a delicious way to add protein to salads, grain bowls, or vegetables. To toast pine nuts at home, cook them in a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant.

Summary: Sweet, buttery pine nuts have more than a delicious taste. They also provide 4.5 grams of protein per 1/4 cup (34 grams) serving and healthy fats.

6. Brazil nuts

Protein: 4.75 grams per 1/4 cup (33 grams) serving.

Brazil nuts come from the seeds of a rainforest tree and are easy to spot in a bag of mixed nuts, as they’re usually the biggest ones.

Along with protein, they provide healthy fats, fiber, and an assortment of micronutrients. What’s more, Brazil nuts are one of the best food sources of selenium, an essential mineral that supports thyroid health and protects the body from infection.

Just one Brazil nut (5 grams) has almost 175% of the daily value for selenium.

Mix Brazil nuts with other nuts and seeds, dried mango, and dark chocolate chunks for a protein-rich trail mix.

Summary: Brazil nuts contain 4.75 grams of protein per 1/4-cup (33 grams) serving. Eating Brazil nuts is an excellent way to add more protein to your diet and meet your daily needs for selenium.

7. Peanuts

Protein: 9.5 grams per 1/4 cup (37 grams) serving.

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Peanuts are a legume but are considered a nut from a nutritional and culinary standpoint.

Like most legumes, they provide a lot of plant-based protein. In fact, peanuts have the highest protein content out of all commonly consumed nuts.

Peanuts are also one of the best food sources of biotin, a vitamin that helps convert food into usable energy in the body.

For a balanced snack that provides protein, fats, and carbs, combine peanut butter and bananas alone or assemble them on toast.

Summary: With 9.5 grams of protein per 1/4 cup (37 grams), peanuts beat out all other nuts on the list regarding protein content. They likewise provide a healthy dose of biotin and other nutrients.

8. Hazelnuts

Protein: 5 grams per 1/4 cup (34 grams) serving.

Hazelnuts have a slightly sweet, buttery, and toasted flavor, making them a particularly delicious source of protein.

Studies have also found that adding hazelnuts to your diet may help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease.

For a high-protein snack, make some homemade “Nutella” spread. Blend 1 cup (135 grams) of hazelnuts with 2 scoops (60 grams) of chocolate protein powder, 1 tablespoon (6 grams) of cocoa powder, and two tablespoons (30 mL) of maple syrup.

Summary: Hazelnuts contain 5 grams of protein per 1/4-cup (34 grams) serving. In addition to boosting protein intake, consuming more hazelnuts may help improve heart health and lower the risk of heart disease.

Summary

Nuts are a healthy source of plant-based protein. They make a convenient snack; you can add them to many dishes to boost their protein content.

The nuts on this list are all good protein sources, with peanuts providing the most protein per serving.

If you cannot eat peanuts or want to try different protein-rich nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts are a few interesting options.

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