Nuts, seeds, and grains may be small foods, but they certainly have tremendous health benefits!
If you’re looking for reasons to include nuts, seeds, and grains in your diet, then you have come to the right place. Here, you will learn all about the best ones for your diet.
They are not just for flavor and texture because they also have good effects on your health and wellness. Despite their size, nuts, seeds, and grains can definitely change your life for the better!
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I’ve listed the top ten nuts, seeds, and grains to help you decide which suits your needs best. After this, you will surely be encouraged to add more of these to your diet!
What are Nuts, Seeds, and Grains?
They may sound the same, but nuts, seeds, and grains have many differences.
Where do culinary seeds come from? You can usually get them from flowers, vegetables, and crops. Use them to add texture and color to your recipes. You can also use most seeds raw or cooked.
On the other hand, nuts are dried fruits inside a shell. Make the most out of nuts by adding them to baked goods and snacks for a crunchy texture and nutty flavor.
What about grains? According to National Geographic, grains are harvested seeds from grasses like corn and oats. Cooking grains depends on what kind of grains they are.
Let’s start with the top eight seeds on the list:
It’s not surprising that chia seeds are some of the most popular seeds for recipes. They have a mild nutty taste that goes well with savory and sweet dishes.
When you use them raw, you will notice that chia seeds tend to be crunchy and crisp. But they will have a soft and gel-like texture once you soak them in liquids.
Like other seeds, flaxseeds have a mild nutty, and earthy taste. For a stronger nutty flavor, go with brown flaxseeds. There are also golden flaxseeds for a lighter taste.
Raw flaxseeds have a silky texture but become smooth, slick, and slippery once they absorb water. They also come in a powder form for a gelatinous finish – these are especially suggested for egg replacement.
While you can use raw flaxseeds, remember that grinding them is better for your digestion. Ground flaxseeds are easier to digest and process. Don’t forget to add these to smoothies, granola, soups, and salad dressings.
What do hemp seeds taste and feel like? Hemp seeds are mildly nutty and earthy. When it comes to texture, they are creamier or smoother compared to other seeds.
Because of their mild flavor, you can easily add them to flavorful dishes. I love adding them to oatmeal and yogurt, but you can also use them for coating, smoothies, and milk recipes.
Eat raw pumpkin seeds for a light flavor and chewy consistency. You can also roast them to release a deeply nutty and savory flavor. These seeds are sometimes turned into snacks because of how fun it is to eat them.
How do you use pumpkin seeds for your meals? You can use them for fruits, energy bars, cakes, smoothies, and more. In fact, you can have fun eating raw pumpkin seeds because you need to pop them open first!
Looking for sweet and nutty seeds? Sesame seeds are one of the best options for you. They have a warm flavor, especially after you toast them. These seeds also have a black variant for a bolder flavor.
You can eat raw sesame seeds, but I suggest baking or toasting them first if you want to bring out their nutty quality. You can add these to bread and salads. In fact, you can make Tahini Paste with leftover sesame seeds!
Did you know that pine nuts are seeds and not nuts? They are actually edible seeds from pine trees. Pine nuts are buttery and nutty with a soft texture, even when raw. You can bring out more of its quality by roasting.
Enjoy the extra crunch you can get from pine nuts by adding them to chocolate, cookies, cakes, and granola. Moreover, you can add these to smoothies for a more filling effect.
Give your dishes and drinks a pop by with these poppy seeds! They are nutty and mild-tasting, great for adding extra flavor to dishes and drinks.
These seeds are great for sweet salad dressings and desserts. Add them to homemade bread, cakes, and pastries for a satisfying crunch. Alternatively, just toast them for a few minutes and enjoy them alone!
Inside the firm shell of sunflower seeds is a mild and nutty taste you will love. They may also have a sweet and salty taste. You might have already tried them with your snacks or trail mixes.
How can you add sunflower seeds to your diet? You can include them in salads, oatmeal, stir-fries, and baked goods. In fact, you can roast them to intensify the nutty taste.
Go nuts for these top ten nuts for your meals:
Almonds are some of my favorite nuts because they’re sweet, earthy, nutty, warm, and toasty. They have a chewy quality because they are crunchy and crisp.
How can you use almonds for your recipes? Add them to salads, smoothies, baked goods, and dips. I love almonds so much that I made special recipes for Almond Milk, Almond Cake, Almond Oil, and Almond Butter!
Compared to other nuts, cashews have a mildly sweet and neutral flavor. They can be crunchy, chewy, or buttery, depending on how you use them. These may also remind you of peanuts, but they are larger in size.
One of the simplest ways to enjoy cashews is to roast them with herbs and spices. Otherwise, add them to stir-fries or rice for new flavor and texture. You can even make Cashew Butter at home!
Have you tried hazelnuts before? I’m sure you also loved how sweet, nutty, earthy, and musty it is. They even have a decadent and buttery texture that feels like they melt in your mouth.
Don’t forget to add hazelnuts to your cakes, baked goods, and cookies. You can also put them as toppings for homemade chocolate. If you’re feeling adventurous, then include them in your salads and pasta recipes!
Don’t you just love how nutty and earthy walnuts are? They can also taste a bit bitter to balance the flavors well. These are crunchy on the outside and surprisingly creamy on the inside.
Pistachios can surprise you because they can taste earthy, sweet, or nutty. The flavor also differs if they’re raw, roasted, or cooked. For mild flavor, go for young pistachios. On the other hand, matured pistachios have a sweeter and bolder taste.
What’s one of the best things about macadamia nuts? They have a rich buttery flavor with a subtle sweetness and decadent texture. You will notice how tastier they are with coffee and coconuts.
Macadamia nuts are so tasty and satisfying that they can make healthy snacks. You can also use these as garnish, sauces, or salad dressing. Furthermore, these can be mixed into smoothies and milkshakes!
Peanuts are called peanuts for a reason. They have a nutty flavor you can improve by roasting or toasting. There are shelled and unshelled peanuts that you can easily cook with.
Do you want to cook peanuts for snacking? You can boil or roast them in a pan, air fryer, or oven. Aside from Peanut Oil and Peanut Butter, peanuts can also be added to Peanut Butter Granola Bars or Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake!
Are pecans really delicious, or are they just crunchy? Of course, they’re yummy! These nuts can be sweet, nutter, woody, nutty, or even coffee-like. Raw pecans tend to have a subtle flavor, but once roasted, the flavor is intensified.
If you want to eat pecans for snacks, then I suggest toasting them for a crunchy texture. You can also add them to pies, salads, tarts, ice cream, oatmeal, bread, and more!
Compared to other nuts, brazil nuts have a smooth, buttery, and nutty quality. You need to open the hard shell before you get to the good part – the nut itself!
Brazil nuts are good for cookies, salads, granola, smoothies, chocolate bars, bread, and pies. It is safe to eat these nuts alone, but you can also roast or bake them for more flavor and texture.
When raw, chestnuts tend to taste bitter, but once you cook them, you will love how sweet and soft they are. The flavor may also remind you of sweet potatoes.
Roast or toast the chestnuts before eating them for snacks. Aside from using whole chestnuts, you can also grind or chop them to add to batters, salads, and more!
How many of these healthy grains have you tried before?
Oats are some of the most popular grains used for recipes, especially for weight-loss meals and drinks. There are different kinds of oats, such as steel-cut, instant, and rolled oats.
They usually taste bland, so you can best enjoy them with fruits, sweeteners, or milk.
When do you eat oats? They are suggested for breakfast because they can give you energy for the day. You can add them to smoothies or milk for a crunchy texture. Overnight Oats are one of the best ways to use oats. Try it!
If you want to avoid eating white rice, then quinoa can be a good alternative. It has a slightly nutty taste, especially when you cook it. Moreover, quinoa can be paired with sweet or savory dishes to balance flavors.
You can cook quinoa by preparing it like rice. It can be mixed with leafy greens like kale and spinach for more color. On the other hand, you can also try it with fresh fruits and vegetables for a healthy recipe.
What makes Bulgur satisfying to eat? Aside from its rich nutty taste, bulgur has a chewy, soft, and light texture, especially when cooked properly. In fact, you can make it fluffy by parboiling it in water.
Make bulgur exciting to eat by mixing it with vegetables, spices, beef, and even chicken. It is certainly the perfect side dish for your favorite recipes. Even plain bulgur wheat tastes amazing when paired with Fried Chicken Gizzard Stew!
There are wide rice varieties where you can get health benefits. The American Heart Association suggests cooking brown, black, or red rice for healthier options. If you’re counting calories, then I suggest choosing rice that best fits your body’s needs.
While many kinds of rice are in the market, I often buy basmati rice. It has a light and fluffy texture that my family loves. My favorite rice recipes include Jollof Rice, Fried Rice, and Coconut Fried Rice because they are so yummy!
Is corn a grain or a vegetable? According to the United States Department of Agriculture, corn can be a vegetable or grain, depending on when it is harvested.
If the corn is harvested when fully matured, then it is a grain! Eating corn kernels or processed corn products, you are likely eating them as grains.
Wheat is a grain that produces an edible seed called a kernel. According to the National Association of Wheat Growers, wheat is one of the most useful foods in the world.
This product can be used for bread, pasta, cakes, noodles, pastries, sauces, and more. There are different classes of wheat that you can use for various recipes. The hard variant is perfect for bread, while the soft wheat is best for baking.
If you love grains with a mild and earthy flavor, then you should definitely try sorghum. It is usually used for African recipes and can be turned into flour for baked goods.
You can prepare sorghum like popcorn for snacks or dessert with your salads or granola bars. Alternatively, soak them to cook porridge, stuffing, or other side dishes. In fact, these can also be stirred into soups for more flavor and texture.
Have you heard of millet grains? They are similar to kernels, and they are also gluten-free. These are sweet and best for sauces, dips, and salad dressings. You might also taste how nutty they are.
Once you cook millet, you will enjoy its light, fluffy, and chewy quality. Remember to remove the hull before cooking and eating it. Millet recipes are best served for breakfast with savory stir fries and soups.
Can you believe there is rye in the bread and crackers you bought at the supermarket? It is often used because it is low in gluten yet high in fiber. Rya has a rich flavor that you can balance with other ingredients.
Take your salad recipes to the next level by using rye as a garnish. You can also add these to oatmeal for more fiber. In fact, you can make bread and flour from rye too!
What makes barley different from other grains? It has a deliciously nutty, chewy, and subtle flavor. Barley is also used as a thickener or sweetener for many dishes.
Barley is easy to prepare. You can toast it in a skillet or boil it with your broth. It can also be used for soups, salads, stuffing, and stews.
Teff is a nutty and earthy grain with a hint of chocolatey goodness. It’s a gluten-free grain usually turned into flour or added to pastries. There is white, brown, red, or mixed teff with various flavors that you can try.
Teff can be cooked like rice to serve with vegetables or meat recipes. It’s also a good vegan substitute for meat. You can also add teff to cookies, cupcakes, porridge, bread, and more.
It’s not just brown; brown rice is also earthy, nutty, and fluffy. Since it is less processed than white rice, it takes a bit longer to cook. The subtle nutty flavor makes it great to pair with sweet and savory dishes.
How to Buy and Store Nuts, Seeds, and Grains
- Buying nuts, seeds, and grains has become easier because they are already sold in packages or containers.
- Choose tightly packaged products without holes.
- Nature’s Path suggests buying them raw and in bulk to store them longer.
- Food52 suggests storing these products in containers.
- For nuts and seeds, you can keep them at room temperature for three months. Store in the fridge to extend their shelf life.
- On the other hand, different kinds of grains have varying shelf lives.
- Grains can last from several months to years.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of nuts for the body?
Nuts are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them excellent for your health. They can help with weight loss, heart health, energy, immunity, inflammation, gut health, and more!
What is the healthiest nut to eat?
According to BBC Good Food, the healthiest nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans. The healthiest nut for you depends on the health benefits you need the most.
Are nuts healthy to eat every day?
Eating Well suggests eating a handful of nuts every day if you are not allergic to nuts. Balance it with other healthy recipes to complete your daily dose of nutrients.
What are the top 5 healthiest nuts?
Bag-A-Nut listed almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia, and hazelnuts as five of the healthiest nuts.
Is it good to eat seeds every day?
Yes, you can eat seeds every day. However, Duke Health suggests eating only about one-eighth to one-quarter cup of seeds up to four times a week.
What do seeds do for your body?
Seeds are good sources of protein, fiber, and vitamins. They can also help you regulate your weight by keeping you full and energized. These are good for your heart, stomach, gut, kidney, and overall health!
Which seed has the most health benefits?
Each seed has benefits of its own. While no seed has all health benefits, you can consume a mixture of seeds to get the best nutrients for your body. The healthiest seeds include flax, chia, pumpkin, and sesame seeds.
What are the benefits of eating seeds?
The benefits of eating seeds include improved heart health, more energy, weight management, a boosted immune system, strong bones, better skin and hair, and more!
What are the 3 health benefits of eating grains?
According to Mayo Clinic, eating grains is good for weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. If you take all of these together, then grains can certainly help your body function better and more efficiently.
What are the benefits of grains in your body?
With the nutrients you can get from grains, you can take care of your heart, reduce the risk of obesity, improve digestion, minimize inflammation, prevent cancer, manage weight, and more!
Grains can also give you the energy to do your daily activities. They are also immunity boosters, so you avoid health problems.
What is the healthiest grain to eat?
Each kind of grain has its own health benefits, but some of the healthiest grains include oats, wheat, rye, millet, barley, quinoa, and brown rice. These are guaranteed to give energy, boost immunity, improve heart health, and more!
Is it healthy to eat grains every day?
Yes, you can eat grains every day as long as you consume them in moderation. Balance it with other dishes to get the nutrients that your body needs.
Overall, nuts, seeds, and grains are truly delicious, versatile, long-lasting, and, most importantly, healthy!
There are plenty of other varieties you can try, and each can have a different effect on your body. They may be small, but using these products in your diet cannot be undermined.
Whenever you can add them to recipes, ensure you do so! Over the years, I have loved how these nuts, seeds, and grains affected me. In fact, I enjoy them so much that I made a special Granola recipe for an all-in-one dish!
Try adding nuts, seeds, and grains to your diet and experience how they can change your life for the better.
This post may contain general information and does not constitute professional medical advice. Always seek information or advice from a qualified medical professional. Please read the full disclaimer for details.