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Almonds and walnuts have surpassed the good old peanuts in popularity. In the earlier days, with the mention of the word 'nuts' people used to associate it with peanuts. But now, almond consumption has increased ten-fold. Walnuts too are not far behind, as people have now begun to realize the health value of both these nuts.
So, which of these nuts is best to be had on a daily basis? Which of them is more nutritious? Well, read on and find the answer yourself.
We will first compare the two nuts in terms of various health aspects, such as brain health, heart health, weight loss, nutrition, skin and eye health, and other specific medical conditions, and find out which one of these two nuts shines in the health chart.
People who are trying to lose weight have always been advised to avoid nuts as they are high in fat and calories. But medical studies have always proven otherwise, and have shown that nut eaters are leaner than people who avoid nuts. This is because nuts increase your metabolism and you end up burning more calories, even when at rest.
In that case, which would be the best nut for weight loss? Several studies have shown considerable weight loss with the intake of almonds. However, walnuts also do not show weight gain. But there is no evidence to indicate that walnuts help with weight loss.
In that case, almonds emerge the winner in this category.
All nuts help in achieving optimal brain performance. But it is always walnuts that have been associated with brain health. This is because of the high omega 3 content in walnuts, which gives it a better edge in brain performance.
Irrespective of the age of people, several studies have shown that people's brains work better with the consumption of walnuts. No wonder then that walnuts even resemble the shape of a brain.
Here walnuts emerge as the clear winner.
Nuts belong to the superfood category. This is largely due to their nutritional value. But there are distinct differences in nutritional values between almonds and walnuts. Take a look.
Fibre: 1 oz of almonds constitutes 16% fibre, while 1 oz of walnut has only 8%
Protein: 1 oz of almonds contains 13% protein, while 1 oz of walnut has 9%
Omega 3: 1 oz of almonds contains no omega 3s, while 1 oz of walnut contains 2.5g
Electrolytes: Each serving of almonds can give you 4% of potassium, 16% magnesium, and 8% of calcium requirement for the day. On the other hand, each serving of walnuts gives you less in each of these categories.
Vitamin E: A serving of almonds will give your 40 percent of vitamin E (antioxidants) you need for the day, while walnuts give only 2%.
So as you can see for yourself, except in the category of omega 3s, it is almonds that top the nutritional chart.
Eating nuts every day is said to lower your risk of heart diseases by 40%. Both almonds and walnuts lower bad cholesterol (LDL), triglycerides, blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation.
While the higher presence of omega 3 fatty acids in walnuts has been found beneficial in the treatment of arrhythmias, the higher concentration of magnesium in almonds has also shown the same result. While almonds are rich in antioxidants, walnuts are rich in omega 3s.
Therefore, this category is a win-win for both.
By lifestyle diseases, we mean high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. They do not show any symptoms but are dangerous for your overall health. So, do nuts help in preventing lifestyle diseases?
Nuts are highly beneficial in treating high blood pressure. The nitric oxide present in both walnuts and almonds can help relax arteries and normalize blood pressure. Similarly, both the nuts are great in fighting bad cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, and improving good cholesterol. It is also said that both of these nuts can prevent the onset of diabetes too.
Here, both the nuts seem equally effective in the prevention of lifestyle diseases.
The anti-inflammatory properties are very high in walnuts due to the high presence of omega 3 fatty acids that are effective in treating arthritis and all other inflammatory diseases. The omega 3s directly inhibit the molecules causing inflammation in cases of osteoarthritis and hence even help in reversing the condition.
In treating inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, walnuts are your best bet.
Skin And Eye Health
The rich presence of the antioxidant vitamin E makes almonds great for healthy skin and eyes. One serving of almonds contains 48 percent of antioxidant-rich vitamin E, while walnuts contain only 2%.
Almonds are best for good skin and eye health.
The Bottom Line
Surely you have had a tough time too, judging which one of the two is better. Although both almonds and walnuts are equally good, almonds are seen to have an edge over walnuts in the nutritional chart. But, do not get carried away with almonds. Walnuts rock too in certain other categories.
The best way out would be to eat both nuts (1 to 2 servings of almonds and a serving of walnuts). Do not fear calories and fat. They work fine when eaten in moderation as unsalted varieties.