There are various types of nuts which differ regarding origins, characteristics, and nutritional contents. In this article, you can learn more about 17 types and varieties of nuts that can be found worldwide.
Originated from the Middle East, almond is related to plums and apricots. This type of nut has moderate amounts of protein and insulin that are beneficial for reducing blood sugar. Almond is not only sold as whole nuts or seeds, but also marketed in several forms, such as almond extract, oil, and paste.
As the name suggests, Brazil Nut is originated and mainly grown in the Brazilian forests. It is one of the largest nuts which rich in selenium and vitamin E. Because of its sweet and creamy taste, Brazil nut is often used as a flavorful addition on top of several desserts.
Candlenut is largely used in Southeast Asian countries. It goes by several different names: kemiri in Indonesia, buah keras in Malaysia, and lumbang in the Philippines. Generally, candlenut is used as an additional ingredient to make a thick, savory sauce. It can also be extracted into oil for various uses.
Cashew is a crescent-shaped drupe that comes from its fruit, cashew apple. Although it is cultivated in South America, cashew is widely available in the continents of Asia and Africa now. Cashew is considered one of the healthiest nuts because it contains various beneficial substances, including vitamin E, lutein, antioxidants, and beta-carotene.
This round, glossy nut has high amounts of calories and carbohydrates. It is often served as vegetables or mashed like potatoes. Several countries cultivate different varieties of chestnut. The most popular ones include Chinese chestnuts and sweet chestnuts that are grown in China and Europe respectively.
Ginkgo, also known as Ginkgo biloba, refers to red nuts which come from the maidenhair tree. While its appearance resembles wild plums, this nut variety has slight acidic smell and taste. It is rich in vitamin C and much valued in China as an additional ingredient for several Chinese cuisines.
Hazelnut is one of the most popular types of nuts that can be found around the world. Several countries even cultivate the indigenous variety of these round nuts, such as American, Afghan, and European hazelnuts. This nut is a great source of polyphenol and antioxidants that can help to reduce cardiovascular diseases. Before it is mature enough for harvesting, hazelnut attaches on its tree as green nuts.
Heartnut is a sub-variety of walnut which initially grows in Japan. The nut comes from a Juglan tree and can be harvested when it fully blooms in the mid-fall. Regarding appearance, heartnut bears some similarities to butternut, a native variety of North America. However, it has more oily texture and brighter in color.
Hickory comes in several varieties with different flavor; some has a sweet taste, while some others are bitter. Two of the most popular types of hickory nuts are Shagbark and Shellbark. Although they are slightly different in texture and appearance, both of them can be mixed as an ingredient to create corned meats.
Native to West Africa, kola nut is a tropical drupe that comes from a kola tree. These small nuts contain caffeine and become the origins of the term ‘cola’ in soft drinks or beverages. In its native region, kola nut is often consumed as a chewing snack and presented to the guest or chiefs in the ceremonial events.
Macadamia is named after an Australian who discovers this variety, Dr John Macadam. Because it is native to Australia, this nut is also known as Australian nut or Queensland nut. Despite its high price, the nutrition in macadamia is less than other nut varieties. It only has moderate amounts of vitamin B1 and a little amount of magnesium.
Marcona almonds are initially cultivated in Spain. Coming in a round and flat shape, these brown nuts have a sweeter taste than regular almonds. Because of its tasty flavor, Marcona almonds are also considered a perfect choice for snacks, whether as roasted, fried, or salted nuts.
Another popular type of nuts is a peanut. Technically, peanut belongs to legume groups like peas and beans. However, it is more widely used as nuts for both snacks and cooked dishes. Peanut is high in protein and can be found in different forms, such as peanut butter or roasted peanut.
Mainly cultivated in Texas and Georgia, pecan is the only native nut of North America. It is often used as an ingredient for desserts and baked goods. Additionally, you can enjoy it for snacks as roasted pecans. Pecan is one of the healthiest nut types that has contains several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Pine nut is also known as several other names, including pignoli, piñon, and Indian nuts. It is not only high in calories but also rich in manganese, magnesium, as well as vitamin E and K. Pine nut, is known for having tasty flavor and often used for pesto sauce.
Pistachio is originated from the Middle East and West Asia. This nut has a sweet, buttery flavor which is perfect for some popular dishes, including baklava and halvah. Also, it can be consumed for snacks as salted or roasted pistachio. Beneficial substances contained in pistachio include vitamin B1, B6, copper, and manganese.
Although walnut has a slightly dry and bitter taste, it is still a popular ingredient for baked goods. Walnut is high in manganese and omega 3. It also has a little amount of vitamin B6 and B9. In the market, walnut is sold in shelled and unshelled forms.
Based on the information above, it can be concluded that most types of nuts are healthy in nature. By knowing several nut varieties, you can use the most suitable kind for different purposes which include cooking, baking, or simply as snacks.