Join us as we compare walnuts and almonds, the two major contenders of the most nutritious nuts, to find which of these is more beneficial than the other…
Nuts, overall, are considered highly nutritious, and almonds and walnuts are no exceptions to this. Almonds are edible nuts native to the Middle East, while walnuts are hard shelled nuts native to the north temperate forests spanning Europe, Asia and North America. There is no questioning the fact that both are highly regarded for their taste and nutrition value. But then, which nut is better of the two?
Walnuts and Almonds – The Better Bet?
Walnut serving weighing an ounce contains 185 calories, 4 g proteins, 4 g carbohydrates and 18 g fats. On the other hand, an almond serving weighing the same contains 163 calories, 6 g proteins, 6 g carbohydrates and 14 g fats. Both are rich in several vitamins including B6, B1, B3, B2, and vitamin E. Both contain manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, iron and zinc. Other than that, walnuts also contain traces of sodium, while almonds contain selenium in significant amount. They also contain unsaturated fats, little amount of cholesterol and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
|Nutrient||Walnuts* 1 oz.||Almonds 1 oz.|
|Proteins||4.32 g||6.02 g|
|Carbs||3.89 g||6.14 g|
|Fats||18.49 g||14.01 g|
|Minerals||Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Phosphorous||Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Phosphorous, Copper, Manganese, Selenium|
|Vitamins||Vitamin A, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K||Vitamin A, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin E, Vitamin K|
*Persian walnuts or English walnuts (Juglans regia)
Owing to their similar nutrition content, the health benefits of walnuts and almonds also have a striking similarity.
Walnuts Health Benefits
Walnuts are important constituents of a healthy diet owing to the various health benefits of these nuts, given below.
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Keeps a check on high blood sugar
- Enhances cardiovascular functions
- Helps in preventing gallstones
- Keep the bones healthy
Almonds Health Benefits
Although they are very small, they have several health gains, some of which are mentioned below.
- Keeps cardiovascular diseases at bay
- Reduces bad cholesterol
- Reduces blood sugar level
- Helps in weight loss and diabetes treatment
- Lowers the risk of gallstones
In a study published in the American Diabetes Association’s journal, Diabetes Care (2004), it was revealed that including approximately 30 grams of walnuts in the daily diet of people with type 2 diabetes helped in improving their lipid profile.
And the Winner is…
A comprehensive comparison of the cholesterol-lowering effect of various nuts concludes that walnuts have a slight edge over almonds in respect to human health. Almonds have more magnesium of the two. Even in case of vitamin E content, almonds have a slight advantage over walnuts. However, walnuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid – the only omega-3 fat type that is found in plant-based food. More importantly, walnuts are the only nuts which contain alpha-linolenic acid. Almonds are rich in calcium, while walnuts are rich in magnesium and vitamin B6. If you take fat content into consideration, almonds are healthier than high-fat walnuts.
It’s difficult to choose a hands-down winner, as both have an edge over the other in some or the other aspect. If we take low fat content, for instance, almond is the winner, but if we consider antioxidant properties, then walnut has an edge. Other than all the nutrients, almonds are known for their rich alkaline content. Walnuts, on the other hand, are known to be acidifying. In such circumstances, eating the two together is the best bet as the acid effect triggered by walnuts can be balanced by alkaline formed by almonds. High in alkaline, almonds also come handy in restoring the pH balance when excess of acidifying foods (such as meat, dairy products, artificial-sweeteners, etc.) bring it below the normal range.
Although there is no clear cut winner, you may come across several studies which declare either one of them as more beneficial than other. This depends on their methodology of comparison. It’s a well-known fact that no single food item can give you all necessary nutrients, and therefore one has to include various food items in their daily diet to provide the body with necessary nutrients. In this case, walnuts and almonds both are high in nutrition, and both deserve a place in your daily diet.