The best and healthiest nuts to snack on for when you’re on a health kick

A handful of nuts a day keeps the doctor away. They're loaded with essential healthy fats, protein and fibre to keep you fueled for hours, and are a delicious addition to many recipes.
Various nuts on a white background

Some people watching their weight may think they should steer clear of nuts due to their high-fat and calorie content, but nuts are packed with vital nutrients, and are extremely satiating, helping you stay fuller for longer.

In fact, The Australian Dietary Guidelines ranks nuts on the same level as meat, fish, poultry and eggs, due to their protein content, making it a great vegetarian alternative for meeting your nutritional targets. Studies have also shown that consuming a 30g handful a day can help reduce the risk of heart disease by 30-50 per cent.

We look at the 10 nuts to snack on, roast and add to salads, or toss with honey and sprinkle over a beautiful dessert.


This versatile nut boasts plenty of protein and calcium, two things you’d normally associate with meat and milk. Grind almonds up and use then use the powder as flour in baking, soak them and use as a vegan alternative to milk, yoghurt or mayonnaise, or just munch on raw for a filling mid-morning snack. A handful of almonds will also help you up your vitamin-E levels, crucial for healthy skin.

Brazil nuts

The biggest of the nut family, Brazil nuts possess dietary fibre, which work to keep the gut happy. Just two nuts will also let you reach your daily intake of selenium, a mineral rich in antioxidants that can assist with metabolism.

Crunchy cabbage, brazil nut and smoked chicken salad

This crunchy cabbage and brazil nut salad with smoked chicken has the most satisfying crunch!


These humble nuts have recently shot to fame as the base to many raw vegan desserts, providing a wonderful creamy, cheesy texture when soaked and blended. They’re also a delicious addition to stir-fries and salads, and eaten straight from the bag. They’re a great meat-free source of iron, perfect for vegetarians and vegans, and have a low-GI rating, making them suitable for diabetics.

Try them in this lamb and cashew stir-fry for delicious flavour and crunch!

Lamb and cashew stir-fry


A bit of an underrated nut in Australia, chestnuts have a low-GI rating, providing slow-releasing energy that will keep you full for longer, perfect for a snack at work. They are also a great source of vitamin C and are best eaten raw for the full health benefits; quite a lot of its vitamin-C content is lost when cooked.

For a nice nutty texture, try adding it to your stuffing in this delicious roast pork and pancetta recipe.

roast pork with chestnuts and pancetta


When you think of hazelnuts you might think, delicious Nutella desserts, but these tasty nuts are actually packed full of fibre and vitamin E. They’ll also give you a big serving of potassium, great for restoring electrolytes after exercise and folate, vital for cell reproduction. Hazelnuts can easily be added to savoury dishes too, like in this tasty warm green salad recipe.


Aside from being delicious, macadamias have the highest level of healthy monounsaturated fats amongst all the nuts, essential for hair, skin and nail health, as well as keeping you full. They’re also a great source of thiamin and manganese, vital nutrients for energy and iron levels.

Try them in these white chocolate and raspberry cookies to add some nutrients to your sweet treats.

giant macadamia, white chocolate and cranberry cookies


The essential ingredient to creating a classic sticky sweet pecan pie is actually good for you. With a serve of pecans, you’ll get a big dose of dietary fibre and antioxidants to keep your body healthy. They’re also delicious roasted and scattered over a savoury salad.

Get the recipe for this delicious triple-choc pecan pie here.


Pine nuts

Often scattered over salads, soups and pasta dishes to add some extra crunch, pine nuts are actually a powerhouse of nutrients. They contain great amounts of skin-loving vitamin E, as well as arginine amino acid – an important part of the circulation and immune system.

You can even add these tasty nuts to this divine orange and fennel cake.



Cracking open pistachio shells are a great stress release, plus you get to enjoy the treat at the end. Even better, these nuts are full of protein and potassium, as well as plant sterols for lowering cholesterol and the antioxidant resveratrol, known for aiding in injury recovery. Enjoy a handful on their own, or add them to baked goods, salads and ice-cream.

Add some to these delicious sugar-free ginger pear crumbles.

Ginger, pear and pistachio crumbles


These filling nuts have a deliciously crunchy texture, making them the perfect addition for cakes, loaves, salads and stir-fries. They’re high in alpha linoleic acid, one of the two essential fatty acids only available through food, which aims to help to improve your hair, skin and nail health, and boost female fertility.

Why not try using ground walnuts in place of flour in these delicious ricotta and kale tarts.

Kale and walnut tarts

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