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Almonds vs Walnuts: Which is Healthier?

Did you know walnuts and almonds are not actual nuts, according to the botanical field of study; rather, they are stone fruits or drupes. Keep on reading to know more about these nuts and find out which one is healthier.

Binita Kumari
The overall traits and nutritional qualities of these nuts can vary slightly depending on the variety and cultivar
The overall traits and nutritional qualities of these nuts can vary slightly depending on the variety and cultivar

Nuts enhance the flavor, crunch, and nutrition of whatever dish they are added to. In this article, we'll compare the nutritional compositions and health effects of walnuts and almonds, two notable members of the culinary nut family.

Walnuts and almonds are not actual nuts, according to the botanical field of study; rather, they are stone fruits or drupes. However, because they are used in cooking, they are regarded as culinary nuts.

The walnut tree is a member of the Juglans genus and Juglandaceae family. The pecan and hickory trees are members of this family, which is also referred to as the walnut family.

The edible seeds of trees that belong to the Amygdalus subgenus of the Prunus genus and Rosaceae family are referred to as almonds, commonly known as Prunus dulcis or Prunus amygdalus. Other stone fruits in this genus range widely and include apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, and cherries.

Difference in Taste and Use:

While the surface of the walnut may taste unpleasant, the seed has a moderate earthy flavor. The flavor of almonds is similar. Almonds' bitterness, however, can be related to a substance called amygdalin that is present in them.

Almonds and peanuts, like all nuts, can be eaten as snacks or as a component of a variety of foods, greatly enhancing the nutritious content of the dish.

Varieties:

The overall traits and nutritional qualities of these nuts can vary slightly depending on the variety and cultivar.

The Persian or English walnut, often known as the common walnut, is the variety that is typically mentioned when discussing walnuts. The butternut, Californian walnut, and black walnut are among more less frequently used kinds.

Almonds of the Nonpareil, Sonora, Aldrich, Winters, and Carmel kinds are the most popular types. The Nonpareil almond, true to its name, is the kind that is most commonly used in commerce because of its delicate shell, which can be peeled off without damaging the seed inside.

Nutrition:

Since almonds only contain 50% water, they typically have higher nutritional densities. Walnuts, on the other hand, are 66% water.

One ounce, or 28.35g, or one serving size of both of these nuts. This portion of almonds contains 23 entire kernels, whereas one ounce of walnuts contains 14 walnut halves.

Calories:

Almonds and walnuts both have a lot of calories, but walnuts have 75 more in every 100g serving. Almonds and walnuts each provide 579 and 654 calories per 100 grams, respectively.

Protein:

A fantastic source of high-quality protein is nuts. Both of these nuts are rich sources of all nine essential amino acids, but almonds are higher in all but methionine. Overall, almonds are significantly higher in proteins.

Fats:

On the other hand, walnuts have more fats. Walnuts have higher levels of polyunsaturated and saturated fats, but almonds have notably more monounsaturated fats.

Contrary to almonds, walnuts are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, with each 100-gram meal having 9g of alpha-linolenic acid. Almonds and walnuts are plant-based foods, hence they don't contain any cholesterol.

Carbohydrates:

Compared to walnuts, almonds have roughly twice as many carbs. Almonds are therefore much higher in carbohydrates and dietary fiber.

Walnuts and almonds both have a similar carbohydrate breakdown and are strong in dietary fiber. The main sugar present in both of these nuts is sucrose. Glucose, fructose, and starch are other simple sugars that are also present, albeit in smaller amounts. Almonds also have trace levels of galactose and maltose.

Vitamins:

Walnuts often have a better nutrient profile. When comparing the daily recommended amounts of these nuts' vitamins, walnuts offer two times as much vitamin B1 and four times as much vitamin B6 as almonds.

Almonds have nearly eight times more vitamin B2 than other foods, making them much richer in this vitamin. Almonds also contain significant levels of vitamins B3 and E.

Additionally, walnuts have significantly higher levels of vitamins A, B5, and B9 in the form of folate. Walnuts also have vitamin C and vitamin K, which almonds do not have at all.

Minerals:

Given their high concentrations of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and choline, almonds are the category's clear winner.

Comparing the calcium content of almonds with walnuts, the calcium content of almonds is nearly three times higher.

On the other hand, walnuts are higher in selenium, manganese, and copper. Almonds have less sodium than either of these nuts, despite the fact that both are low in sodium. Similar amounts of zinc are present in these two nuts.

Health Impact:

Less than two servings of almonds consumed daily have been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease both in the short and possibly long term. Overall, extensive research has shown that nut consumption is beneficial for cardiovascular health, lowering risk factors by lowering blood cholesterol and body weight while also reducing the incidence of coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death.

Numerous nuts have been studied for their potential to lower the risk of cancer by preventing the growth of cancer cells and triggering their programmed demise.

Walnuts can potentially prevent or lower the chance of developing breast, prostate, colon, and kidney cancers because of the number of chemicals they contain.  Similar research suggests that eating almonds can lower your chance of developing breast, endometrial, pancreatic, colon, and colorectal cancer.

Increased walnut consumption has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, particularly in women. Almonds appear to be more beneficial at preventing the consequences of diabetes if walnuts are effective at preventing its onset. Increased consumption of almonds has been shown to lower type 2 diabetics' risk of cardiovascular disease.

And the winner is…

According to a 2020 study in the journal Nutrients, taking walnut supplements as part of a healthy diet can help adults preserve their cognitive function, delay dementia, and minimize oxidative stress. Additionally, they have been demonstrated to lessen neuroinflammation in both animal and human trials, hence lowering the risk of Parkinson's disease, stroke, and depression. So, walnuts might take the trophy home for being the healthier nut.

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