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10 Types of Tree Nuts (with Pictures)

pecan nut

Tree nuts have been a part of mankind’s diet for thousands of years. They are high in healthy fats, very energy-dense (meaning high in healthy calories), and may help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease when consumed in moderation1. Below we have researched the most common types of tree nuts for you.

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The 10 Types of Tree Nuts

1. Acorns

Image Credit: MabelAmber, Pixabay

Acorns are not usually thought of as an edible nut, but they are! Acorns represented a staple in the diet of some Native American cultures, and while their flavor is not as tasty as other nuts to mainstream palates, they are quite edible if prepared properly and in many areas of the world are free for the foraging. They are not particularly nutrient-dense and have much less energy and fat content than more cultivated nuts.

Nutritional data for 1oz (28.35g) of acorns:
  • Calories: 144 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 15.2g
  • Fat: 8.9g
  • Protein: 3g

2. Almonds

almond tree
Image Credit: joseviparra, Pixabay

Native to the Middle East, the almond is a well-known tree nut. It is one of the earliest known domesticated fruiting trees, and is used to produce many foods – from almond milk to marzipan.  Almonds have been studied for their health benefits, and research indicates that a diet rich in almonds leads to healthier cholesterol balance, decreasing the “bad” cholesterol and increasing the “good” cholesterol, especially if almonds are used to substitute for less healthy foods.

Nutritional data for 1oz (28.35g) of almonds:
  • Calories: 164 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fat: 14.1g
  • Protein: ~6g

3. Brazil Nuts

The Brazil nut is both the name of a edible nut and the tree from which it is harvested. The Brazil nut tree is one of the longest-lived and largest trees in the Amazon rainforest. The meat of the nut is contained in a shell, and several shells can grow inside a single fruit. These fruits can weigh up to 2 kilograms. Like almonds, the nuts have particularly healthy fat content, and Brazil nuts are also rich in selenium, which is associated with decreased blood sugar, anti-inflammatory effects, and thyroid health.

Nutritional data for 1oz (28.35g) of Brazil nuts:
  • Calories: 187 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Fat: 19g
  • Protein: ~4g

4. Cashews

cashew tree
Image Credit: sarangib, Pixabay

Cashews have a distinct shape, flavor, and texture when eaten. They are nutritious, although they must be prepared carefully as the two shells of the nut can be highly irritating to humans – cashews are a close relative of the poison ivy and poison sumac plants. Commercially purchased cashews are processed in such a way as to avoid the irritating toxins. This involves careful removal of the outer shell and roasting the nut. As with most nuts, cashews have a healthy fat profile, and can improve cholesterol levels if they are eaten instead of less healthy foods.

Nutritional data for 1oz (28.35g) of cashews:
  • Calories: 157 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 56g
  • Fat: 12.4g
  • Protein: ~5.2g

5. Chestnuts

chestnut tree
Image Credit: Bru-nO, Pixabay

Chestnuts are particularly beautiful when found in their natural state. The fruits are lovely, and the hue of the nut gives it a resplendent depth normally associated with cut gems or well-finished hardwoods like walnut or mahogany. They are sweet and crunchy when eaten raw. A deeper, earthier flavor is achieved by roasting. Chestnuts are a relatively rich natural source of manganese and have a similar healthy fat content like most other tree nuts. They also have high fiber content, meaning they support bowel regularity and thus digestive health.

Nutritional data for 1oz (28.35g) of chestnuts (European variety):
  • Calories: 102 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fat: ~0.4g
  • Protein: ~1.5g

6. Hazelnuts (Filberts)

Hazelnut tree
Image Credit: myfriso, Pixabay

Hazelnuts are often found with pecans, chestnuts, almonds, and English walnuts in the assorted nut packs seasonally available around Christmastime. They balance the eating profile of other nuts with a solid texture and a deep, earthy flavor, especially when roasted. Roasting and eating nuts is not as common as it once was, but most know Nutella – this tasty spread is a hazelnut product. Hazelnuts are known for their vitamin E content, making them good for skin and hair health. As with other nuts, the fat profile of the nut favors healthy cholesterol levels and eating them instead of other unhealthy foods will result in improvement in blood sugar control as well as lipid levels.

Nutritional data for 1oz (28.35g) of filberts:
  • Calories: 178 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 73g
  • Fat: 17.2g
  • Protein: 25g

7. Hickory Nuts

Hickory nuts 6060
Hickory nuts 6060 (Image Credit: Abrahami, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.5 Generic)

Hickory is a hardwood tree known for its wood and its nuts, which share its name. Straight-grain American hickory tool handles are renowned for toughness, longevity, providing a good grip, and remaining flexible enough to help prevent fatigue during long hours of work. Hickory handles are particularly favored for striking tools like hammers and axes. The nut of this tree is less often eaten than other nuts we’ve listed here but are sweet and possessed of a strong “nutty” flavor. They are high in thiamin and manganese and have the same healthy fat profile as other tree nuts.

Nutritional data for 1oz (28.35g) of hickory nuts:
  • Calories: 186.3 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fat: 18.2g
  • Protein: 54g

8. Macadamia Nuts

Macademia trees are evergreens, and the nut is exceptionally strong and hard – 5 times harder than hazelnuts, and almost as strong as aluminum! Opening the nut commonly involves sawing the hull rather than cracking and using a special tool to separate the halves. Chocolate-covered macadamia nuts are a well-known treat available in most supermarkets. This does not improve the nut’s otherwise healthy nutritional profile, but certainly is tasty! Macadamia nuts are particularly fatty, leading to their tremendous caloric content per ounce.

Nutritional data for 1oz (28.35g) of macadamia nuts:
  • Calories: 204 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 91g
  • Fat: 21.5g
  • Protein: 24g

9. Pecans

Pecan tree
Image Credit: glynn424, Pixabay

Pecans are used widely worldwide in cuisine. Pecan ice cream, pecan salad, or just pecans straight – the sweet, buttery flavor blends better into other foods than many nuts. Interestingly, the nut is not the only part of the pecan tree commonly used. Pecan wood is strong, beautiful, and often used in higher-end furniture making. Pecans and black walnut are commonly grown in the same fields in the United States, giving four crops (two types of nuts and two types of hardwood) and helping to ensure disease doesn’t spread through the stands as easily (diseases or parasites that affect one tree species often do not affect others).

Pecan nuts are healthy, high in fiber, zinc, several vitamins, and minerals. They are also a lower-carb nut, especially when compared to chestnuts, pistachios, or hickory nuts, making them even more diabetes-friendly.

Nutritional data for 1oz (28.35g) of pecans:
  • Calories: 196 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 94g
  • Fat: 20.4g
  • Protein: 6g

10. Pine Nuts

pine nut
Image Credit: umberlla, Pixabay

Like many of the other nuts listed, pine nuts are named after the tree from which they come – pines! These nuts are sold commercially as a snack food. Their cultivation and harvest in North America are closely associated with the preservation of pinon pines forests. They are high in many minerals and vitamins and have the same benefits to blood sugar and cholesterol as other nuts due to their healthy fat content.

Nutritional data for 1oz (28.35g) of pine nuts:
  • Calories: 191 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 71g
  • Fat: 19.4g
  • Protein: 88g

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Many trees produce nuts but only a small number are suitable for human consumption. Be very careful if you’re planning to harvest any tree nuts. The above nuts are safe, healthy, and delicious!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our look at different tree nuts. Feel free to share this article on social media or leave a comment below!

Featured Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

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