Nuts are mostly the seeds of trees that are grown inside a hard shell. Not only are nuts wonderfully delicious, but they are also incredibly beneficial to health.
Unless someone has a nut allergy, there is no reason why nuts shouldn't be incorporated into their diet as they boast of a whole range of health benefits and are packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats and fibre.
The consumption of nuts is known to improve gut, heart and brain health and weight loss, as well as to reduce inflammation, blood sugar levels, blood pressure problem, cholesterol and triglycerides.
Nuts are so easy to add to both sweet and savoury recipes and will give any dish an extra special touch.
Whether you add them raw, roast them or crush them into a paste, nuts are versatile and energy giving. They work well in all sorts of diets such as vegan and vegetarian and can be found readily available in many grocery stores.
In our recipes, we simply can not get enough of them so without further ado, here is some information on ten of the most popular types of nuts, where they originate from, their health benefits and what they can be used for.
Almonds are the seeds of a tree native to Iran, but this popular tree nut is cultivated and enjoyed throughout many parts of the world.
With their shell removed, almonds can be savoured either raw or roasted and they boast several health benefits as they are rich in nutrients, vitamin E, and antioxidants, as well as being proven to aid the control of blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight loss.
Try blending peeled and soaked almonds for a unique and delicious milkshake, or slice and sprinkle them over desserts or rice dishes such as biryani.
Brazil nuts are actually the seeds of one of the largest and longest-living trees in the Amazon rainforest. They are native to Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia and are enjoyed raw.
Extremely nutritious and packed with energy, Brazil nuts are rich in selenium and are known to be good for heart and brain health as well as an aid to the easing of thyroid problems.
Coat Brazil Nuts in melted chocolate for a treat or crush them to sprinkle on ice cream, into a banana bread recipe or even to add a bit of a crunch to a rice dish.
Cashew nuts are also native to Brazil but are now cultivated in many warm climates around the world, growing on evergreen trees along with the cashew apple.
Cashews can be enjoyed raw or roasted and are known for their buttery taste as well as their immune and metabolism-boosting health benefits. They are also good for heart health and a balanced portion will leave you feeling energetic.
Throw a handful of cashews into a stir-fry noodle recipe or as part of a vegetarian nut roast.
Chestnuts grow on trees in the Northern Hemisphere and are popular throughout the Mediterranean, the Far Eastern, and North American regions of the world.
Chestnuts have to be cooked to be eaten, so they are usually roasted in their shells, which are to be removed before consumption. A popular Winter treat, chestnuts are full of vitamins B, C, and folic acid, and are known to benefit skin and hair health as well as muscle health.
Check out the recipe for Karyoka, Turkish chocolate-covered chestnuts.
Hazelnuts are native to Asia, Turkey is the leading country for hazelnut production in the world and this is reflected in their cuisine. They also grow mostly in Italy, Spain, and the United States.
Hazelnuts are incredibly delicious and also known as filberts. They can be eaten raw or roasted and even ground into a flavourful paste.
Like many nuts, hazels are packed with antioxidants, nutrients, and health benefits such as lowering the risk of cancer, decreasing inflammation and blood sugar levels, and boosting heart health.
Hazelnuts go so beautifully well in cookie and biscuit recipes.
Macadamia nuts are native to Australia and can also be found thriving in other parts of the world such as Brazil, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and New Zealand.
They have a subtle, creamy flavour and are linked to various health benefits such as brain health, heart health, longevity, as well as being packed with all the nutrients and antioxidants you would generally expect from a nut.
Team up Macadamia nuts with white chocolate and coconut for heavenly dessert and cookie recipes.
Peanuts are one of the most commonly known nuts and are also referred to as groundnuts, monkey nuts, pindars and goobers.
Peanuts are native to the Western Hemisphere and are grown in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
They are a good source of healthy fats, nutrients and vitamins. Peanuts can be shelled and consumed raw or roasted, and are often ground into what is known as one of the most popular nut butters.
Try out a homemade peanut butter recipe and get some from the store to pack an energy-giving punch into your next smoothie.
Pecans are a type of hickory, native to Mexico and the southern regions of North America.
Pecan nuts are known for being a delicious addition to desserts and pastries as well as their health benefits and anti-ageing properties.
Pecans go so well in cookie and pie recipes as well as in savoury dishes.
Native to Central Asia and the Middle East, pistachios are unique tree nuts that have a beautiful appearance as well as a wonderful flavour.
Eating pistachio nuts is a good way to acquire vitamins, minerals and fibre as well as controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. What's more, there are so many ways to include them in your recipes and dishes.
There is nothing quite like pistachios in Turkish baklava, and they can be used in many other ways too.
Walnuts are the seeds of a tree from Persia, now known as Iran. There is also a black walnut variation that originated from Noth America.
Walnuts are famous for being a significant source of omega-3 as well as all the other health benefits that nuts are renowned for. They are so easily available and make an excellent addition to both sweet and savoury recipes.
Chop up some walnuts to add a crunchy bite to your next salad or use them to add a lovely texture to a date cake or banana bread recipe.