Protein, also known as protein, is an important nutrient for the human body. It plays a crucial role in maintaining and building tissues and cells, regulating metabolic processes, and supporting the immune system.
Protein is found in many plant-based foods. They are also present in nuts and seeds, as shown in the protein table above. Nuts can contribute significantly to a healthy and balanced diet due to their high protein content and abundance of other nutrients.
Also, make use of our other protein food lists if you want to increase the protein content in your diet:
- protein-rich vegetables
- protein-rich grains
- protein-rich fruits
- protein-rich mushrooms
- protein-rich drinks
- protein-rich herbs and spices
Nuts and seeds high in protein
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of plant-based protein. Almonds are one of the most commonly consumed types of nuts. They contain a considerable amount of protein. Walnuts, cashews, and peanuts (botanically classified as legumes) are other nuts that are rich in proteins according to the table. Other nut varieties such as hazelnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and pine nuts also contain a significant amount of protein.
Advantages of seed and nut proteins
Proteins from seeds and nuts offer various health benefits:
- Proteins are the building blocks of tissues and cells in our bodies. Protein from nuts and seeds supports tissue growth and repair.
- Protein-rich nuts and seeds can promote muscle growth and repair after exercise. Proteins are an essential component of muscle tissue. They aid in building and maintaining muscle mass.
- Proteins can have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is associated with various chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.
- The amino acid L-arginine, which is found in foods like walnuts, almonds, and seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds, can strengthen the immune system and fight infections. This table reveals which foods contain arginine.
- The health of the skin can also be improved with amino acids found in seeds and nuts, such as lysine and proline. These are necessary for the production of collagen, an essential component of the skin. We have linked foods rich in lysine and foods rich in proline here.
- Amino acids such as tryptophan and tyrosine, which are necessary for the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, are also present. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that facilitate communication between brain cells. Additionally, they play a role in mood regulation and cognitive functions. You can find tryptophan-rich foods and tyrosine-rich foods here.
Use the following links to quickly access the respective amino acid contents:
- Histidine Nuts and Seeds
- Isoleucine Nuts and Seeds
- Leucine Nuts and Seeds
- Lysine Nuts and Seeds
- Methionine Nuts and Seeds
- Phenylalanine Nuts and Seeds
- Threonine Nuts and Seeds
- Tryptophan Nuts and Seeds
- Valine Nuts and Seeds
- Arginine Nuts and Seeds
- Cysteine Nuts and Seeds
- Glycine Nuts and Seeds
- Proline Nuts and Seeds
- Tyrosine Nuts and Seeds
- Serine Nuts and Seeds
- Alanine Nuts and Seeds
- Aspartic Acid Nuts and Seeds
Disadvantages of Nuts and Their Protein
While protein-rich nuts and seeds have many health benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks, especially when consumed in larger quantities. Here are some possible disadvantages:
- Nuts and seeds are high in calories and fat. Eating them in large amounts can lead to excessive calorie intake, resulting in weight gain and obesity. Take a look at our calorie chart for nuts and seeds for more information.
- Phytic acid, which can inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients like iron and zinc in the body, is also present. You can reduce phytic acid content by soaking, roasting, or sprouting the nuts and seeds.
- Almonds, cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds contain oxalates, which are found in many plant-based foods. In large amounts, they can promote the formation of kidney stones.
- Allergic reactions can also occur after consumption. Symptoms may include rash, swelling, difficulty breathing, and even anaphylaxis.
- Pine nuts and pumpkin seeds are high in phosphorus. Excessive intake of phosphorus can disrupt the balance between calcium and phosphorus in the body, leading to bone loss and dental issues.
Weight Loss with Proteins from Nuts and Seeds
Protein is generally known to provide a feeling of satiety. It is digested more slowly than carbohydrates and fats. Since nuts and seeds are classified as high-protein foods according to the table, they can impart a long-lasting sense of fullness. This, in turn, can lead to reduced food and calorie intake. We present to you a list of nuts and seeds that are high in protein and can further assist in weight loss:
- Nuts and seeds not only contain protein but also healthy fats, dietary fiber, and micronutrients. These nutrients can help maintain muscle mass during weight loss, resulting in an overall firmer body.
- A higher protein intake can stimulate metabolism, causing the body to burn more calories. Increasing protein intake can enhance fat burning and boost the body's energy expenditure.
- Protein-rich nuts and seeds can lower insulin levels. Conversely, high insulin levels can prompt the body to store more fat, making weight loss more challenging.
Enjoy nuts and seeds in moderation as they belong to the high-calorie foods. Excessive intake of nuts and seeds can make weight loss difficult. They should rather be a part of a balanced diet.
Smart and flavorful use of protein-rich nuts and seeds
If you follow or want to follow a vegan diet, nuts and seeds are an excellent addition to your meal plan. Here are some tips on how to incorporate seeds and nuts:
- Protein-rich nuts and seeds work great as toppings for pasta, salads, cereals, yogurt alternatives, or smoothie bowls. Add some sunflower seeds, chopped pistachios, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, or flaxseeds. You can sprinkle pine nuts or walnuts over pasta dishes.
- They make a great snack that you can easily carry with you and provide you with quick energy. Take a handful of almonds, walnuts, or cashews with you when you're on the go.
- Nuts and seeds can also be used in baked goods. Try incorporating almonds or hazelnuts into your homemade bread or cake.
- Cashews, for example, can provide a creamy texture in vegan cheese alternatives. However, they can also serve as an excellent base for vegan sauces and dressings. You can blend them with some water and spices to achieve a creamy consistency.
- They are also commonly used in the production of plant-based drinks. Why not try making almond or cashew drinks yourself (using a nut milk maker)? It is also recommended to use roasted hazelnuts.
- You can also make your own protein bars and energy balls with nuts and seeds. An easy way is to blend dates, coconut flesh, and nuts in a mixer, shape them, and refrigerate.
- To add more flavor to your food, you can also use them as a seasoning. For example, try sprinkling sesame or poppy seeds over your dishes.
- Protein-rich nuts and seeds can also be used as a base for vegan ice cream. One option is to blend a mixture of frozen bananas, almond milk, and almond butter in a mixer and then pour it into ice cream molds.