Dried fruit is an excellent source of vegetable protein: here are which varieties have a higher content
Dried fruit, properties and calories
Dried fruit is the perfect ally for those who want to have a healthy and energetic snack – and paying attention to the quantities, we can also benefit from it for the diet. In particular, its high content of vegetable proteins make it an excellent choice for a varied and balanced diet. But there are different varieties of nuts, each of which provides different nutrients. Let's see which are the richest in protein.
Taking into account an average portion of about 30 grams, peanuts turn out to be among the types of nuts with the highest protein content: there are in fact about 9 grams, including important amounts of arginine. The latter is a fundamental substance for various metabolic processes, acts as an antioxidant and immunostimulant, plays a significant role in male fertility and has vasodilating properties, thus counteracting hypertension.
Also very interesting is the ability of peanuts to give a real boost of energy. Biotin, an important vitamin which, according to a study published in Biofactors, would contribute to the process of transforming food into energy would be responsible for this.
Almonds are also particularly rich in vegetable proteins: in one serving there are up to 7 grams. In fact, there are many benefits that this variety of dried fruit brings to our body. In addition to the high protein content, they have numerous antioxidants that protect the body from the onset of free radicals and the resulting oxidative stress.
Getting full of antioxidants allows us to counteract the development of various chronic diseases including aging, cancer and heart disease. The highest concentration of these important plant compounds is found in the brown skin that covers the almonds: remember not to eliminate it so as not to reduce their beneficial properties.
A delicious snack very popular among aperitif enthusiasts, pistachios provide about 6 grams of protein per serving – a quantity not too dissimilar to what we introduce by consuming an egg. Among other things, they are particularly rich in essential amino acids, or those nutrients that we must introduce with the diet, which are essential for protein synthesis.
As evidenced by a study published in Nutrition Today, pistachios stand out among all other types of nuts because they show a higher content of essential amino acids than the total protein present in them.
A portion of cashews provides "only" 5 grams of protein, but they are also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. For example, they contain an amount of copper equal to 80% of the recommended daily allowance, and there are now many studies that have shown the importance of this substance.
In fact, copper acts in making our immune defenses stronger, and they also play a fundamental role in the formation of red blood cells. Some research has shown that its deficiency increases the risk of osteoporosis, thus highlighting the link between this mineral and bone development.
Particularly popular in South America, Brazil nuts provide 4.75 grams of protein per serving. However, they are known for their richness in selenium: just think that a single walnut provides 175% of the recommended daily amount. But what is selenium for?
This mineral is concentrated mainly in the thyroid and is involved, together with iodine, in the production of thyroid hormones. Several studies have also demonstrated its role in the formation of white blood cells, thus contributing to the development of the immune system.
Without a doubt, walnuts are one of the most common dried fruit varieties in our diet, often used as a savory complement to delicious salads. One serving contains about 4.5 grams of protein, and provides a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
These compounds have an important function for the health of the cardiovascular system: they help keep blood pressure under control, reduce triglyceride levels and increase "good" cholesterol, thus protecting the heart from dangerous diseases such as stroke and heart attack.
The pine nuts
Finally, pine nuts: a very precious ingredient of the delicious Genoese pesto, are an excellent source of vegetable protein, since they contain 4.5 grams in one serving. What makes them particularly delicious are the unsaturated fats present in them, substances that perform very important actions for the body.
They are useful in protecting heart health and help prevent the spread of cancer cells. They also have anti-inflammatory effects: many tests show how a chronic inflammatory state can lead to the onset of numerous diseases.