4 halves per 1-ounce serving; 190 calories
The Scoop: This is the only nut -- and one of the few foods -- to deliver a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and omega-3 that boosts cognitive function. They're also high in disease-fighting gammatocopherol, a type of vitamin E.
Creative Uses: For an extra protein shot, add chopped walnuts to guacamole or mix into Greek yogurt for a spread. Swap walnut oil for olive oil and blend into pestos and dressings, or toss with pasta.
23 per 1-ounce serving; 160 calories
The Scoop: They're high in the B vitamin riboflavin, vitamin E, an antiaging antioxidant, and magnesium. Actually the seed of a fuzzy fruit, almonds are rich in powerful compounds that may help your body fight bacteria and prevent oxidation that can lead to heart disease.
Creative Uses: Chopped, slivered,or sliced, almonds are a satisfying addition to seafood, pasta, and whole-grain dishes. Experiment using almond flour to bake gluten-free goods.
49 per 1-ounce serving; 160 calories
The Scoop: Pistachios get their greenish hue from chlorophyll, the same compound that gives leaves their green color. They're high in blood pressure-lowering potassium (go for unsalted; salt counteracts potassium's effects), and may reduce the body's response to stress.
Creative Uses: Enjoy with pasta or bulgur -- these nuts can help offset the blood sugar spikes carbs can cause, suggests data from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Use them to add sophistication to desserts: Bake them in cookies or sprinkle on coconut ice cream.
20 halves per 1-ounce serving; 200 calories
The Scoop: They boast an ORAC score (a measure of antioxidant capacity) higher than even wild blueberries. Plus, regular servings may help delay age-related cognitive decline, according to a study from University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Creative Uses: Sprinkle these buttery nuts on yogurt with honey and pears, toss them with cayenne and rosemary to eat out of hand, and add them to sauteed Swiss chard or kale.
20 per 1 oz serving, 180 calories
The Scoop: The slightly bitter skin of these nuts, also called filberts, is chock-full of proanthocyanidins, compounds that may help strengthen blood vessels, reduce heart disease risk, and boost brain health.
Creative Uses: Toss with arugula, fig segments, and balsamic vinaigrette. Add roughly chopped nuts to squash and hearty grains, like farro or brown rice. Strew them atop oatmeal with dried cherries.
28 per 1-ounce serving, 170 calories
The Scoop:Technically a legume, they're rich in folate (which helps produce and maintain new cells), oleic acid, and resveratrol, the heart healthy antioxidant found in red wine and dark chocolate. If you boil peanuts in the shell, cup for cup, you’ll get more resveratrol than in raw ones or peanut butter, in amounts comparable to a 5-ounce glass of red wine.
Creative Uses: Drizzle a handful with melted dark chocolate and refrigerate until firm for a healthy dessert. Add shelled nuts to stir fries and rice dishes.