Top 6 Highest-Protein Nuts & Seeds You Need to Eat in 2021!

Seeds or nuts? Are they the same or different? By botanical definitions, many foods that we call nuts are actually seeds. Nuts are seeds of plants, mainly trees but some can be seeds of legumes, for example peanuts. To avoid confusion here, I shall refer to them by the term they’re most commonly known by. Not only can these foods serve as quick, and simple, versatile snacks, they’re also nutrient-dense and a good source of plant-based protein. Protein is essential for the body as it helps build, maintain, and repair cells.

Foods containing the highest amount of protein are generally meats, fish, and dairy, however nuts and seeds also provide an excellent alternative source of protein. Read on for these Top 6 Highest-Protein Seeds You Need (to Eat) in 2021!

1. Hemp Seeds (Protein: 31g per 100g)

It serves as a complete source of protein as it provides all 9 essential amino acids (building blocks for protein). This isn’t common amongst plant-based sourced proteins. It is especially rich in arginine (an amino acid) which is said to be beneficial for heart health.

2. Almonds (Protein: 29g per 100g)

These seeds contain a wide range of nutrients such as fibre, fat (mainly monounsaturated), and other vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and vitamin B2. It is also a great source of antioxidants (providing 25.6mg per 100g of vitamin E – making it one of the best sources) which help protect cells against oxidative stress.

3. Sunflower Seeds (Protein: 21g per 100g)

Aside from almonds, sunflower seeds are also an extremely good source of vitamin E (26.1mg per 100g) which studies have shown to help reduce inflammation. Other potential benefits are the lowering of blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol.

4. Pistachios (Protein: 20g per 100g)

Pistachios are low in calories but high in protein, fibre, potassium, and vitamin B6 which can aid in weight loss whilst providing a host of health benefits. After walnuts and pecans, pistachios contain the highest levels of antioxidants compared with other nuts and seeds. It also has some important antioxidants which benefit eye and macular health.

5. Pumpkin Seeds (Protein: 19g per 100g)

Like other nuts and seeds, these are high in various vitamins and minerals. They have more magnesium than almonds which is needed for biological reactions that regulate blood pressure and sugar levels. Some studies have found that pumpkin seeds can improve prostate and bladder health, however further research is needed to conclude this statistically.

6. Flax Seeds (Protein: 18g per 100g)

Not only do these contain a good amount of protein, most of the health benefits associated with flax seeds are mainly due to their omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and plant compounds. They are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3 fats – essential fats that benefit heart health.

List of 9 Powerful Nuts & Seeds that Benefit Your Health (in Ascending order of Protein Content per 100g)

The overall health benefits delivered by each of the nuts below are: heart health, the lowering of cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar – they are also good for diabetics as they are high in fibre.

Nut / Seed Protein (per 100g)
Macadamias 8g
Pecans 9g
Brazil 14g
Pine 14g
Hazelnuts 15g
Walnuts 15g
Chia Seeds 17g
Cashews 18g
Sesame Seeds 18g

The above table shows you the nutrition value of different nuts. To simplify this, you can also use  professional nutrition analysis software for your personal needs, even dietitians and fitness gurus are using nutrition software to plan their clients’ diets.

Not only are these nuts and seeds good for your health, they’re also great lifestyle foods as they’re energy-dense, high in protein and fibre which makes you feel fuller for longer. They’re all extremely valuable foods for everyone, but particularly for those who lean towards vegetarianism, plant-based and vegan diets. Nuts about nuts and seeds? More people should be! What are your faves for snacking or in recipes? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram!

Maria Hii

Maria is a Nutrition and Food Science graduate who is passionate about sharing nutrition and health knowledge to help others make proper, informed diet choices. After learning about the science behind nutrition, she came to the conclusion that “moderation in everything” is the ideal way to approach health. In her spare time she loves exploring new food places, reviewing them on Instagram, and travelling!

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