A nut is a fruit composed of an inedible hard shell and a seed, which is generally edible. In general usage and in a culinary sense, a wide variety of dried seeds are called nuts, but in a botanical context "nut" implies that the shell does not open to release the seed.
Nuts and seeds are good sources of protein, healthy fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals.
Nuts and seeds regulate body weight as their fats are not fully absorbed, they regulate food intake, and help burn energy.
Nuts and seeds contain unsaturated fats and other nutrients that provide protective effects against heart disease.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a daily nut intake of 30 grams as part of a healthy, varied diet in adults.
Overall, nuts have very similar macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate and fat) profiles, but different types of nuts may have slightly different micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) content.
Like nuts, most seeds are rich in protein, healthy fats, fibre, minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, plant iron and zinc, and contain vitamins B1,B2, B3 and vitamin E. Oily seeds also contain antioxidants that stop the fats from going rancid too quickly.
Due to the unique nutrient profiles of nuts and seeds, they are known to provide several health benefits, including:
helping with weight regulation
reducing risk for heart disease
reducing risk for diabetes.