Pecans are known for their nutrient-rich properties, such as their high phosphorus and magnesium content. This makes them useful from a medicinal point of view in reducing the risk of heart disease and improving digestive health. Pecans are commonly referred to as nuts, but in reality they are something called “drupe” or “fruit with stone”, which is a little different. The drupes have soft outer parts and a hole inside.
Inside the hole, there is a fruit seed, which in this case is the nut. Peaches and plums are common types of drupes. Other drupes commonly referred to as nuts are almonds and walnuts (see below). Brazil nuts are famous for being large, and some shells from this South American tree weigh more than 4 pounds.
The wood of the tree is as famous as the nut, which is highly prized for use in construction projects with visible wood, such as hardwood floors and other carpentry companies. Brazil nuts are rich in a mineral called selenium, which is also found in water and soil. In edible forms, it is most commonly consumed in crabs and fish. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that can help the body control inflammation and free radicals.
Walnuts are some of the most recognizable nuts in the world, with those oversized ribbed shells and bumpy nut flesh. Every year there is a huge family walnut festival in California that celebrates the humble nut. In fact, 75% of all the world's nuts are harvested in California. Walnuts have many purported medicinal properties, including facilitating healing and reducing inflammation, probably due to their high omega-3 fatty acid content.
The cashew nut is native to Brazil, but it also grows in parts of Asia. It is an evergreen tropical tree with a pink and white flower that eventually becomes the fruit and the well-known nut. Around 4 million tons of cashew nuts are processed and sold every year. In addition to being delicious and healthy, cashew nuts contain oils that are commonly used in many different consumer products.
These include waterproof paints, lubricants and beauty products. Cashew nuts contain a ton of copper, which helps the blood carry oxygen. They also have abundant amounts of phosphorus, which helps build better teeth and bones, and magnesium, which helps generate energy. This has made them popular among lovers of healthy food and is another factor that contributes to their high value.
Chestnut trees belong to the beech tree family, native to the Northern Hemisphere. They are both the tree and the nut and, of course, are most famous for being roasted during the Christmas season “on an open fire”. However, their cultivation and processing costs make them very expensive. Chestnuts require a temperate climate and a lot of care while they are still in the ground.
They need deep soil, regular watering, and careful nutrition to produce nuts that are big and tasty enough to sell. Chestnuts are high in essential vitamins and minerals, making them almost a “superfood” that health stores love to promote for their medicinal benefits. These vitamins include potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B. In addition, unlike many nuts, chestnuts are low in fat.
Almonds are some of the most famous nuts in the world. They originated as a species of tree that dates back to ancient times in the Levant area and can still be found in the wild in present-day Iran. Almonds are completely dependent on bees to be pollinated, meaning almond farmers rent bees to keep their crops healthy. Pine nuts are expensive because of the time needed to grow and harvest them.
All of these trees can take decades (15 to 25 years) to start seeing seeds. The majority of pine nuts harvested and sold in North America are wild pine nuts that must be harvested by hand from pine cones on trees. One of the problems is that the nuts are ready more than a week before the pineapples open, so they must be disassembled by hand. .
Macadamia trees were called “Kindal Kindal”. They were the British colonists led by Dr. John Macadam, who gave trees their modern name. Although they originated in Australia, the trees' requirements for a warm climate, abundant rainfall, and nutrient-rich soil make Hawaii the best place in the world to grow them commercially.
Hawaii, along with South Africa and Australia, are the world's leading producers of macadamia nuts. These countries' freight costs contribute to their high prices. Because of the variety of nutrients that each type of nut has, combined with the fact that almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts and walnuts come at a close price, the best nuts are actually a mix. The Mexican pine nut, the Colorado pine nut, the Italian pine nut pine and the Chinese walnut pine are the most popular varieties of pine nuts in the world.
To facilitate the process of harvesting pine nuts, pineapples are dried in the sun in a burlap bag for 20 days, crushed and collected to obtain nuts. According to the Harvard update cited above, Brazil nuts are the best nuts for men because they are high in selenium, which may protect against prostate cancer. During the harvest, farmers select and sort all the nuts by hand to remove the molded and bitter nuts. The reason walnuts are rare and somewhat expensive is that they require a good amount of attention from bees to be pollinated naturally, without which trees never produce nuts.
Years ago I heard that with cashew nuts you will never find them with their shell, because between the shell and the nut there is an oil, they say, that is toxic, which must be removed before the nuts are consumed. Interestingly, pecans and macadamia nuts, which are high in calories and fat (and some of the tastiest nuts in my opinion), are also the most expensive nuts. An update to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide concluded (partly jokingly) that nuts mixed without salt are the best for health because they combine all the nutritional values of the nuts they contain. Anything is bad for you when you overdo it, but macadamia nuts and pecans are a little worse for you because they have more calories than other nuts.