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 (indehiscent). The translation of “nut” in certain languages frequently requires paraphrases, as the word is ambiguous.
Nuts being sold in a market
Most seeds come from fruits that naturally free themselves from the shell, unlike nuts such as hazelnuts, chestnuts, and acorns, which have hard shell walls and originate from a compound ovary. The general and original usage of the term is less restrictive, and many nuts (in the culinary sense), such as almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and Brazil nuts, are not nuts in a botanical sense. Common usage of the term often refers to any hard-walled, edible kernel as a nut. Nuts are an energy-dense and nutrient-rich food source
Cashews are a kidney-shaped seed sourced from the cashew tree — a tropical tree native to Brazil but now cultivated in various warm climates across the world.
Although commonly referred to as tree nuts, and nutritionally comparable to them, cashews are really seeds. They’re rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds and make for an easy addition to many dishes.
Like most nuts, cashews may also help improve your overall health. They’ve been linked to benefits like weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and a healthier heart.
This article reviews the nutrition, benefits, and downsides of cashews to determine whether they’re good for you.
The hazelnut is the fruit of the hazel and therefore includes any of the nuts deriving from species of the genus Corylus, especially the nuts of the species Corylus avellana. They are also known as cobnuts or filberts according to species.
The peanut, also known as the groundnut, is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, being important to both small and large commercial producers. It is classified as both a grain legume and, due to its high oil content, an oil crop. World annual production of shelled peanuts was 44 million tonnes in 2016, led by China with 38% of the world total. Atypically among legume crop plants, peanut pods develop underground (geocarpy) rather than above ground. With this characteristic in mind, the botanist Carl Linnaeus gave peanuts the specific epithet hypogaea, which means “under the earth”.
The peanut belongs to the botanical family Fabaceae commonly known as the legume, bean, or pea family. Like most other legumes, peanuts harbor symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in root nodules. The capacity to fix nitrogen means peanuts require less nitrogen-containing fertilizer and improve soil fertility, making them valuable in crop rotations.
Peanuts are similar in taste and nutritional profile to “tree nuts” such as walnuts and almonds, and, as a culinary nut, are often served in similar ways in Western cuisines. The botanical definition of a nut is “a fruit whose ovary wall becomes hard at maturity”. Using this criterion, the peanut is not a nut. However, peanuts are usually categorized as “nuts” for culinary purposes and in common English more generally
Sesame is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum, also called benne. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods. World production in 2018 was 6 million tonnes, with Sudan, Myanmar, and India as the largest producers.
Sesame seed is one of the oldest oil seed crops known, domesticated well over 3000 years ago. Sesamum has many other species, most being wild and native to sub-Saharan Africa. S. indicum, the cultivated type, originated in India and is tolerant to drought-like conditions, growing where other crops fail. Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed. With a rich, nutty flavor, it is a common ingredient in cuisines across the world. Like other seeds and foods, it can trigger allergic reactions in some people
Super Food is a marketing term for food assumed to confer health benefits resulting from an exceptional nutrient density. The term is not commonly used by experts, dietitians and nutrition scientists, many of whom dispute that particular foods have the health benefits claimed by their advocates. Even without scientific evidence of exceptional nutrient content, many new, exotic, and foreign fruits or ancient grains are marketed under the term – or super fruit or super grain respectively – after being introduced or re-introduced to Western markets.