It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Are nuts a good source of vitamins?

You have said that you are not a fan of multi-vitamins. What are your thoughts about adding nuts to your diet to cover various supplements?

Dr. Gourmet Says...


This is a great question. I am not a fan of multi-vitamins because there's no solid proof that they are beneficial. Some evidence indicates that they might be harmful. We do know, however, that getting vitamins and antioxidants from food is very beneficial in so many ways.

As such, nuts can be a good choice for a snack. In many cases they are high in monounsaturated fats as well as great quality protein. Almonds contain 75 mg of calcium in a 1 ounce serving and are rich in other minerals, like potassium and magnesium. Raw nuts have essentially no sodium. While other nuts, legumes, and seeds, such as walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, and pecans, vary in the amounts, they do have a similar profile, being high in good fats and minerals. There's tons of research to show how great nuts are for you.

Your easiest source of vitamins, however, is going to be from fruits and vegetables. When I talk to patients about eating healthy I focus on both fruits and nuts, not only as part of meals and recipes, but even more importantly for snacking. If you want something savory like chips or crackers, have nuts. Hungry for something sweet? Grab a piece of fruit.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet