Nuts are one of the best bulking foods due to their high caloric content.

    There’s also a decent amount of protein in nuts , making them a great snack.

    While you want to be mindful of the omega 3 to 6 fat ratio of nuts , you also want to make sure you’re eating other protein sources that compensate for any low amounts of individual amino acids in nuts.

    As long as you’re eating the complementary amino acids within the same day or so, there’s nothing to worry about.

    The Limiting Amino Acids of Nuts

    I collected amino acid data for all common nuts, and then calculated how many servings of each nut would it take to reach the RDA for each essential amino acid.

    We focus on essential amino acids, because they’re the only ones you need to pay any real attention to in your diet.

    You can click to expand the image below (it should open in a new tab in a larger size):

    We see a few things stand out in red (indicating many required servings to reach RDA):

    • Almost all nuts have low amounts of lysine and methionine.
    • Peanuts and pistachios are fairly well balanced.
    • Macadamia nuts have low amounts of all essential amino acids. They mostly contain non-essential amino acids.

    When we talk about a limiting amino acid of nuts, it’s pretty clear that lysine and methionine are both limiting amino acids.

    For vegans, the best plant-based sources of lysine are pretty much any type of bean and oats.

    Methionine is just generally tough to get on a vegan diet, Brazil nuts are actually the best source, followed by oats, seeds (hemp, sesame, etc.), and beans.

    Non-vegans can get a lot of both lysine and methionine from animal products like beef, cheese, and turkey.

    Peanut Amino Acid Profile

    You say legume, I say nut.

    I have the tendency to eat a lot of peanuts and peanut butter, so I was particularly interested in the essential amino acid profile of peanuts.

    The far right column will tell you how many milligrams of an amino acid is in a 0.5 cup serving of peanuts. Compare this one to the column beside it, which is the RDA for that amino acid (in mg) for a 70 kg (154 lb) person.

      RDA RDA Peanuts   mg per kg for 70 kg person 0.5 cup Tryptophan (mg) 4 280 182 Threonine (mg) 15 1050 645 Isoleucine (mg) 20 1400 662 Leucine (mg) 39 2730 1221 Lysine (mg) 30 2100 676 Methionine (mg) 15 1050 231 Phenylalanine (mg) 25 1750 1005 Valine (mg) 26 1820 790 Histidine (mg) 10 700 476

    You’ll hit your RDA of most essential amino acids with just a few servings of peanuts. The only ones that take more are lysine and methionine, as is expected.

    Walnut Amino Acid Profile

    Walnuts have quite a few limiting amino acids.

    Take a look at the data:

      RDA RDA Walnuts   mg per kg for 70 kg person 0.5 cup Tryptophan (mg) 4 280 99 Threonine (mg) 15 1050 349 Isoleucine (mg) 20 1400 366 Leucine (mg) 39 2730 684 Lysine (mg) 30 2100 248 Methionine (mg) 15 1050 138 Phenylalanine (mg) 25 1750 416 Valine (mg) 26 1820 441 Histidine (mg) 10 700 229

    You need at least 3 servings (so 1.5 cups total) of walnuts to meet any of the RDAs. If you’re larger than 70 kg, you’ll have to eat even more.

    Walnuts are very limited in lysine and methionine, but also fairly deficient in leucine, isoleucine, valine, and phenylalanine.

    Basically, don’t rely on walnuts too much for protein.

    Pine Nut Amino Acid Profile

    I don’t know many people who could afford to eat a large amount of pine nuts on a regular basis, but let’s look at their essential amino acid breakdown anyways.

      RDA RDA Pine nuts   mg per kg for 70 kg person 0.5 cup Tryptophan (mg) 4 280 72 Threonine (mg) 15 1050 250 Isoleucine (mg) 20 1400 366 Leucine (mg) 39 2730 669 Lysine (mg) 30 2100 365 Methionine (mg) 15 1050 175 Phenylalanine (mg) 25 1750 354 Valine (mg) 26 1820 464 Histidine (mg) 10 700 230

    Pine nuts have a pretty even distribution of amino acids. They’re not great for any particular one, but not horrible either.

    It takes 3-4 servings to reach the RDA for most of the amino acids.

    Hazelnut Amino Acid Profile

    Here’s another expensive nut that most people don’t eat much of unless they really like hazelnut butter spreads.

      RDA RDA Hazelnut   mg per kg for 70 kg person 0.5 cup Tryptophan (mg) 4 280 130 Threonine (mg) 15 1050 335 Isoleucine (mg) 20 1400 368 Leucine (mg) 39 2730 718 Lysine (mg) 30 2100 283 Methionine (mg) 15 1050 149 Phenylalanine (mg) 25 1750 448 Valine (mg) 26 1820 473 Histidine (mg) 10 700 292

    Its profile is pretty typical for a nut.

    Decent for most amino acids, but very bad for lysine and methionine. Nothing else really stands out.

    Brazil Nut Amino Acid Profile

    Brazil nuts have the most interesting nut profile to me. Pay special attention to its methionine content.

      RDA RDA Brazil nut   mg per kg for 70 kg person 0.5 cup Tryptophan (mg) 4 280 90 Threonine (mg) 15 1050 243 Isoleucine (mg) 20 1400 344 Leucine (mg) 39 2730 791 Lysine (mg) 30 2100 326 Methionine (mg) 15 1050 747 Phenylalanine (mg) 25 1750 425 Valine (mg) 26 1820 505 Histidine (mg) 10 700 272

    It is the only nut that takes less than 2 servings to hit the RDA for a 70 kg person.

    For some reason, Brazil nuts have a ton of methionine, so they’re definitely worth adding to your mix of nuts if possible.

    Other than that, they have a pretty typical profile for a nut, decent in most amino acids, but low in lysine.

    Macadamia Nut Amino Acid Profile

    Macadamia nuts are the worst nuts by far if you’re eating them specifically to get more essential amino acids.

    It’s fine to eat some, just don’t make them a major protein source.

      RDA RDA Macadamia nut   mg per kg for 70 kg person 0.5 cup Tryptophan (mg) 4 280 45 Threonine (mg) 15 1050 248 Isoleucine (mg) 20 1400 210 Leucine (mg) 39 2730 403 Lysine (mg) 30 2100 12 Methionine (mg) 15 1050 15 Phenylalanine (mg) 25 1750 446 Valine (mg) 26 1820 243 Histidine (mg) 10 700 131

    Macadamia nuts are insanely low in both lysine and methionine. It would take hundreds of servings to reach the lysine RDA.

    Other than those 2 amino acids, macadamia nuts are still low in just about every essential amino acid.

    Pistachio Nut Amino Acid Profile

    Pistachio nuts have a very good essential amino acid profile (for a nut anyways).

    Let’s take a look:

      RDA RDA Pistachio nuts   mg per kg for 70 kg person 0.5 cup Tryptophan (mg) 4 280 154 Threonine (mg) 15 1050 421 Isoleucine (mg) 20 1400 564 Leucine (mg) 39 2730 986 Lysine (mg) 30 2100 700 Methionine (mg) 15 1050 221 Phenylalanine (mg) 25 1750 672 Valine (mg) 26 1820 768 Histidine (mg) 10 700 315

    For most of the amino acids, it takes just 2-3 servings to exceed the RDA.

    It’s really only very low in methionine, which would take about 5 servings to hit the RDA. Pair pistachios with Brazil nuts and you have a fairly decent complete protein snack.

    Cashew Amino Acid Profile

    The amino acid profile for cashews is very similar to pistachios, which puts it at the top of the nuts in terms of quality.

    It’s just a bit worse for most than pistachios, but not significantly.

      RDA RDA Cashew   mg per kg for 70 kg person 0.5 cup Tryptophan (mg) 4 280 162 Threonine (mg) 15 1050 406 Isoleucine (mg) 20 1400 501 Leucine (mg) 39 2730 880 Lysine (mg) 30 2100 560 Methionine (mg) 15 1050 188 Phenylalanine (mg) 25 1750 542 Valine (mg) 26 1820 712 Histidine (mg) 10 700 273

    Again, you can hit the RDA for most amino acids in 2-3 servings.

    They’re quite low in methionine, and the lysine content is on the low side as well, as expected.

    However, cashews are a fairly decent source of tryptophan .

    Almond Amino Acid Profile

    Almonds are very easy to eat in large quantities if you eat almond butter or bake with almond flour.

    Their essential amino acid profile is pretty average for nuts:

      RDA RDA Almonds   mg per kg for 70 kg person 0.5 cup Tryptophan (mg) 4 280 114 Threonine (mg) 15 1050 325 Isoleucine (mg) 20 1400 406 Leucine (mg) 39 2730 795 Lysine (mg) 30 2100 307 Methionine (mg) 15 1050 85 Phenylalanine (mg) 25 1750 611 Valine (mg) 26 1820 462 Histidine (mg) 10 700 291

    Very low in both lysine and methionine, and decent for most others. Valine is a bit on the low side as well.


    Nuts can be a nice protein source, especially if you’re bulking, but the average nut is very deficient in lysine and methionine.

    Brazil nuts strangely have a ton of methionine, so they pair well with other nuts.

    In terms of overall essential amino acid content, the most well-rounded nuts are peanuts, pistachios, and cashews.

    To get enough lysine and methionine from other sources, focus on eating beans, oats, and seeds.

    The post Essential Amino Acid Profiles for All Nuts [Data] appeared first on VegFAQs .

    beef cheese protein plant-based

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