Nuts are nutrient-dense foods containing the three essential macronutrients—fat, carbs, and protein. Because they are also high in calories, they are generally an excellent food to include in your bulking routine.
Nutritional Information of Various Types Of Nuts
Not all nuts are created equal when it comes to what they offer micronutrient-wise. Let’s look at the nutritional profiles of some of the most popular types of nuts.
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, fiber, and monounsaturated fats, the kind of fat that is good for you and potentially leads to higher testosterone levels. It is also rich in calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium.
The unprocessed ones are the best almonds to eat when trying to build muscle. Keep the barbeque-flavored or honey-roasted almond as an occasional treat rather than an everyday snack. One ounce of almonds offers approximately the following nutritional value:
- Calories: 165
- Protein: 6 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Fat: 14 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
Walnuts are the only nuts high in ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. However, your body still needs to convert it to DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid), the other two essential omega-3 fatty acids. This means that while it’s beneficial to incorporate walnuts in your diet, you’d also want to include foods high in DHA and EPA, like fatty fish.
One ounce of walnuts offers approximately the following nutritional value:
- Calories: 185
- Protein: 4.3 grams
- Carbs: 3.9 grams
- Fat: 18.5 grams
- Fiber: 1.9 grams
Peanuts come with a decent amount of monounsaturated fat. Compared to other nuts, they are higher in protein, making them a handy snack to have around when you’re not quite meeting your protein goals.
- Calories: 166
- Protein: 7 grams
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Fat: 14 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
Cashew nuts are lower in calories and fat compared to other nuts. They are, however, higher in carbs. One ounce of cashews offers approximately the following nutritional value:
- Calories: 157
- Protein: 5.16 grams
- Carbs: 8.56 grams
- Fat: 12.4 grams
- Fiber: 0.936 gram
Related: Are Noodles Good for Bulking
Benefits of Eating Nuts for Bulking
Nuts offer several benefits to bodybuilders including the following:
A Supplemental Source Of Protein
As you can see above, one ounce of nuts offers, on average, between 4 to 7 grams of protein. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that people who lift heavy weights regularly should eat at least 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of their body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll need to eat 75 to 120 grams of protein daily.
You’ll have to eat a lot of nuts to get your total protein needs, but they make a great supplement if you’re struggling to meet your protein intake. Think about adding them to your meals and pair them with chicken, beef, eggs, salmon, or legumes
They Can Improve Digestion
Carbohydrates can be helpful to your performance in the gym. However, many simple carbohydrates tend to be low in fiber. A diet high in fiber helps with digestion, and when you’re building muscle, you want your body to digest as much of your food as possible so that your body can convert them into nutrients.
Nuts offer about 1 to 4 grams of fiber per ounce to your body, which equals about 5 to 14 percent of the daily recommended value. They shouldn’t be your only source of fiber, but pairing them up with other fiber-rich vegetables like Broccoli makes an excellent
Can Potentially Contribute To Reducing Inflammation
If you’re strength training regularly, some form of inflammation is normal. After all, muscle grows when you create micro-tears (which happens when you strength train), that then repair and grow back stronger. However, any sort of pain and soreness should be temporary. If you’re experiencing ongoing joint pain and aches, then your inflammation levels might be too high.
Changing your diet alone won’t cure your inflammation, but it can help.
Scientific studies show that eating nuts daily can help your body fight inflammation and potentially accelerate your body’s recovery time after a workout.
Downsides of Eating Nuts for Bulking
So, are there any downsides of incorporating nuts into your diet? Unless you’re allergic, not really. However, there are some limitations, which we have listed below.
Not Enough Protein For It To Be A Main Source
Nuts don’t offer a sufficient amount of protein that you need to build muscles. Ideally, a 200-pound person will need to consume at least 100 to 160 grams of protein in a day. Nuts only offer 6 grams of protein per ounce, which is not even close to the daily recommended amount.
Less Than Ideal Protein to Fat Ratio
Besides consuming sufficient protein content, you also need to ensure that your body gets protein and fat in the ideal ratio. For people who want to gain muscles, the ratio of protein to fat should be 5-to-1. But one ounce of nuts offers typically 5 to 8 grams of protein and 11 to 20 grams of fat.
It certainly doesn’t mean that adding nuts to your diet is a bad option. It only shows that you need to manage your other food sources carefully to make sure that you consume all the required nutrients in the right amounts.
Overall, there are many benefits of incorporating nuts in your diet when you’re bulking. Just ensure that they’re not the main source of food in your diet but a supplement to boost your intake or carbs, protein, or fat.