Consuming nuts as part of a healthy diet is a very good idea. Not only are nuts a good source of dietary fiber that can help satiate your hunger for a long time, they also contain a cocktail of nutrients that are great for cardiovascular health. These include vitamin E and L-arginine, which play a big role in keeping your arteries healthy, as well as plant sterols and unsaturated fats, which are essential to maintaining healthy levels of good cholesterol in the body. Nuts are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to help prevent anomalous heart rhythms.
Being such a powerhouse of nutrients, nuts definitely need to be part of your everyday diet, but exactly how can you consume them more enjoyably? Naturally, you can eat them in their original form and take pleasure in their rich, earthy flavor, but there are also many creative ways to have them without unnecessarily overindulging. Read on to find out just how!
Salads. Adding crushed almonds or walnuts into your salads is an easy way to lend more texture and to your favorite greens. Also consider adding aromatic vegetables like arugula or basil, as well as slices of fruits like apples, oranges, or grapes to add further dimension to your salads.
Cereals. Whole grain cereals are a great source of fiber, B-vitamins, vitamin E, minerals and phytochemicals all on their own, but add nuts on them as toppings, and you can easily make your cereal breakfasts more nutritious. Also consider adding fruits and seeds to further boost your cereal’s nutrition profile.
Asian Dishes. Nuts are a quintessential ingredients in many Asian cuisines, with peanuts being used in popular dishes like the Chinese stir-fry dish kung pao, the Thai noodle dish pad thai, and the Filipino stew kare-kare. Other popular nuts used in Asian stir-fry dishes are walnuts and cashews.
Milked Nuts. Drinking milked nuts is another great way to enjoy the nutrients afforded by nuts without eating them whole. The best plant-based, milked nut products are those that are made through cold milling process, which doesn’t use heat. This means the nutrients of the whole nuts are preserved, and the milk products produced are naturally creamy, eschewing the need to use artificial stabilizers or food gums.
Nut Butters. Whether they’re from almonds, pecans, peanuts, pistachios, or macadamia nuts, nut butters offer a great way for everyone to enjoy the wholesome goodness of nuts. Spread your favorite nut butter on toast or on a banana for a boost of healthy carbs and potassium, respectively. You can also eat them on their own as a tasty treat after a savory meal. Always choose nut butters that are low in sugar so you can really enjoy the health benefits of the source nuts without the negative effects of too much sugar.
Nuts with Popcorn. Looking for healthy alternative to those grease- and flavoring-laden potato and corn chips from supermarkets? Consider snacking on roasted nuts and popcorn instead. However, make sure not to use the super oily popcorn that you get from cinemas or groceries. Air-popped, home-cooked popcorn is always best.
Nuts on Ice Cream or Yogurt. What better way to enjoy nuts than by using them as healthy toppings for your ice cream or yogurt dessert? Make sure to pick the low-sugar variants of these popular treats to cut back on unnecessary calories.
Nuts are unquestionably versatile, and it only takes a little imagination on your part to find out how they can be of better use to your everyday meals and desserts. Have fun!