By Beth Lipton
Eat more nuts. Pretty much everyone could benefit from this one piece of advice.
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, protein, fiber, and minerals. Eating nuts is good for your heart and your brain and is also associated with a lower risk of death from cancer, heart disease and all other causes. And if, But they’re fattening! is the reason you’ve sworn off nuts, think again: Studies show that regular nut eaters have lower instances of obesity. They’re filling, for one, but scientists also suspect that nuts may suppress the desire to eat. (You know that feeling that you’re full but you still want dessert? That’s desire, not hunger.)
Which Nuts Should You Eat?
They’re all good, so choose the ones you like best. Or, even better, eat a variety. Almonds offer some calcium, walnuts are rich in antioxidants and omega-3s, and cashews have iron and zinc. Hazelnuts bring the folate, while macadamias are high in magnesium and potassium.
And you don’t have to, well, go nuts. An ounce a day (or 2 tablespoons of nut butter) is plenty to reap the benefits.
Nuts make a great snack on their own, of course—but here are some other tasty ways to add them to your diet:
7 Easy and Delicious Ways to Eat More Nuts
1. Wake up your oatmeal.
The added protein, fiber and fat will keep you sated longer than oats alone. Try:
- walnuts + raisins + cinnamon
- dried cherries + pistachios + a splash of vanilla
- toasted pecans + chopped apple + apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice
2. Grab some granola or muesli.
3. Bulk up your smoothie.
Blend a tablespoon or two of wholesome nuts or nut butter into your fave smoothie.
4. Pair with fruit.
Nuts (or nut butter) and fruit are a classic combo for good reason. Spread almond butter on apple or pear slices, or go tropical and pair a small banana with a few macadamias.
5. Add crunch to your salad.
Instead of croutons, sprinkle toasted nuts on top of your greens. Do it right before serving, after your salad is dressed, to keep them crunchy.
6. Make “creamy” soup.
Add some nuts (cashews work especially well because of their creamy texture) when simmering butternut squash, carrots or other vegetables for soup. When you blend it, the soup will turn lusciously creamy, without any actual cream.
7. Sweeten up your day.
Craving a treat? These wholesome “brownie bites” are no-bake, so they’re ready in minutes and you can freeze any extras for future chocolate “emergencies.” Or simply pair a few squares of dark chocolate with a small handful of nuts.
How to Buy and Store Nuts
Because nuts are loaded with oils, they can turn rancid easily. Here are some tips for shopping for and storing them.
- Get what you need. Nuts can be pricey, so be careful to buy just what you need.
- Buy whole nuts. Whole nuts will stay fresh longer than chopped, sliced or slivered.
- Keep them cool. Put nuts into airtight containers and store in the fridge (up to six months) or freezer (up to nine months).
Read More: You’re Probably Storing Your Nuts All Wrong