Nuts may be calorie dense, but they are rich in healthy unsaturated fat and plant protein. They also contain vitamin E, folic acid, potassium, fiber, and various other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Eating more nuts have been associated with lower risk of heart disease. Some studies also suggest beneficial effects on hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc.
A smart way to incorporate nuts into your diet is replacing chips and other unhealthy snacks with nuts. That way, you're not adding extra calories to your total daily intake, but can get all the healthy benefits from nuts.
Another way to increase your nut intake is to incorporate them into your meals. Sprinkling them onto your salad or roasted veggies is an easy way. You can also try our Hazelnut & Basil Pesto for dinner. It's super easy and great for a meatless night.
- 1 cup dry couscous
- ~3 oz basil
- 3 cloves garlic
- ~3.5 oz hazelnuts
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- Cook couscous as per packet instructions (makes 2 cups).
- In a food processor, add basil, garlic cloves, hazelnuts, olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste. Pulse several times.
- Incorporate the pesto with the cooked couscous.
- Serve it with baked sweet potato, avocado and pomegranate seeds or any side veggies you like!
*The pesto-couscous will sit perfectly in the fridge for a few days, ready for a lunch on the go!
- Ros E. Health benefits of nut consumption. Nutrients. 2010 Jul;2(7):652-82. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257681/pdf/nutrients-02-00652.pdf
- Nuts for the Heart. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Web site. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nuts-for-the-heart/. Accessed May 4, 2018.