Nuts are on the list for every smart snacker. They’re also a great way to get a delicious health boost.
Whether you choose to grind them up to make a nut butter, sprinkle them on top of your meals, toast them, or enjoy them raw, nuts are a key part of a balanced diet.
We’re sharing some of nut’s greatest health benefits, along with 40 tasty and filling nut recipes for every meal.
8 Health Benefits of Nuts
Whether you enjoy them as a snack, or add them to a recipe, nuts offer a wide range of health benefits:
- Nuts are packed with nutrients – Overall, nuts are highly nutritious. Individually, they each contain different amounts of nutrients, including: Vitamin E, Magnesium, Protein, Copper, Phosphorus, and Selenium. Nuts are low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fat.
- They can help with weight loss – Even though nuts are high in calories, they can actually help you lose weight. This is because the calories in nuts are not fully absorbed by the body. In studies, almonds and pistachios have been shown to be particularly effective in promoting weight loss.
- Benefits those with Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome – Nuts are considered one of the best foods to help those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. Because they are low in carbohydrates, they barely raise blood sugar levels. By eating nuts, you can help improve a variety of health markers.
- They are loaded with antioxidants – Nuts are powerhouses, full of antioxidants called polyphenols that help to neutralize free radicals. Walnuts and almonds are a particularly good source, and help to prevent cell damage.
- Can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke – Nuts are a heart’s best friend. They can also help reduce the risk of stroke. All of this is due to the fact that they help reduce inflammation, can lower bad cholesterol levels, and improve artery function.
- May help to lower triglycerides and cholesterol – Eating nuts has the power to lower both your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Nuts contain high levels of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids which help to lower bad cholesterol while boosting the levels of good cholesterol.
- Can help to reduce inflammation – By adding nuts to your diet, you can take advantage of strong anti-inflammatory properties, helping your body to defend itself against bacteria, injury, and harmful pathogens. This is especially important for those suffering from kidney disease and diabetes. Reduced inflammation also promotes healthy aging.
- They are high in fiber – The high fiber content in nuts provides multiple health benefits. This includes promoting healthy gut bacteria, and reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes. Almonds contain the highest amount of fiber, with pecans, hazelnuts, and pistachios tying for second.
Remember to keep in mind that every type of nut has different health benefits. So, make sure to eat a good variety. And always be aware of portion sizes, since nuts are a calorie-dense food.
4 Tips for Cooking and Baking with Nuts
- Keep them fresh – To help keep nuts fresher, longer, you’ll want to make sure to store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Choose a cool place like a pantry or in your refrigerator or freezer if you need to store them for a longer period of time.
- Chop nuts yourself – While buying pre-chopped nuts may seem convenient, they don’t stay fresh as long as whole nuts. Instead, choose whole nuts and chop them yourself before you cook or bake. Always choose a large chef’s knife that has a tapered blade, and carefully rock it across the nuts to break them into smaller pieces.
- Toast for more flavor – Choose to roast your own nuts rather than buying them pre-roasted for the most flavor. Simply spread whole almonds or hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 20 minutes. For pecans and walnuts, lower the temperature to 325 degrees.
- Swap them out – You can easily swap out nuts in recipes that have a similar flavor and texture. For example, almonds can be swapped out with pistachios or hazelnuts. Pecans can be swapped out with walnuts, macadamia nuts, or cashews.
10 Breakfast Nut Recipes
- Banana Walnut Bread | Food Network
- Blueberry, Lime, and Cashew Smoothie | Bon Appetit
- Healthy Fruit and Nut Breakfast Cookies | Today
- Yogurt Parfait | E.A. Stewart
- Giada’s Almond Pancakes | Food Network
- Fruit and Nut Breakfast Cups | Jar of Lemons
- Fruit and Nuts Monkey Breakfast Bowl | All That Jas
- Basic Nut Milk | Bon Appetit
- Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Trail Mix | Eating Bird Food
- Cinnamon and Walnut Porridge | Ahead of Thyme
10 Lunch Nut Recipes
- Avocado Pine Nut Salad | Recipe Girl
- Roasted Beet Goat Cheese Salad | Delish
- Spaghetti with Tomato and Walnut Pesto | Bon Appetit
- Roasted Mushrooms and Pine Nuts | Veggies Save the Day
- Kale Chips with Almond Butter and Miso | Delish
- Pine Nut-Crusted Tilapia | Food.com
- Muhammara | Bon Appetit
- Basmati Rice with Pine Nuts | The Spruce Eats
- Lemon Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts | A Cedar Spoon
- Miso and Nut Dip | Delish
10 Dinner Nut Recipes
- Pantry Pasta With Vegan Cream Sauce | Bon Appetit
- Almond Cranberry Rice Pilaf | Food Network
- Spaghetti with Sun Dried Tomato Almond Pesto | Delish
- Orecchiette with Wilted Spinach, Kale, and Roasted Pine Nuts | Fork, Knife, Swoon
- Spaghetti with Garlicky Spinach, Parmesan, and Toasted Pine Nuts | For the Love of Cooking
- Cauliflower Soup with Hazelnuts and Bacon | Bon Appetit
- Farfalle with Feta, Arugula, and Toasted Pine Nuts | How Sweet Eats
- Moroccan Couscous | Well Plated
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers, Walnuts, and Anchovies | Delish
- Peanut Noodles with Chicken | Foodie Crush
10 Dessert Nut Recipes
- Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake | Taste of Home
- The Best Peanut Brittle | Food Network
- Little Nut Cups | Allrecipes
- Date and Nut Cake | Recipes are Simple
- Chocolate Almond Pear Tarts | Bon Appetit
- Molly’s Almond Tarts | Food Network
- Mixed Nut Clusters | Dinner Then Dessert
- Caramel Nut Tart | Simply Recipes
- Pignoli Nut Pie | Allrecipes
- Pecan Pie Bars | Taste of Home
With so many nut recipes to choose from, it’s easy to take advantage of their health benefits any time of day.
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