In honor of Earth month, I would like to devote some time to foods from the Earth.
If you look at the most ancient foods that we know of, you will find that they all have one thing in common: They are nutrient-dense.
Let’s look first at nuts and seeds.
Nuts are dry, single-seeded fruits enclosed in a tough outer layer. Some seeds also fit this description (such as sunflower and safflower).
According to the Nutcracker Museum (yes, there is such a place), nuts have existed for hundreds of thousands of years. They write, “Recently, there was an archeological dig in Israel where researchers found evidence showing that nuts formed a major part of man's diet 780,000 years ago. Seven varieties of nuts, along with stone tools to crack open the nuts, were found buried deep in a bog. The nuts were wild almond, prickly water lily, water chestnut, and twos varieties of both acorns and pistachios. The pistachios and water chestnut are similar to those found in the Far East and northern Europe today.” Isn’t that incredible?
Nuts are an amazing source of fiber, essential fatty acids, and protein. In fact, nuts and seeds can fulfill the protein category on my plate. The combination of healthy fats, fiber, and protein result in energy. And we all want more of that, right?
There is a plethora of research showing that nuts and seeds protect against heart disease and numerous other health ailments. They help protect you from inflammation, which is essentially part of every disease.
Some people avoid nuts because they fear the fat content will cause weight gain due to the fat content. But research suggests the contrary: Nuts aid weight loss because they keep you feeling satiated and preventing you from overeating.
Here are some easy ways to incorporate nuts and seeds in your diet:
• Try my latest favorite treats, Setton Farms’ Pistachio Chewy Bites
. They’re made out of pistachios and cranberries, packed full of antioxidants, and so, so tasty.
• Toss some pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds in your salad.
• Make granola using nut(s) of your choice.
• Make a healthy trail mix that combines nuts, dried fruit, and maybe even some dark chocolate chips.
• Mix cashews in with your stir-fry.
• Add almond butter to your smoothies! Nothing beats blending a frozen banana, a cup ofunsweetened almond milk and a couple tablespoons of almond butter.
And don’t go for the canned nuts you often find at the grocery store; they are loaded with they are loaded with excess oil and salt. Your best bet is raw nuts, which are nutritious and delicious!
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