It’s not news that nuts are one of the top vegan protein sources, so lets talk about how you can incorporate more of the healthiest nuts into your daily diet. There isn’t too much competition amongst the varieties, as they all carry similar caloric and nutritional content, and they will all leave you feeling full and satisfied thanks to a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber.
That said, for now, I’ll highlight the #BigNuts that most people find easiest to incorporate into their diets – Almonds, Walnuts, and Pistachios.
While these bodacious little beauties may seem commonplace, they’re exotic origins are in the Middle East and South Asia, where they are found inside the drupe, a peach-like fruit. This nut comes in sweet or bitter varieties, and can be found in a copious amount of forms in your local grocery store. From almond milk to cheeses made from almonds, vegans can enjoy some of the “guilty pleasures” that are given up with dairy. Use whole or cut roasted almonds for just about any salad or trail mix, but remember, it’s ok to be experimental. Almonds are commonly milled into flour, or used to make syrups and almond butter. Crushed and used as breading, in oatmeal or cereal, baked into cookies, sautéed veggies…. the uses for almonds are endless, and it’s a good thing because when you incorporate them into your diet you’ll benefit greatly. A boost of plant-based protein with healthy omega fatty acids and a low caloric count, you can toss some of these nuts in your mouth anytime without feeling guilty!
Walnuts may not be as commonly cooked up as almonds but their health benefits are proven and they may even be able to help fight off diseases like diabetes and cancer. Walnuts contain several unique antioxidants which combine to provide potent antioxidant power. These include flavonols, quinones, and tannins which are known to reverse aging and fight the effects of environmental damage. Known for boosting brain health, these brainy-looking nuts are also a source of vitality for men’s sexual health. Adding 75g of walnuts daily has even been proven to improve a man’s sperm count and quality. Add these delicious nuts to salads and cereals, cookies and cakes, or toss a few in your favorite trail mix for the road.
Pistachios are a nut with a following, because whether you like them naked or in the shell, these little green goddesses reveal themselves as healthy snack and excellent culinary companion. From ice cream, cookies, and other sweets to salads and savory servitude, the pistachio is a nut from the cashew family that have had our hearts since as early as 6750 B.C! The FDA suggests that a diet which includes hearty handfuls of pistachios may even contribute to a reduced risk of heart disease.
So do yourself a favor get some big vegan nuts the next time you’re at the grocery store. Your body will thank you, and you will never have to wonder where your protein comes from!