Unsalted nuts are a healthy snack option and boost nutrition when added to savoury or sweet dishes.
Why you should go nuts for nuts
Nuts are one of mother nature’s precious gifts. These little gems are nutrient-dense, filled with protein, fibre, healthy fats and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Nuts are also versatile in the kitchen, perfect for both sweet and savoury dishes. Try them straight out of the shell as a snack, use nut butter on wholegrain toast, or throw some toasted nuts into salads to add extra flavour and crunch. Enjoying a variety of nuts is easy with an abundance of options including peanuts, walnuts, almonds, macadamias, chestnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, cashews and many more.
Nutritional benefits of nuts
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend including a handful (approximately 30g) of nuts at least twice a week to support good health as part of a balanced and varied eating plan. Nuts are a source of dietary fibre and can contribute to our daily protein intake. Although high in fat, nuts contain mostly healthy poly and mono-unsaturated fats as well as being naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat. They also provide a variety of different vitamins and minerals including: B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. While different types of nuts vary in nutritional composition, each carries its own benefits and consuming a variety is best. Choose unsalted and unsweetened nuts for the most nutritious option.
Nuts and fibre
Most Australians do not consume enough fibre, on average consuming less than the Heart Foundation recommendation for adults of 25-30 grams daily. Regularly including nuts in your diet can help boost your fibre intake which offers a variety of health benefits. Fibre plays a key role in maintaining good digestive health and regular laxation. In addition, fibre has been shown to assist in preventing certain chronic diseases such as bowel cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Did you know?
Peanuts (also known as a groundnuts) are actually a legume. They grow below the ground whereas tree nuts grow above ground. Despite this, they are grouped with nuts and seeds in the Australian Dietary Guidelines as they are nutritionally similar to other tree nuts, containing 25% plant protein and 2.5g of fibre per serve.
Tips for including nuts in your diet
Enjoying more nuts doesn’t need to be difficult. Try these suggestions today to help boost your intake:
- Include nuts in your morning smoothie by blending in some natural nut butter or topping with a sprinkle of crushed nuts before drinking for a protein and fibre boost.
- Grind some nuts to make a savoury sauce and use as a meal base; for example, pesto pasta or satay marinade.
- Snack on a handful of unsalted nuts, trail mix or a nut-based muesli bar.
- Use natural peanut or almond butter as a dip for celery or carrot sticks. Alternatively drizzle over sliced apple or banana for a tasty treat!
Looking for some more inspiration on how to incorporate some more nuts into your diet? Check out these recipes: