Plant-based eating is not necessary a new thing, however the trend is certainly increasing in mainstream popularity. One of the stumbling blocks that many first-timers run into is incorporating enough protein into their daily diet. Beans and tofu are both excellent sources or protein, but what else? Enter: the nut.
This simple ingredients requires little to no preparation, and can be stored for several months unshelled, and a year in it’s shell. They are super versatile and can be tossed last minute into soups, salads, and desserts. Put a little more effort in and nuts can be ground up and used in plant-based burgers / taco “meat,” a delicious crispy coating for grilled tofu or portobello mushrooms, nut butters and so much more. We’ve put together a list of some of the health benefits of these common nuts that are great as they come, because: we like easy.
Pistachios: High in phytosterols (known for lowering blood cholesterol), potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, fibre and protein
Pine Nuts: Alpha-linolenic acid (for heart health), the B vitamin thiamine and protein – note: pine nuts are commonly used to make pesto – yum!
Almonds: Vitamin E, magnesium, flavonoids (these work together with vitamins C and E to produce antioxident action), fibre and protein
Pecans: Fibre, zinc, the B vitamin thiamine, protein
Walnuts: Omega-3 fatty acids (1/4 cup will give you 90% of the recommended intake of Omega-3s!), the B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, iron and zinc, fibre and protein
Beyond being an easy-access source of protein, nuts also promote good health with heart-protecting unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. Because some nuts are particularly high in certain vitamins or minerals, be sure to ask your doctor is there are any nuts your should avoid based on your own personal health requirements.