Eating nuts is obviously not a new thing. Our ancestors survived off gathering nuts and berries for millennia before the first nerd decided planting grains might mean less work and starvation for his tribe. But in the last two decades there’s been a glorious resurgence of nuts into our diets as well as an entire new line of alternative, nut-based foods.

With global trade being what it is, countries around the world have been able to import and export their nuts to other countries, allowing us to come up with new flavors and get a greater spread of nutrients than we might have if we relied on indigionous nuts fruits. In 2018 South Africa alone produced more macadamia nuts than the next 5 producing countries on the continent. Flavors of nuts like the macadamia nut, Brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, and others give us a greater appreciation for this marvelous age in which we live, where we can choose to give our bodies the nutrients it craves instead of clawing for nuts just to survive another day.

But nuts, nut supplements, and nut products are more than just a fad; they are high in antioxidants, good fats, protein and so much more! Here are five reasons you need to get nuts and nut-based snacks back into your diet.

Easy Low-Carb Snack

Now, this isn’t to say nuts are not a NO carb snack. But they do provide an easy on the go alternative to chips that have the benefits of being significantly lower in sodium and starches. Hazelnuts and macadamia nuts fewer than 2 grams of digestible carbs per serving, while cashews have almost 8 digestible carbs per serving. But in a world of net positives, a handful of cashews is better for you than a bag of crisps any day.

They Loaded with Heart-Heathy Nutrients

According to studies by the Mayo Clinic in the United States, nuts can help improve your heart’s health.

Unsaturated fats in nuts, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, are thought to lower bad cholesterol levels. And you don’t have to eat a ton of fish to get your Omega-3 fatty acids as they can also be found in many nuts. In addition to cholesterol scrubbing fiber, plaque smashing

Vitamin E, and L-arginine which helps with strengthening the walls of your arteries, the heart benefits of this food group are a smashing all-in-one package.

They Can Help You Lose Weight

That’s right; nuts have been shown to help with weight loss for several reasons. The first is the high amounts of fiber in nuts; fiber helps you feel fuller longer which can help stop hunger cravings. In a study done in America, it was found that women who ate almonds during a weight loss goal lost an average of 22% more weight over a given period of time. Nuts also have a lot of healthy fats which can aid in ketosis when on the Keto diet for weight loss.

Nuts Are Power Packed Calories

One thing to be careful of is the number of calories a handful of nuts can contain. But this can be a net benefit to those of us trying to limit our eating while giving us the calories we need; this is why a lot of hiking foods and energy bars are loaded with nuts. According to Harvard Medical School in the US, a heaping handful of assorted nuts might contain up to 10% of the daily caloric needs for a medium-sized man! But this means that it makes it easier to account for your daily calories.

Creative Healthy Recipes

For some of us, meat is something that we’d just rather not see on our menu. Because of a resurgence in looking to meat alternatives, nuts and those who produce nut products have found ways to creatively slip in these protein powerhouses. Walnut meat can be ground into a hamburger substitute for dishes like goulash and Mexican tacos. There is even meat-free biltong that gains a lot of its nutrients from a variety of different nuts!

Nuts are not for everyone obviously. In fact an unlucky few of us might be dangerously allergic! But for those of us that are not, they can provide an exotic, nutrient rich dietary supplement that can’t be surpassed by other snack foods and recipe ingredients. And thanks to the research being done, we’re just now beginning to tap into the benefits of nuts and other Paleo diet food groups that our ancestors knew were the key to their survival. In any case, nuts, nut based snacks, and nut-based alternatives are a fantastic way to broaden your pallet, make

your waistline recede, and offer a lot of minerals, vitamins and other good things you can’t get many other places. So grab a handful; your heart will thank you later!