We’re Nutty for Nuts… Are You?


After no fat or low-fat diets, followed by high-protein and high-fat diets, we met the idea of “healthy fats.” Healthy fats are those that come from such natural sources as fish; nuts are also an important source of this vital element… but do you know what a nut actually is?

In English, we use the term “nut” to distinguish a wide variety of hard-shelled foods, many of which, like pistachios and Brazil nuts, are not true nuts. Nuts, biologically, are a combined fruit and seed in one, hard-shelled pod. Nuts like hazelnuts, acorns and chestnuts are actually the seed and the fruit of their respective trees.

Health Benefits of Nuts

The health benefits of nuts are not restricted to biologically true nuts: walnuts and almonds, for example, are not true nuts, but have just as many healthy fats as other nuts. Nuts contain linoleic and linolenic acids, and they’re also rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, like vitamins E and B2, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and selenium. On top of everything, they’re also a rich source of protein, perfect for an on-the-go snack.

How to Eat Them

Aside from just grabbing a handful of nuts on the go, these nutrient power-houses can be used in a variety of recipes.

For snacks on the go, try some of these favorites:

Include nuts as part of a meal with these recipes:

Image: steffenz

Emily Monaco
Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.