If an alien arrived from another planet and asked me which food was the best superfood, I know what my answer would be.
And it wouldn’t be kale, or chia seeds, or coconut oil, or kefir, or turmeric, or…. (the list of NOT-superfoods could go on).
Nope as the spaceship slowly hovered down to earth (it’d be a flying saucer, of course), and the alien-visitor waddled out to meet me… one word and one word only would be on my lips.
As in N.U.T.S.
I know that headline sounds too good to be true, but in this case it’s actually for real – you CAN boost your nutrient intake overnight with nuts!
So why don’t nuts get more headlines?
Every super-food list starts with some trendy new ingredient, or red berries, but why?
In my humble, rather science-based opinion, adding nuts to your daily menu is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Nuts are nutrient rich, i.e. they have loads of nutrients for their weight… minerals like iron, some zinc, along with vitamins, healthy fats and protein too.
Studies have found that people who include nuts in their daily menu have a significantly improved nutrient intake.
So yeah, nuts are the key to topping up all of your micronutrient needs with almost zero effort – no activating needed, no fancy salad or main meal that took hours to prepare. Just a small handful of flipping nuts.
And they taste good.
So why don’t more people eat them?
Most weight-loss diet plans in the past have avoided nuts like the plague.
So it comes as no surprise that many people believe nuts CAUSE weight gain.
Most new clients I meet, think nuts cause weight gain. And they’ve been trained out of eating nuts by past diets. So while they’ve started intuitive eating and are relishing their new journey of food-freedom, they’ve still got a little hang up about nuts.
Yes it’s shocking when you read the per kilogram price for macadamia nuts. They make an eye fillet steak look cheap.
But the fact is, we only need a small handful of nuts to benefit our health and fill our tummy as they’re a really filling food (unlike potato crisps, for example).
Just a 30-40g handful is all you need.
And when you compare 30 grams of almonds at around 60 cents to a banana at around 60 cents – they’re basically the same price. A mini-packet of chippies (which fills no-one up), costs 30 cents, while a muesli bar might be 40 odd cents. Compare that to peanuts – a budget-friendly 20 cents per serve.
Yet here in New Zealand, we’re one of the biggest consumers of bananas per capita, and one of the lowest consumers of nuts.
Why is that?
A bit like the ole “tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable…” malarchy. The ole peanut is technically a legume, not a nut. But for our purposes – a peanut is a nut.
Yes peanuts have much the same composition of fats, protein and micronutrients as for-real nut-nuts.
That means you can get all the bang of a true-tree-nut, for the budget price of a peanut…. which is literally peanuts (get it?!)
You can also enjoy your peanuts as a butter, i.e. peanut butter. Or almond butter. Or any other butter – just preferably choose one that isn’t laden with piles of sugar and salt, unless that’s your jam, or nut butter (as it were).
On that note – raw, unsalted nuts are the best option. But honestly, the sky is not going to fall down if you have lightly roasted nuts (my personal fave). Maybe just try to aim for lightly roasted, lightly salted for the most part… and your body will thank you for it.
And remember, my four pillars of happy + healthy eating. That is, that honouring your happiness is as important as honouring your health. So if you hate nuts, don’t make yourself eat nuts.
If you love macadamias and hate almonds, then don’t make yourself eat almonds.
If you enjoy roasted nuts, and really don’t enjoy raw nuts, then don’t make yourself eat raw nuts.
Catch my drift?
This is not diet-land, this is non-diet land. A fantastical land where we get to have total autonomy over our body and choose what foods we enjoy, what foods nourish our body and combine the two to create a foodie-heaven for ourselves.
Please don’t take this blog post as an instruction that you MUST eat nuts. I’m not saying that. I’m saying, if you enjoy nuts, then there are loads of good reasons to include them in your daily life… so what are you waiting for? Go nuts!