Have you ever heard the expression you are what you eat? Well, in some sense, it’s true. Nutrients from the foods we eat provide the foundation of function and wholeness of all the cells in our body, which is why it is important that we try to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. And, that’s why nuts and dried fruit should be an essential part of your daily diet! Nuts and dried fruits are packed with essential nutrients including vitamins, minerals, vegetable protein and healthy fats that we need to consume every day in order for our bodies to function properly.
Over the years nut consumption has also been associated with a number of health benefits, from cardiovascular health to insulin resistance and diabetes, weight management, gut health, aging and cognitive function, and some forms of cancer. And, more recently, other lines of research have included fertility and nuts and dried fruits as part of sustainable diets. Could you need more reasons to add them to your daily habits?
Apart from the benefits, combining nuts and dried fruits creates a balanced and flavourful addition to your meals and snacks, and there are an abundance of ways to add them. So, to help you on your way, here are some ideas to help you include nuts and dried fruits in your routine ⬇️:
- Make Your Own Trail Mix: Create a custom trail mix by combining various nuts like almonds, walnuts and cashews with dried fruits such as dried figs, dried cranberries and dried apricots. This mix can be portioned into small containers or bags for convenient snacking.
- Pre-Workout Snack: A mix of nuts and dried fruits can serve as a great pre-workout snack. The combination of healthy fats from nuts and quick energy from dried fruits can provide sustained energy during your workout.
- Yogurt Parfait: Layer your favorite yogurt with chopped nuts and dried fruits. This adds crunch, texture, flavor and nutrition to your breakfast or snack.
- Smoothie Ingredients: Blend nuts and dried fruits into your smoothies for added flavor and nutrition. Dates, for example, can add natural sweetness and creaminess to your drinks.
- Salad Toppers: Sprinkle a mixture of pistachios and peanuts over your salads to add a delightful crunch and a touch of sweetness. They pair well with both green salads and grain-based salads.
- Baking: Incorporate chopped nuts and dried fruits into your baking recipes. Add raisins to muffins, cookies, granola bars and bread for extra taste and texture.
- Homemade Energy Bites: Create energy bites using a blend of nuts and dried fruits. This way, you can control the ingredients and avoid unnecessary additives. Pulse them together in a food processor, form into small balls, and refrigerate for a quick, nutrient-rich snack.
- Mindful Eating: Enjoy your nuts mindfully. Take time to savor the flavors and textures. This can help you feel more satisfied with smaller portions.
Remember that nuts and dried fruits offer numerous health benefits, but moderation is key! It’s important to consider the daily allowance.
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