Maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is crucial for living a healthy life that is fulfilling towards your fitness goals. Eating whole foods that are full of nutrients can help ensure that you are meeting all your daily dietary requirements. Any effort to achieve this should include a good daily amount of seeds and nuts.
Seeds and nuts are nature’s powerhouses: they have fibre, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are an excellent addition to any healthy diet, but since they are concentrated sources of fats, it’s still a great idea to watch your intake and not over-eat them. Over-eating any food (fruits and veggies included) isn’t great for your stomach or digestion, so it’s a good idea to eat smart with all foods.
It can be very beneficial to add these foods to your diet. Although great-tasting and good for you, it’s not always easy to add variety to the way you can enjoy seeds and nuts.
Here are a few smart ways you can add seeds and nuts to your diet:
Top Up Your Breakfast
Add a sprinkle of chia seeds on your oatmeal, smoothie or cereal and you will get a boost of protein, fibre, omega-3s and antioxidants. Hemp seeds are great for extra protein.
Add Life to Your Salads
Toss your favourite nuts or seeds on salads to add texture and crunch. Any of your favourite seeds and nuts can work well, but these are particularly delicious options: walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, pistachios, sesame seeds and chia seeds.
You can also make a dressing by blending pumpkin seeds with garlic, cilantro and lemon juice.
Make Your Dinner More Filling
Coat your fish with sesame seeds before before you put it into the oven for some extra flavour and nutrients. You can also crust some tofu with pistachios. If you are looking to add volume to a pasta dish, use pine nuts to make a homemade pesto by adding basil, garlic and parmesan to the mix.
You can also use cashew nuts instead of heavy cream in stews, curries and soups to bring a rich and smooth texture.
Add Healthy Fats to Dessert
Blend a handful of almonds with frozen bananas, unsweetened coconut flakes and a dash of almond milk to create your homemade super-easy ice cream. Almonds will not only add a protein boost, but it will also include healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Snacking on just nuts or seeds is already nutritional, but you can also add them to other snacks. You can toasting nuts and seeds and add them to popcorn.
Nut butters are also very nutritious. Dip an apple, pear or banana in your favourite all-natural nut butter. The protein in the nut butter will help to keep you feeling fuller for longer and help prevent a spike in your blood sugars.
MIX IT UP!
Don’t eat just one kind of nut or seed all the time, make sure that you are adding variety and rotating your nuts and seeds.
A diet that has a lot of variety ensures you get a good mix of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.