How Healthy are Nuts?

How Healthy are Nuts?

How Healthy are Nuts?

Including nuts among your food choices does have health benefits. Nuts are naturally full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, protein and fibre … and they’re delicious. This makes them a perfect snack food. There are many types, all with their own unique taste and texture.

A daily serve of nuts is about a small handful (30 grams). Dry roasted or raw nuts without added salt and sugar are a more nutritious choice.

Yummy ideas for adding nuts into your day:

  • add chopped almonds or walnuts to muesli, porridge or a wholegrain breakfast cereal
  • a trail mix snack (a mix of nuts, seeds and dried fruit available from the supermarket or you can make yourself)
  • blitz nuts, dried or fresh fruit and coconut and roll into ’bliss’ balls
  • add crushed pecans to yoghurt and fruit
  • add almonds, peanuts or cashews to a stir fry
  • add pine nuts to a roast vegetable salad
  • crushed macadamia nuts and bread crumbs make a great crust on grilled fish
  • add walnuts to homemade banana or date bread
  • nut spread like peanut butter on toast, in a sandwich or with celery sticks
  • add peanut butter to satay sauce
  • add chopped nuts to soup for a bit of crunch.

For recipe ideas go to Nuts for Life

Nuts and children

We used to think avoiding nuts in the first few years of life helped prevent allergies but now we recommend the opposite. The current advice is to introduce nuts at around six months (but not before 4 months) as one of the first foods. This is when baby’s immune system is developing and it is thought exposure to nuts at this time may help to protect some children against food allergy. Read more Talk to your doctor for advice for your family. You can add ground up nuts (for example almond meal) or nut spreads (for example peanut butter) to baby’s food. Do not offer whole nuts before the age of three, as they are a choking risk. Use nut spreads or ground up nuts. Remember to watch children while they are eating.

Nuts in schools and childcare

Nuts are a nutritious lunchbox choice but we know some children are allergic to nuts. Most schools and early learning services choose to go nut free or allergy free to help manage risk. This means that you cannot bring any food containing nuts into school. Seeds (for example pepita or sunflower seeds) are a good alternative.

What nuts grow in Australia?

You can buy Australian grown almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. Brazil nuts, pine nuts and cashews are generally imported. If you want to get technical peanuts are a legume, but we call them a nut as they are similar nutritionally, they are mostly Australian grown.

So next time the hunger hits consider a nutty snack, they are filling and delicious.