Five Uses for Nuts and Seeds

Have you been avoiding nuts and seeds for fear of the high fat content of these foods?

If you have, you are not alone. In recent years, our country has been bombarded with nutrition messages warning against the dangers of eating too much fat.

Of course, eating too much of the wrong kinds of fat (saturated fat and hydrogenated fats, which are found in red meats and processed junk foods) can be detrimental to health.

But, unfortunately, when it comes to dietary fat, many of us have thrown the "baby out with the bath water", so to speak. And, now, many people try to avoid all sources of dietary fat, including the essential fats found in foods like nuts, seeds, and salmon.

The fats found in nuts and seeds, the so-called omega 3 and omega 6 fats, are vital to the health of the immune system, cardiovascular system, and the skin and hair. So, if you've been leaving the nuts out of your favorite dishes, its time to take a new look at these powerhouses of nutrition.

Here are a few quick ways to include various nuts and seeds into your diet. For more information, please see the articles on almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds in our foods database.

  1. Flaxseeds are a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, one of the key omega-3 fats. Flaxseeds are small and very hard, so when eaten whole they sometimes escape digestion. As a result, they are best when eaten ground. They are easily ground in a small coffee grinder, and can be added to hot and cold cereal, yogurt and fruit smoothies, or used as a salad topper or in a salad dressing.
  2. Make your own nut and seed mix by lightly toasting almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in a 160-170 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Top with a mixture of tamari (soy sauce) and various spices. Cumin and cayenne pepper make a delicious combination.
  3. All types of nuts and seeds make a delicious addition to any green or fruit salad.
  4. Finely chop almonds and walnuts and add them to your favorite soup.
  5. Did you know that there are alternatives to peanut butter? Give almond butter and cashew butter a try. For a delicious snack, spread either type of nut butter on toast or use them to stuff celery.

Enjoy!

This page was updated on: 2003-03-10 03:16:45
© 2002 The George Mateljan Foundation