When you think of “plants,” what type of food comes to mind? Odds are, it’s vegetables and fruits first, but there’s one plant that shouldn’t be overlooked in a plant-forward diet: nuts! Nuts, after all, are plants too and are an important part of a plant-forward diet, offering a variety of nutritional benefits in addition to taste and texture.

Nuts are wholesome, nutrient-packed foods. Walnuts, for instance, are the only nut with an excellent source of essential omega-3 ALA, offering 2.5g per ounce. Omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) has been associated with benefits for heart health, brain health and inflammation. Omega-3 ALA can’t be made by the body, so it’s important for people to get it from foods. One ounce of walnuts also offers 4g of protein, 2g of fiber, and a good source of magnesium (45mg.) Click here for more information on walnut nutrition.

Nuts also add an excellent crunch and texture to any recipe. Sprinkle them on top of oatmeal or yogurt, add them to salads or pastas, or make them the star of your dish as a meat alternative. Get creative with Walnut and Mushroom Teriyaki Burgers, California Walnut Omega Meatballs or Walnut “Chorizo” Tacos with Pickled Vegetables. Or eat them as a standalone snack. Go ahead and go nuts!

For more information about walnuts, visit walnuts.org

For more tasty walnut recipes, check out walnuts.org/recipes

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