February is American Heart Month. At Season, we’re nuts about heart health, and we want to encourage you to make heart healthy food choices each day. Some of our favorite heart healthy foods include fish high in omega-3 fats (such as salmon and tuna), a variety of fruits and vegetables, oats, beans, lentils, and of course, nuts!
Nuts contain healthy fats, are a good source of protein and fiber, and contain a number of other beneficial vitamins and minerals. Though most nuts are a good choice, a few such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, peanuts, cashews, and macadamia nuts appear to be standout stars. Here are a few other pro tips:
Nuts are nutritious, but they’re also high in calories, so it’s important to keep portion sizes in check. A serving of nuts is a small handful or about 2 tablespoons of nut butter.
Get creative! Nuts aren’t just for snacking. Nuts and nut butters are great on salads, in stir fry, on parfaits and in smoothies, or as a topping for roasted veggies. Nuts can also be crushed and used as a coating for chicken in place of breadcrumbs.
If you’d like to kick up the flavor a notch and still make a heart healthy choice, choose nuts that are cocoa dusted or spiced (such as with chipotle powder) but have little to no added salt or sugar.
Nuts and nut butters will go bad (rancid) over time. Keep them in the fridge to help them stay fresh longer. Some nuts, like pine nuts, will also keep well in the freezer.