A plant-based diet has increased in popularity over the past few years and if you are considering going plant-based or are already on the path to going plant-based, you’ll find it hard to believe how suddenly nuts become a staple in your diet and a big part of your overall health.
There are various health benefits to following a plant-based diet, however making the transition to becoming plant-based itself can be tough as there are a lot of food groups that are cut out completely. In order to avoid nutritional deficiencies and to provide all the essential nutrients our bodies need, a plant-based diet needs to be planned with more consideration and more knowledge than any other type of diet. Including nuts in a plant-based diet can be a staple in a well-balanced food pattern. Nuts are a great way to get protein, iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamin B12 into your body.
Nuts are very versatile in that they can be added to various dishes either cooked, raw, soaked, and finely ground for spreads, ice cream, and milk. You can use them for simple snacking or to create indulgent cheeses, butters, and raw desserts, which makes nuts staples in a plant-based diet.
Nuts in a plant-based diet provide essential nutrients to prevent deficiencies. They also contribute to the flavor in a lot of recipes. As discussed, nuts are an excellent source of nutrients that vegans can find challenging to consume enough of since many other food groups are cut out. Specifically, nuts are a great way for vegans to get in healthy fats including omega-3s, plant-based protein, vitamin E, selenium, and more.
There’s a wide variety of nuts to choose from to incorporate different flavors and textures into your meals. Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, and every other nut offer individual health benefits which is why it’s a good idea to broaden your horizons when it comes to the many different nuts you can consume. And, there are many different ways to consume them.
Nut Milks & Cheeses
You’ll find in many vegan recipes that nuts are commonly the main substitute for their dairy alternatives. Almond and cashew milk are the most common and can be substituted in a lot of baking recipes for dairy milk. Vegan cheese has increasingly become more popular as well. Vegan cheese is typically made from cashews because they have an incredibly creamy texture and can easily be transformed.
Besides eating nuts whole, there are a variety of different ways to incorporate them into your diet, including nut butters. While peanut butter is typically the most popular, any nut can be ground into butter. Almond, cashew, and hazelnut butter are also available and have increased in popularity over the years as other butters are slightly healthier because of their vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
There are many ways to incorporate nuts into your diet and you’d be surprised how many vegan recipes call for some sort of nut-based dairy alternative.