For years, mixed nuts were ignored as a health food, mainly because manufacturers often loaded nut mixes with unhealthy ingredients: salt, hydrogenated oils, excessive quantities of candy, and more. Now that consumers are taking a closer look at the ingredient label, nuts are gaining in popularity. But people are taking it back to the basics to choose nuts in the whole, natural form.
Nuts are great examples of functional food because they are loaded with important vitamins and minerals that support overall health.
Nuts = Functional Food
Functional foods go beyond the basic nutritional needs within the body. When a food is labeled as “functional,” it means that food can help to minimize the risk of disease and prevent illness. Nuts themselves are healthy foods. Even though they are calorie-dense, those calories include some of the most important vitamins and minerals needed in a well-balanced diet.
Here is an overview of some of the health benefits you can enjoy from nuts:
- Omega-3’s: Certain nuts are high in omega 3 essential fatty acids such as walnuts. Including omega 3’s in your diet helps with heart health, cancer prevention, and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Clean Protein: Whether you are on a low-carb diet or you want to get more protein to meet your fitness goals, nuts come with the full package – with both protein and fiber in one ingredient. Protein provides the building blocks needed to rebuild muscle and repair damage.
- Antioxidant: Oxidative damage is happening all the time, resulting in cells that need to be repaired or replaced due to free radical activity. Antioxidants help to slow oxidative damage by fighting free radicals. Nuts are loaded with antioxidants including polyphenols that neutralize free radicals.
As you read through this list of health benefits, it’s easy to see why nuts and trail mixes are preferred for healthy, non-refrigerated snacks.
Healthy Snacks for a Busy Lifestyle
If you are looking for grab-and-go snacks for adults, then Nature’s Garden is here to help. Our healthy, non-refrigerated snacks are perfect when you are on the go or need a pick-me-up at home. Try our organic snack packs for an easy, healthy way to satisfy your hunger between meals.