Going Nuts for Nuts


Veganism, “raw” eating and the popular paleo diet have all brought renewed attention to nuts’ nutritional value. Now, new research provides even more reasons for consumers to crack open these protein-packed snacks: According to Men’s Health, citing research from Molecular Carcinogenesis, nuts “stimulate protective, free-radical-busting chemicals after being broken down by digestion.” These chemicals fight obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

In addition, research from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, reported on by NBC’s “Today Show,” proposes that “just 10 foods – eating too much of them or too little – account for nearly half of all heart disease deaths in the U.S. If people ate less salt and meat and ate more nuts, fruits and vegetables, they could greatly lower their own risk of heart disease, the researchers . . . found.”

Diana Pappas sees herself as living proof of nut power. As president and chief executive officer of New York City-based dessert producer This Pie is Nuts, she credits nuts as a key ingredient in her ability to live well with multiple sclerosis.

“Clean foods with high nutrient values help me keep my energy up, and nuts are key,” says Pappas, who attended the Natural Gourmet Institute to learn more about maximizing ingredient values. She challenged herself to create desserts with as few great ingredients as possible. The result: flourless, nut-encrusted pies that are now featured in health food stores and at paleo restaurants.

Grocerant-Ready Ideas:

  • Lesser-used nuts like Brazil nuts and pistachios added to granola bars and salad toppings
  • Signage to cite the latest research about nuts’ nutritional and disease-fighting powers
  • Nut crumbles and crusts for desserts geared to paleo and health-minded eaters
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