Go Nuts for Heart Month

This month marks the 57th year the nation dedicates the month of February to raising awareness and highlighting the importance of heart health.  According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease continues to be the greatest health threat to Americans and is still the leading cause of death worldwide, as reported in their Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2021 Update.

During American Heart Month, the AHA and other organizations reinforce the importance of heart health and the need for more research and efforts to ensure that millions of people live longer and healthier. At the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation, we support the work of heart health organizations with research and education (

Listed below are two of the AHA diet and lifestyle recommendations for preventing and managing cardiovascular disease, and tips on how tree nuts can play a role in your own heart health.

  1. Use up at least as much calories as you take in:  

With the goal of maintaining a healthy weight range, we need to ensure we’re getting enough physical activity to balance our calorie intake.  The recommendations are for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.  This doesn’t mean you have to run or visit the gym every day, just taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking further away from your destination can count! 

Tree nuts go hand-in-hand with fitness. They promote satiety and can help curb food cravings. They’re a simple, convenient snack to take on a hike, a bike ride, or even a day at the beach.  Add nuts to breakfast to help curb those mid-morning slumps.  We have lots of ideas here for some nut-inspired breakfasts.

  • Eat an overall healthy dietary pattern:

The AHA recommends a diet that emphasizes:

  • a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains,
  • healthy sources of protein such as nuts, legumes and fish,
  • unsaturated fats – found in nuts, olive oil, avocado and non-tropical vegetable oils,
  • minimizing added sugars and salt,
  • and limiting processed foods.

Tree nuts are the ultimate whole food. You can use nut butter instead of mayonnaise on your sandwiches; use ground nut flour for cakes; and season or roast nuts for snacking, rather than chips.

Check out a few more ideas for making your diet more hearth healthy with nuts:

  • Use ground nuts as thickener for soups and casseroles.
  • Add nuts to salads rather than cheese.
  • Boost your smoothie with a healthy dose of tree nuts.
  • Enjoy an Italian pasta or pizza dish with a nut-based sauce.

Here’s to caring for our own hearts and those of our loved ones! 

The Nutty Chef

Stay Energized with Nuts

Welcome 2023!  We’ve been through a whirlwind few years and look forward to a new year full of vitality, health and new hopes.  And after the holiday season, we’re looking forward to getting out and getting active, in nature, the gym or just in the neighborhood. 

Professional and amateur sports enthusiasts alike value the contribution of nuts to their daily eating regime. Not only do tree nuts contain important vitamins and minerals, they’re also a great source of sustainable energy.

The simplest way to enjoy nuts on a hike, bike ride or other outdoor adventure, is to simply put a handful of mixed tree nuts in a bag with some dried fruit. But there’s so many more delicious ways to add nuts to your work out plan.

Nut butter – Start the day with your favorite nut butter on toast for breakfast. Or add it to a smoothie, to help keep hunger at bay longer. Nut butters are great on the road, spread on sandwiches, or put into small containers for dipping apples, celery, carrots and crackers. Nut butters are easy to make, and you can add your own flavors and make the texture as chunky and smooth as you like. Check our recipes here for some ideas to get your creative juices going!

Nut bars – In gas stations you see a whole variety of bars with nuts, but they’re usually laden with sugar, and much more expensive than making your own. Here are two ideas using pistachios and pecans.

Muffins – Muffins are a great mid-morning snack and kids love them. You can freeze them to pull out and take on the run – they’ll thaw out in a half-hour or so. Here’s some inspiration from our recipe collection.

Cheese and nuts – A delicious picnic idea for hikers or kayakers, is to pack a nut and cheese box, with some honey or fruit jam, crackers, and fruit such as sliced apple. It’s a lovely way to stop and enjoy the outdoors while you snack slowly and get energized for the rest of the day.  Check out the blog we wrote on great nut and cheese pairings.

Salads to go – A good one for all-day activities – whether it’s a simple green salad, pasta, rice or quinoa, adding some sliced, diced or whole nuts will give you a boost of protein, healthy fats and sustaining energy.

May 2023 be a wonderful year, full of health and happiness!