Generally speaking, nuts are a great energy-boosting snack packed with healthy fats and protein, should you find yourself lagging come midafternoon. But beyond their tendency to level up your vitality1, nuts are a nutritionally dense food loaded with macro- and micronutrients, as well as vitamins and minerals.
In conversation with mbg, Maya Feller, M.S., R.D., CDN, explains that nuts are loaded with plant-based forms of heart-healthy fats, including both saturated and unsaturated fats.
Certain nuts, Feller says, also provide high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (an essential fatty acid the human body does not naturally produce but needs to obtain through food sources), antioxidants (a win for your immune system2), and prebiotic fiber to not only help keep you full but to also serve as “nourishment for the beneficial bacteria in the gut.”
But while nuts contain a slew of health benefits, you want to incorporate them into your diet in moderation. The appropriate serving size to reap the aforementioned health benefits will depend on the nut you’re eating, but registered dietitian nutritionist Maggie Michalczyk, RDN, says roughly a handful is a good estimation.