For centuries, nuts have provided both sustenance and nutrients essential to a healthy diet. As one of mankind's oldest foods, nuts were an early favorite of hunters and gatherers for their high-nutrient makeup and energy-yielding characteristics. Today nutritionists and chefs refer to nuts as a healthful way to snack or add flavor and texture to dishes.
Once only thought of as an excellent source of protein, nuts have been recently “rediscovered” as a food naturally high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats, which are all recommended by nutritionists as a part of a healthy diet. Researchers and nutritionists are also recognizing nuts as a valuable source of important plant-provided vitamins and minerals, such as the antioxidant vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids. And as nuts transcend snacking and baking, many of the world's best chefs are finding new ways to introduce nuts to dishes within every section of the menu.