Healthy-eating experts suggest that at least half of what we eat should look pretty much like it did when found in nature (as opposed to being milled, processed, cooked and recombined in ways that make them unrecognizable). Take pecans, which come into this world eminently edible, packed with protein, fiber, healthy oils and the antioxidant vitamin E. Multiple studies have shown that vitamin E inhibits the oxidation of blood lipids, so it helps to keep cholesterol from hardening and clogging the arteries. Combine this effect with the intestinal support from the fiber and the blood-sugar stabilization of the protein, and a handful of pecans really works overtime. They’re also delicious: Crumble them raw into smoothies or over your morning granola, or roast them with a little maple syrup and cayenne for a divine salad topping.
Pecans tend to be a bit pricey, which makes Whole Food’s 365 house brand a good choice when you’re watching your budget. This bag runs about $10 for 16 ounces.