From prehistoric man to ancient royalty to medieval peasants to supermarket shoppers of today, nuts have been a reliable food source throughout history. Unfortunately, because nuts contain so much fat, they have fallen out of favor with the public in the past few decades. However, newer research is restoring faith in nuts.
A recent archaeological excavation in Israel found remnants of seven types of nuts and a variety of primitive nutcrackers that scientists believe date back 780,000 years. A dig in Iraq uncovered evidence of nut consumption that dates back to 50,000 b.c. And in Texas, pecan shells were unearthed near human artifacts that may date back to 6,000 b.c.
It’s easy to see why nuts have been so popular through the ages. You don’t have to track and kill a nut. In fact, nuts were one of the first convenience foods; not only could they be carried, but their ability to be stored for months at a time made them great for long, harsh winters. Nuts are also rich in fat and protein, which make them filling and nourishing. And their versatility means you can eat them right out of the shell, press them for oil, or mash them to make nut butter.
Nuts have been a popular food for thousands of years.