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Have we always been crazy about nuts?

An archaeological dig in Iraq recently discovered evidence that nuts were being eaten as far back as 50,000 BC. It’s easy to understand why though. After all, nuts were the perfect ready-made snack back in the Stone Age: you could just pick them off the tree and put them in your pocket. Much easier than hunting down a mammoth. Plus they stay good for months, which is great if you have to survive long, cold winters stuck in a cave. Nuts are also very versatile: you can eat them straight from the shell, press them to make oil, and even mash them to make nut butter.

More importantly, nuts are not only very tasty, they are also rich in fat and proteins, which makes them both nourishing and nutritious. You might think a lot of fat is bad for you, but nuts are plant sources of fat, so the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated types of fat they contain are actually good for you. In addition, nuts are full of essential vitamins and minerals that keep muscles and nerves working properly. Plus they contain essential omega-3 fatty acids that boost your cardiovascular and metabolic health. Finally, nuts are cholesterol-free (unlike animal sources of fat), which makes them an excellent source of protein.

Hardly surprising, then, that nuts have been such a popular snack throughout the ages: from Stone Age cavemen sitting around a camp fire, to modern day airline passengers cruising at high altitude.