Looking for a nutritious snack option?
Since we have been eating healthier and removing pre-packaged, processed food from our pantry and our diet, we are in need of finding alternatives. Nuts in moderation are a fantastic option. Even better- Raw Nuts! The roasting process can trigger the release of harmful chemicals in some nuts, like acrylamide in roasted almonds. So it’s best to eat them raw.
Eating raw nuts can reduce your risk of developing serious chronic diseases. These little gems can reduce the risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure, lower weight, reduce waist circumference and increase heart health.
Will eating nuts make you fat?
It’s a myth that eating foods high in healthy fat will make you fatter. In fact, it’s better to eat nuts that things with more complex carbs. According to this study, people who ate a low-calorie diet that included almonds vs. complex carbs, the almond group had a:
- 62 percent greater reduction in their weight/BMI
- 50 percent greater reduction in waist circumference
- 56 percent greater reduction in body fat
Another study in the journal Obesity also stated that eating nuts two or more times per week was associated with a reduced risk of weight gain.
Which nuts are best to eat?
Look for raw & organic nuts. Note: peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes. They’re also apparently one of the most pesticide laden things you can eat.
Some of the best nuts for your health are:
Almonds: almond skins are rich in antioxidants, phenols and flavonoids which can help prevent cancer and promote healthy aging. (In North America, nearly all almonds are pasteurized even if they’re labeled raw.)
Walnuts: help get those free radicals and reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancers. For further reading, check this article out about how the FDA says walnuts, broccoli and some other foods should be labeled as a drug for their healing properties!
Pecans: With over 19 vitamins and minerals, these babies can lower bad cholesterol and promote healthy arteries.
Soaking nuts, especially walnuts, can make the flavor better. It can also increase the enzyme activity which increases your body’s ability to absorb their nutrients and digest them. Soak nuts from anywhere between 20 minutes to 2-3 hours, then discard the water. Even better, soak them overnight in glass, not plastic.
Some nuts are more suited to roasting than others. For example, the health benefits of cashews are not greatly reduced with roasting.
My favorite place to get nuts, raw or roasted, is in the bulk bins at Sprouts. There are an abundance of choices. Try them all and see what you like best. My favorite is Macadamia Nuts! I pretend I’m in snacking in Hawaii whenever I grab a handful.