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Health Benefits of Nuts and Seeds

March 21st, 2011 | Blog, Nutritional Coaching | ksimon | No Comments

Health Benefits of Nuts and Seeds:

Nuts and seeds have been a healthy part of the human diet for 1000’s of years.

A nut is actually a fruit with a single seed (Hunter, 2006, P.94). All tree nuts provide similar nutrients and then also contribute their own individual benefits.  They are a good source of both protein and fat. The argenine (nonessential amino acid) helps against cardiovascular disease (Hunter, 2006, P.94). Nuts have a healthy balance between unsaturated fats and saturated fats. Walnuts in fact are special in that they are also a great source for the valuable Omega -3 fatty acid that is good for our heart and brain!  Omega-3 has been shown to help with all sorts of anxiety and depression. Read the “Brain Diet” by Alan C. Logan for more information. Nuts should be stored in the fridge so they don’t go rancid and should be bought unsalted. I personally find the best value by buying large bulk bags and Sam’s and creating my own nut mixes.

Individuality between nuts: (Hunter, 2006)

Almonds: Has Vitamin E for good skin and is good to eat before bed as it has calming affects (match with some dried cherries which does as well!)

Brazil Nuts: Natural source of barium that is difficult to get in diet.

Cashews: Considered good mood elevators with their combination of: fiber, folacin, iron and copper.

Chestnuts: Low fat, these nuts are great for potassium, B, and iron! They should be flush against the shell (no spaces).

Coconut: The lauric acid in coconuts is antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial.

Hazelnuts: they are a good source of the B complex and the fatty acids have a fatty acid composition to that of olive oil. They are considered to be by the Chinese one of the top 5 sacred foods.

Macadamias: good source of thiamine, new trees take 5-8 years to harvest.

Pecans: have at least 19 vitamins and minerals identified.

Pine nuts: It takes 25 years for the first harvest of the pine nut bearing trees and 75 years to reach full production! They require extensive labor. Crops appear only 5-7 years.

Pistachios: Good source of fiber.

Seeds are also dense in nutrients and are often consumed without us knowing it! Some are used for flavoring like: dill, poppy, and cumin. Some are digestives like: caraway, anise, and fennel (Hunter, 2006).

Individuality Between Seeds: (Hunter, 2006)

Flaxseeds: First cultivated in 5,000 B.C. Considered vital for health around the world since then by the smartest and most powerful people on the planet. Get a coffee grinder and grind them before eating. The oil in them is highly perishable. Keep whole seeds in a tightly closed container with as little air as possible in refrigerator or freezer.  Use them in cereals, soups, stew, casseroles, anywhere you can think of!

Pumpkin and Squash seeds: Hulled green ones are also called pepitas. Good for the prostate.

Sesame: Good source of calcium and vitamin B. Allergens can be destroyed in sesame seeds (if allergies are a problem) by heating them.

Sunflower: Seeds that are small and black are intended for oil. The edible ones have large kernels. Purchase only in small quantities that you can use at time. Refrigerate. Good source of vitamin D

Hunter, B. (2006). A Whole Foods Primer. Basic Health Pub: Laguna Beach, Cal.

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