Nutritional Benefits of NUTS & SEEDS

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Nutritional Benefits of NUTS & SEEDS

Nuts and seeds are such a favourite food of mine that I  think I must have been a bird or a squirrel in a past life 🙂 Good thing too as they are Powerfoods!

A Nurses Health Study found that nurses who ate nuts five times a week had less heart disease and on average were thinner compared with those who did not eat nuts.

5 Health Benefits:

  1. Best plant sources of protein. The American Cancer Association is recommending a plant based diet for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.  An ounce of nuts provides 6 g of protein on average.
  2. Filled with heart healthy fat. They contain healthful mono and polyunsaturated fats which are essential in managing inflammation and maintaining the normal structure of every body cell.  People who consumed nuts five times a week had a 35% reduction in heart disease risk according to a British Medical Journal study in 1998.
  3. High Energy foods. They are filled with lots of calories; for example 1 ounce of almonds contain about 165 calories; 1 ounce of Brazil nuts contain about 190 calories. So do not eat too many or you will get fat.
  4. Powerful Minerals. They contain many minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and phosphorus needed for bone development, immunity and energy production.In a study of almost 400 men (age from 45-92) published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition they found a correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.
  5. Needed Vitamins. They are great sources of  B Vitamins and Vitamin E.

Proof of the Power of Nuts and Seeds

A study published in the April 2002 Journal of Nutrition had people replace half the fat in their daily diets with almonds for six weeks. Researchers found that the almond eater’s bad cholesterol went down 6 percent, and good cholesterol went up 6 percent. In addition, blood fat dropped 14 percent. These studies it’s the combination in nuts of monounsaturated fats and protective plant compounds known as flavonoids that reduces the risk of heart disease.

According to research at the University of Toronto, eating heart-healthy foods, including almonds, can help reduce LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol levels, as much as a first-line “statin” drug.

Research at Tufts University found the flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E in to protect artery walls from damage reducing the risk of heart disease.

Are raw nut and seeds good for you? Ask the Squirrel!

squrrel from Real Food for Life

If you give a squirrel a raw nut, it will not eat it, but always will bury it. It will only dig it up when the nut has sprouted. They have found sensors in squirrels’ noses that can identify a sprouted nut. Raw, unsprouted nuts have enzyme inhibitors that prevent the nuts’ food enzymes from digesting it. Only when it sprouts are these inhibitors deactivated. Smart Squirrels!

Raw nuts or seeds can have a bitter taste; this is due to enzyme inhibitors. These inhibitors can affect the digestion of the nuts and seeds. Soaking or roasting the nuts and seeds remove the enzyme inhibitors.

The high heat from roasting will remove the enzyme inhibitors but will destroy many of the nutrients.

The best way to get the most nutrients from nuts and seeds is to start the sprouting process by soaking them.  Watch a video where I explain more about sprouting nuts and seeds here:  Sprouting nuts and seeds video

sunflower sprout

How to get the most nutrients from nuts and seeds:

Soaking them will keep them more nutritious and brings out the natural sweet flavor of the nuts and seeds. They become live foods. Learn how to sprout them: Sprouting Nuts and Seeds

The enzyme inhibitors are washed away when the nuts and seed are soaked; also the digestion of the of the proteins and carbohydrates begins.  Bonus is that the soaking removes 30% of the oil content making nuts and seeds easier on the liver and digestion and of course less calories.

They are not actually sprouted just soaked (3 to 12 hours) which starts the process of sprouting process.

One of my favorite snacks is a piece of fresh fruit with a few soaked nuts and seeds…anytime. They make a great snack because they provide protein, fiber and fat…that combination makes them satisfying as they are filling giving staying power.

My Favorite Nuts are WalnutsAlmonds Hazelnuts, pecans and Brazil nuts.  They are so tasty and nutritious that some of my friends consider them a major food group right after protein and fats.

Read about Almond Milk and how to make it.

Nut Recipes:

Nutritious Nut Loaf – This is baked so the soaking is not so critical.

Pear Hazelnut Crumble

Quinoa Coconut Almond Porridge – Sugarless

Cabbage and Walnut Salad

nuts and seeds combination

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about these foods, subscribe to the newsletter.

You can also learn how to plan and prepare super healthy meals with my
2-5-30 Healthy Diet Online Courses.

By | 2017-10-29T15:42:25+00:00 October 14th, 2009|Health Tips, Nutrition, PowerFoods|10 Comments

About the Author:

I am the Founder and Author at Real Food For Life. Have been teaching cooking classes worldwide since 1982. Create original, healthy recipes and menus, which are gluten free and white sugar free. Also, the author of the GREEN means LEAN and Balance Your Body e-books. I turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar free, gluten free eating and cooking.


  1. Rae October 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I love sprouting seeds. I’d do the same with almonds, but it is so hard to find them raw. Do you have any tips on sources? I would be happy to buy them in bulk, but don’t want to pay crazy prices per lb.

  2. afke October 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    You can purchase raw ( organic) almonds at Rancho Vignola.

    find out where their sale is at; Their products are always this year’s nuts and seeds. Very good quality.

    All imported almonds are treated these days, but not all enzymes have been killed.

  3. Diana October 30, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Thank you Afke, I will check that supplier out.

  4. herbalYODA December 23, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Walnuts are high in vitamin E but are thyroid suppressing, limit to 1/2 cup raw, organic walnuts daily.

  5. Cornelius Berley August 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Post bookmarked and stumbled upon, I’ll post a feedback on my blog as well

  6. Michael Wallace December 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Yo , I am making a new website almost the same as ehow and your articles would really fit in well. Am I allowed to post think article for my readers?

  7. Nancy January 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm


    Trader Joe markets carries 1 lb bags of raw almonds for around $4.

  8. Byron February 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Sprouting and fermentations are great idea! I use a whole super-foods blend that I lmake into smoothies and love along with my homemade granola!

  9. Vernon Decarlo August 23, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Always dispose of saking water for nuts, seeds and grains. Feed it to your plants or garden.
    Roasted nuts, seeds and grains are already ‘dead’ from the heat during roasting, so they won’t sprout. The article is about RAW nuts and seeds.
    Also, best to buy raw nuts and seeds from a store that moves a lot of them, or stores them in a refrigerator, as the oils in them go rancid very easily. Store them in the freezer at home to keep them fresh.

  10. ogeruth May 12, 2014 at 9:11 am

    tankz diana…frm Nigeria;imo state university department of Food science and Technology….i need more of this.

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