Amazing Nuts and Seeds!

by Steven Carney on June 21, 2014

This is post #107 on the site (the amazing nutritional and health benefits of nuts and seeds). The site is a collection of breakthrough articles and resources at your fingertips! Feel free to browse the information here.

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I’m sure you’re had nuts and seeds before. Do you realize how amazing and healthy they are? For years we were told to be careful of eating nuts (and seeds) because they have too many calories and fat! As we now know, this is a myth. It was part of the fat-phobic message we were given for decades. And those fears were unfounded!

Nuts and seeds are whole, healthy foods, especially if they aren’t heavily processed with added veggie oils, salt and fake flavors (like smoke). So raw is best but you can lightly toast in your own oven to add some crunch.

Nuts and seeds in their raw form are satisfying and nutritious foods. They digest slowly (avoiding blood sugar spikes and typical weight gain) because they contain a broad range of nutrients, including protein, healthy fats (often monounsaturated), vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

The idea that they have “too many calories” is a falsehood. They always were a healthy food/snack because they are more filling and provide more sustained energy and stable weight. In fact, as whole foods, a handful of nuts or seeds will actually help you lose weight, compared to other refined carb or sugary snacks.

If you’re often on the go, try a handful of nuts and seeds for a quick energy boost (you can create your own favorite mix). You’ll find they are more satisfying and more filling than crackers, chips, a granola bar or candy. And nuts don’t require refrigeration, so you can take them to work or play! Just bag ‘em and you have a portable snack that won’t go bad unless they sit in the sun for hours.

Nuts and seeds offer broad health benefits, including metabolism, blood sugar, digestion, heart health, blood pressure, inflammation, combating free radicals, and supporting good health for many systems in your body (please see links below for nutritional charts and full nutrition and health details)!

My favorites nuts (with their main nutritional content) are:

Almonds

Almonds are native to the Middle east and Mediterranean region and are in the same tree family as the peach tree. We call them a “nut” but they are actually a drupe with a large seed inside. Almonds have been used as food since about 4,000 BC! They are a good source of protein, with a range of vitamins B and E, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc (great for immune health).

Walnuts

Walnuts are originally from India and Persia. Like many nuts, walnuts have been eaten and used for thousands of years. Like almonds, walnuts are actually a seed. They are a great source of protein and healthy fats (ALAs), which can become omega-3 fats. They have a unique form of vitamin E, B vitamins, the highest nut for polyphenols/antioxidants (especially the skins), and a good source of potassium, manganese, zinc and copper.

Cashews

Cashews are native to Brazil in South America, it spread into areas like India and Asia through trade in the 16 century. It’s relatively new in common use, going back several hundred years. Like other nuts, cashews are a good source of protein, healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and several forms of vitamins B and E. Although they are considered to be high in fats, they are lower in fat than walnuts. Besides, these are healthy fats your body can use! They also have minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and selenium.

Pistachios

Pistachios are in the same family as cashews, and are native to Asia and the Middle East. Their earliest use is from about 6,000-7,000 years ago! Pistachios are a unique nut because of their anti-oxidant content, although they share many nutritional benefits with other nuts. They are a good source of monounsaturated fats, proteins, minerals (calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc) and fiber. They are also a great source of anti-oxidants (they are especially high in carotenes, which other nuts often lack. They also have good quantities of vitamins A, B and E, and are often used in Mediterranean cooking as well as places like India and Asia.

Hazelnuts

These nuts are also called filberts (and cobnuts in Britain) and are native to southern Europe and Turkey. Like other nuts, they have a broad range of nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin E, protein, fiber, monounsurated fats and important minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphoreus, potassium and zinc. They also have some important antioxidants.

Seeds (think of seeds as baby nuts):

Now that we’ve covered some common types of nuts, here are some overviews for seeds. Most seeds are nutritionally similar to nuts and are just a smaller size. As you will see, seeds share many of the same amazing health benefits of nuts too. In spite of their smaller size, seeds are densely packed with nutrition! Some seeds are also high in lignans (flax and sesame for example), and lignans can actually help balance to hormones, especially female hormones (see flax link below for a complete explanation).

Sunflower

Sunflower seeds (from those giant sunflowers you’ve probably seen) have been used as food for thousands of years. Sunflowers are native to Mexico and Peru. Like nuts, they have healthy amounts of vitamins B and E (one of the highest), plus protein and healthy fats. They have antioxidants and minerals like calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and selenium. They also have phytosterols, which are abundant in pistachios too!

Pumpkin

Pumpkin seeds come from pumpkins, the festive orange-colored gourd people carve faces into for Halloween! Pumpkin seeds are also called pepitas. They are a great source of protein and amino acids that help your mood! Like other nuts and seeds, they have healthy fats, fiber and a good range of vitamin B and balanced mix of vitamin E (in 5 forms). They also contain a broad range of minerals, such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. They also have a wide range of healthy phenolic anti-oxidants.

Flax

Flax seeds have a long history of human use, going back about 10,000 years, to a wild ancestor of modern flax. Flax is from the Mediterranean region (southern Europe and northern Africa). The Greeks and Romans valued its nutritional benefits. Flax in seed form has many nutritional and health benefits but they should be ground or chewed heavily before eating. That will release their nutritional benefits and nutty flavor (otherwise, the whole seeds can pass right through your system). Like other nuts and seeds, flax has health fats in the form of ALA that convert to healthy omega-3 fats. Flax also has B vitamins and vitamin c and E, along with minerals like magnesium, potassium and zinc. Flax also has phytochemicals and antioxidants, and is a great source of fiber.

Chia

Chia is an up-and-coming seed that has received lots of good press lately. It’s quite healthy like other nuts and seeds, with protein, healthy fats, vitamins B and E, fiber (a tablespoon has about the same fiber as oatmeal), and minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. They also have antioxidants! There was a study on chia seeds. People given 25 mg/day for a week had a 30% increase in their omega-3 fat levels. Chia may also help with mood problems and glucose levels.

If you would like to have some custom coaching/consulting for your own unique nutrition, health and anti-aging needs, feel free to drop me a line at: steve@endsicknessnow.com and I can suggest some ideas.

Helpful links:

Nut links:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/441215-top-ten-nuts-to-eat/

http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/health-nuts-seeds/

http://www.healthy-eating-support.org/Nuts-and-Seeds.html

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/healthy-nuts/

http://www.dietriffic.com/2009/07/24/nuts-and-seeds/%20

http://preventdisease.com/news/13/021913_The-Top-10-Healthiest-Seeds-on-Earth.shtml

http://www.livestrong.com/article/299318-raw-almonds-health-benefits/

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/almonds.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=20

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/almonds.html

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/walnuts.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=99

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/aug2011_Walnuts-A-Wealth-of-Health-Found-in-Walnuts_01.htm

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cashew_nut.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=98

http://www.livestrong.com/article/445717-how-are-cashews-good-for-you/

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pistachio.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/5808-pistachioss-health-benefits/

http://americanpistachios.org/about-apg/news/more-scientific-data-point-health-benefits-eating-pistachios

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/hazelnuts.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/287534-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-hazelnuts/

http://www.oregonhazelnuts.org/health-benefits/

Seed links:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=57

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sunflower-seeds.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/480396-what-are-the-benefits-of-sunflower-seeds-for-men/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=82

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pumpkin-seeds.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/19382-pumpkin-seed-benefits/

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/flax-seed-myths-and-misinformation

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/chia-seeds.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/444471-top-ten-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7928/the-amazing-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds.html

A good overview of healthy nuts and seeds:

http://www.realnatural.org/med-diet-and-more-nuts-reduce-cognitive-decline/

http://www.trueactivist.com/the-top-10-healthiest-seeds-on-earth/

Additional uses for nuts and seeds:

http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2013/04/11/10-everyday-uses-for-nuts-and-seeds/

© 2014 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now

 

{ 1 comment }

Anonymous June 28, 2014 at 6:55 PM

How long have you ever been blogging for? The full glance of your website is excellent, as well as the content!

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