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Choose the healthiest nuts!
Nuts are an important part of a healthy diet and should be eaten daily. You will find a wide range of nuts that you can mix and vary, see the list below with 8 of the healthiest nuts. Nuts are filled with vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, healthy fats and carbohydrates (starches). Eat around 40 to 60 grams of nuts daily to gain the maximum health benefits.
The healthiest nuts should be RAW!
You should eat your nut raw. Raw nuts are alive! Unfortunately most all of the nuts that are sold in stores have been roasted, toasted or pasteurized and these processes kill the nuts and rip them from some of their nutritional value. To make it even worse most of them are added preservatives, salt and some even sugar.
The healthiest nuts should be SOAKED!
We can make some of the nuts healthier by soaking them. Many nutritionists and experts on living foods have stressed that it is very important to soak (germinate) nuts (not all- see below) before consuming (4-12 hours). Germination is a process where all the minerals, vitamins, proteins and essential fatty acids that are "sleeping" in nuts and seeds begin to activate and multiply. Germination also takes away certain toxins and acids within the "sleeping" nuts that would cause digestion problems.
Rinse your raw organic nuts in water, place them in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Cover with water. Soaking times - I have not been able to find exact soaking times for the different nuts as the information is conflicting but I don't think an hour or two make that big difference - 4-8 hours is the average, almonds 8-12. I usually soak nuts over the night.
Here are some "around" times:
Walnuts 4 hours
Almonds 8-12 hours
Pecans 4-6 hours
Macadamia - Do not soak
Pistachio - Do not soak
Brazil nuts - Do not soak
All other nuts 6 hours
8 of the healthiest nuts
- Walnuts - I put Walnuts on the top of the list, they are one of the healthiest nuts on the Earth. Walnuts may actually increase our brain function. Walnuts are filled with antioxidants and are a great source of vitamin E. Walnuts are also rich in minerals like manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Other studies show that consumption of walnuts is related to heart-health, better cognitive function, as well as the reduction of skin and bone conditions.
- Almonds - A handful of almonds a day give you nearly 25% of your daily needs for magnesium. Almonds also contain a good amount of calcium. One of the reasons that almonds are one of the healthiest nuts is the high amount of many antioxidants, such as vitamin E and selenium. Studies show that almonds can play an important part in preventing colon cancer because the high content of fiber. Almonds also reduce negative forms of cholesterol in the blood stream.
- Peanuts - Peanuts contain beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, fats that have been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels. A handful of peanuts contain 2 grams of fiber. This is almost 10% of the fiber you need each day! One ounce of peanuts provide nearly 1/5 of your daily need of vitamin E. Peanuts are an valuable source of essential minerals such as zinc, potassium, magnesium, copper,phosphorus and a good source of vitamin B9 (folate). Peanuts also contain high quality plant protein. Warning! Peanuts may contain Aflatoxin that is a potent human carcinogen. It is a naturally occurring toxic produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavis. Some people are also allergic to peanuts – See link under "Nut allergies".
- Pecans - Studies show that this nut lowers cholesterol significantly. Pecans are also a good source of 20 essential minerals and vitamins.
- Hazelnuts - Hazelnut oil is the best known source for Vitamin E which is essential for the heart muscles and other muscles of the body as well. Another important acid in hazelnut is Linoleic Acid, which is very important for the growth and healthy development of organisms. Hazelnuts are a good source for B1, B2 and B6 vitamins. These vitamins are essential in blood formation and mental health.
- Macadamia Nuts - Macadamia nuts are high in potassium, magnesium, protein, fiber and healthy monounsaturated fats
- Brazil Nuts are high in heart-healthy nutrients and minerals like vitamin E, copper, niacin, magnesium, selenium and fiber. They are also high in protein and studies show that they may prevent breast cancer.
- Pistachio - are a great source of vitamin B6, copper, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. The nuts contain 30 minerals, phytonutrients and vitamins.
Warning! If you've been diagnosed with a peanut allergy you also should be careful with tree nuts and vice versa. Talk this over with your doctor or a nutritionist. Read more about peanut/tree nut allergy here: http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/nut_allergy.html
I suggest that you GO NUTS as long as you don't suffer from nuts allergy. Choose organic nuts if possible! Why organic? They are grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizer. Better for your health and for Mother Earth! Nuts are super healthy great snacks! I love nuts and my favorite is almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts in a mix with raisins.
Mix seeds and nuts and add them to your fruit or vegetable salad. The healthiest nuts are not only good for your health they also taste great.
"Be yourself and be happy, never stop dreaming!"
Happy Natural Life!
Mona Kristin Jensen is the owner of Happy Natural Life. She wants her Web page to be a place where you can find inspiration and information to live a happier and healthier lifestyle, more in harmony with yourself and Mother Nature. Her motto is "Be Yourself and Be Happy - Never Stop Dreaming!" "Be Yourself and Be Happy"
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Article Posted: July 11, 2012