The Amazing Health Benefits of Nuts and Seeds (Including Delicious Recipes)

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The Amazing Health Benefits of Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are one of my favorite foods. Although they are high in fat, that is not necessarily bad, as long as you eat them in moderation. When you eat portion-controlled amounts of the healthy fat found in nuts and seeds, it can help you control your cravings and appetite and help you avoid over-eating other foods that are far more unhealthy for you.


This article will overview the health benefits of nuts, almonds and seeds (flaxseed, chia and sesame), including various recipes using these ingredients:

Nuts

Nut is a fruit with usually a single seed with a hard outer shell at maturity. Nut contains, among others, fats, proteins and carbohydrates. There are several types of nuts and most of them grow on trees, for example, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia, nutmeg, cashew nuts, pine nuts, pistachios and more.

Health benefits of nuts:

Nuts are low in saturated fat and high in mono-unsaturated fat that helps reduce bad cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of blood clots and heart disorders.

Nuts are rich in protein: 12-20% of protein (this is not a complete protein and should be combined with beans/grains).

Nuts contain fiber to help balance blood sugar and reduce cholesterol.

Nuts are rich in minerals (zinc, copper, magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium), vitamins (B group, vitamin E and folate) and antioxidants.

Nuts are rich in omega-3.

Nuts have a restorative effect on our body:

Walnuts: Help prevent heart disease, lowering LDL and are rich in antioxidants. Read more about them in my article “Here’s What 7 Walnuts a Day Can Do For Your Health“.

Brazil nuts: Contain high amount of selenium which may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. These nust also have strong antioxidant properties, reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Read more about them in my article “Brazil Nuts: Proven Benefits, How Many to Eat Per Day, Nutrition, Calories“.

Cashew nuts: Contain bacteria-fighting components that destroy tooth decay and other infections. Find more information in my article “How Cashew Nut Can Eliminate Tooth Decay, Acne, Tuberculosis and Pneumonia“.

Nuts: risks and precautions

  • They have a tendency to develop mold, especially peanuts – mold is considered to cause cancer.
  • Some of nuts have been fried or roasted and contain preservatives.
  • Nut allergies can cause a various reactions including severe reaction called anaphylaxis which can be life threatening.

Adding nuts to your daily nutrition is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

Almonds

Almonds are rich in minerals (zinc, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium), vitamins (E, folic acid, B1, B2, B3), polyunsaturated fatty acids, protein and fiber. Almonds grow about six months after the flowering of the tree.

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Health benefits of almonds:

  • Almonds help lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy heart and blood vessels, help lower blood pressure and strengthen bones because they are rich in calcium.
  • Almonds balance sugar levels.
  • Almonds (almond oil) help to soften this skin, and improve the function of the nervous system.

Almonds: risks and precautions

  • Hard to digest for some of the population and therefore it is recommended to soak them in water.
  • Their skin contains cyanide and it is therefore not recommended to consume a large amount of almonds with their skin

Flaxseed

These seeds are rich in dietary fiber which help reduce cholesterol, relieve constipation and maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Flaxseed and flax oil contain high levels of omega 3 that helps reduce the risk of heart disease, helps fight infections and helps prevent hot flashes in menopausal women. They also help reduce inflammation and have antioxidant properties. Read more about them in my article “7 Healthy Reasons to Eat Flaxseeds Every Day (Research Based)”.

Flaxseeds come in two varieties, golden or brown. Both types offer similar health benefits, but it is important to realize that flaxseeds need to be ground in order to take full advantage of all they have to offer, as when eaten whole they are more likely to pass through the intestinal tract undigested. The recommended daily intake is 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed.

Flaxseed is a true superfood that is also featured in my e-book about superfoods which is part of the Natural Health Revolution Program. This program will help you to achieve your health, nutrition or weight loss goals.

How to integrate flaxseed in the daily menu?

To take advantage of the benefits of ground flaxseeds, add them to yogurt, smoothie, salad, sandwich and baked goods to increase your daily intake of these healthy seeds. Baking flaxseeds in your bread or muffin does not change the health benefits offered by these tiny seeds.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds come to us from a certain species of sage found in South America.

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Chia seeds contain a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids including Omega 3. They contain protein, fiber, antioxidants, minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

Chia seeds contain no gluten and therefore are suitable for celiac patients, Crohn’s patients and for situations of imbalance in blood sugar levels. They help in improving the nervous system, help in reducing depression and improve mood. They help balance blood sugar levels and maintaining healthy blood vessels and heart.

Chia seeds can be added as they are to salads, dishes and pastries. You can grind them and add them to natural fruit and vegetable juices. It is recommended to consume 2 tablespoons of chia seeds a day.

Tip: chia seeds can be a substitute for an egg: Mix tablespoon ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of warm water and add to pastries instead of an egg. Chia seeds has a neutral taste and smell and therefore are suitable as an egg substitute.

Further reading: you can also read my previous article about 10 amazing reasons you should eat chia seeds.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are one of the most nutritious foods that you can eat. They are a good source of vitamin E, B complex vitamins, as well as source of elements such as copper, manganese, magnesium, selenium and phosphorus. Sunflower seeds are also high in protein and therefore an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans.

Sunflower seeds reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, reduce cholesterol and have anti cancer properties. Sunflower seeds are incredibly versatile. They are extremely tasty so you can snack on them just as they are with no further modification.

Read more about these seeds in my article “The Amazing Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds“.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds (sometimes called pepitas) can be a great source of vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They contain calcium, iron, magnesium, and a host of other beneficial nutrients that can support and promote optimal health and well-being.

Pumpkin seeds help boost the immune system, fight inflammation, have anti diabetic properties, support healthy cholesterol and cardiovascular help, as well as many other health benefits as mentioned in my article “8 Healthy Reasons to Eat Pumpkin Seeds“.

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You should eat raw pumpkin seeds as this is the best way to preserve their healthy fats.

Soaking Nuts and Seeds

Most nuts and seeds have anti-nutrients like phytic acid that can make all the previously discussed important nutrients less bioavailable when you consume them. These nutritional inhibitors can be minimized or eliminated by soaking.

If you plan on consuming seeds or nuts on a regular basis, it would be wise to soak them in water for 7-24 hours to remove the phytic acid.

You can find detailed information about foods are high in phytic acid and how to soak your nuts and seeds in my article “Why You Need to Soak Nuts and Seeds“.

Recipes of spreads, salads and more:

Pesto

Ingredients:

1 cup basil leaves
Handful of walnuts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cloves of garlic
Salt, pepper

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until paste is creamy.

Nuts, dried fruits and dates spread

Ingredients:

Handful of walnuts
Handful of pecans
Handful of almonds
2 dried figs
2 dried dates, pitted
4 tablespoons date paste

put all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until you get a pasty texture.

Parsley salad

Ingredients:

Bunch of parsley without stems
Handful of walnuts
Handful of almonds
Handful of sunflower seeds – not roasted
Extra virgin olive oil
Sumac, lemon, salt, pepper

Preparation:
Chop the parsley and transfer to a bowl. Chop the nuts and add to the parsley. Season with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and sumac, mix and serve. Sumac is sour and slightly salty spice so don’t put too much lemon and salt – it is recommended to put the sumac before putting the salt and lemon and then add accordingly.

Bulgur salad

Ingredients:

Cup bulgur
Handful of cranberries without sugar
Handful of nuts and almonds
Parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon
Salt and pepper

Preparation:
Put bulgar in a bowl and pour over a cup and a half of warm water and set aside. Chop the nuts and parsley and place in a bowl and add the cranberries. Add the bulgur after it absorbed all the water. Season, mix and serve – just as easy and delicious.

Homemade almond milk

Ingredients:

1/2 cup natural almonds without the skin (you can buy them with the skin and soak in water for five hours and then peel).
2 cups warm water
A teaspoon of maple syrup or other natural sweetener.

Preparation:
Grind the almonds into a powder and put in a bowl, add the water, stirring constantly. Pass to a cup through a gauze, add a teaspoon of natural sweetener and drink. You can also use almond milk for baking.

Healthy pancakes

Ingredients:

Cup whole wheat flour or spelt flour
Cup almond milk or rice milk
Tablespoon of ground flaxseed
Tablespoon chia seeds
Natural maple

Preparation:
Mix the flour with the milk until texture is runny but not too liquid. Add the ground flaxseed and chia and stir. Heat a pan and brush it with olive oil. Using a ladle pour the mixture into the pan. Once bubbles appear at the top, turn the pancake (something like 2-3 minutes on each side). Transfer to a plate and put over a tablespoon of natural maple while the pancake is still warm.

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3 Responses to The Amazing Health Benefits of Nuts and Seeds (Including Delicious Recipes)

  1. Clara says:

    Seeds and nuts are amazing for their nutritional content and there’s little to no calories. They’re really superfoods.

  2. ibis says:

    This is a great page it gives a lot of information

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