All nuts and seeds used in recipes are soaked before use to release enzyme inhibitors, to reduce phytic acid levels and generally make the nuts/seeds more digestible.
One-quarter cup of walnuts provides more than 100 percent of the daily-recommended value of anti-inflammatory plant-based omega-3 fats, along with high amounts of copper, manganese, molybdenum, and biotin.They also contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers multiple vascular benefits to people with heart disease, or those who have increased risk for heart disease due to multiple cardiac risk factors. The outermost layer of a shelled walnut – the whitish, flaky (or sometimes waxy) part – has a bitter flavor, but resist the urge to remove it. It’s thought that up to 90 percent of the antioxidants in walnuts are found in the skin, making it one of the healthiest parts to consume.
Like walnuts, one of the healthiest aspects of almonds appears to be their skins, as they are rich in antioxidants including phenols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids, which are typically associated with vegetables and fruits.They’re also notably beneficial for your heart health. A study in the journalCirculation found people with abnormally high level of lipids, such as cholesterol, in their blood were able to significantly reduce their risk factors for coronary heart disease by snacking on whole almonds (those who snacked on whole-wheat muffins received no such benefit).
Macadamia nuts have the highest fat and lowest protein and carb content of any nut. Raw macadamia nuts also contain high amounts of vitamin B1, magnesium, and manganese.Just one serving of macadamia nuts net 58 percent of what you need in manganese, and 23 percent of the recommended daily value of thiamin. Moreover, about 60 percent of the fatty acid in macadamia is the monounsaturated fat oleic acid. This is about the level found in olives, which are well known for their health benefits.
Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals, and research has shown they may help lower LDL cholesterol and promote healthy arteries.Pecans are a close second to macadamia nuts on the fat and protein scale, and they also contain anti-inflammatory magnesium, heart healthy oleic acid, phenolic antioxidants, and immune-boosting manganese.
Brazil nuts offer many of the same benefits of other nuts – healthy fats,antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, they’re most notable for being an excellent source of organic selenium, a powerful antioxidant-boosting mineral that may be beneficial for the prevention of cancer. They also have a beneficial high fat and low protein content, behind only macadamias and pecans.
Pistachios are high in lutein, beta-carotene, and gamma-tocopherol (vitamin E) compared to other nuts. Eating one or two servings of pistachios a day has been shown, in fact, to increase blood levels of antioxidants and, in turn, lower oxidized LDL cholesterol in people with elevated levels.They’re also useful for maintaining a healthy weight (as are most nuts). Further, they’re an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which tend to “preferentially target belly fat,” according to the study’s lead researcher.
With a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein, and zinc, pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses wrapped up in a very small package.They also contain plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants, which can give your health an added boost.
Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as an important natural food for men’s health. This is in part because of their high zinc content, which is important for prostate health (where it is found in the highest concentrations in the body).
Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E, copper, B vitamins, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Sunflower seeds also contain one of the highest levels of phytosterols of commonly consumed nuts and seeds. Phytosterols are beneficial for your heart health and immune system, and may help lower cancer risk as well.
Most nuts should be eaten in moderation, but not because they’re high in fat or calories. It’s the high protein content that you need to watch out for, especially in nuts like almonds and pistachios.
A peace of raw vegan cake covers the half of the recomended daily amount of nuts and seeds.