7 Healthy Benefits of Eating Raw Nuts

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Nuts are an underrated and generally misunderstood food.

Many people avoid nuts, believing that they're too fattening or too high in calories.

But the truth is, there are many health benefits of eating nuts (especially raw nuts) and the ‘good’ fats play a vital role in supporting healthy nerve function, balancing blood sugar, supplying protein to your muscles and delivering cognitive nutrients to your brain.

Raw nuts really are the ultimate, healthy snack food.

They’re also a wonderful ingredient to include in raw desserts, to turn into 'nut milks' as a substitute for dairy for your muesli or smoothies, or for you to lightly toast and add delicious extra crunch to your salads or morning porridge!

The best news of all is raw nuts are readily available year-round.

And since they’re incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet, unless you have an allergic predisposition to eating nuts, there’s no excuse not to go a little nuts!

A Brief History

In ancient times when anyone had a cognitive problem, such as a memory problem, the elders would say "it's time to go nuts" and this is where that phrase actually comes from. 

What is meant was: you need to start eating nuts!

Consider the walnut - it is shaped like the cerebral cortex and now from modern medicine, we know that walnuts have the highest concentration of Omega 3, 6 and 9. These all target the function of the brain. 

There's also a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is part of the emotional centre. Amygdala in Latin means "almond."

And it's not just walnuts and almonds, all nuts target different functions of the brain. 

Looking at the word 'nut'

Nut means light in Latin. Consider the word 'nutrition'.. it has the word nut at the front with 'nutrition' meaning 'process of light'. 

Nuts have some of the highest concentrations of photolytic or plant biophotons that target the brain and the emotional centres of the brain.  

Honestly, if folks would get on board and go nuts with walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts and pecans, they could see for themselves how nuts balance the cognitive process and the neurochemistry of the emotions.

If you want to balance your emotions, as well as improve your cognitive function, then go NUTS! 

Health Benefits of Raw Nuts

Whether you’re in good or bad health, fit or overweight, young or old, raw nuts are a vital food of the plant kingdom that should not be ignored. Some of the most popular are readily available nuts include:

  • Brazil Nuts
  • Macadamias
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanuts

Each have their own unique set of nutritional components, but all are nutrient-dense, loaded with healthy fats, protein and support your overall body and brain health.

Keep reading to find out all the health benefits of raw nuts and start eating and feeling your best.

1. Packed with Vital Nutrients

Nuts are such a great food to incorporate into your diet because they’re chock full of a wide variety of nutrients. In fact, their nutrient density is arguably the most ecumenically praised health benefits of nuts among health care professionals.

While they are high in calories, just a handful of nuts can provide you with a great mixture of healthy fats, carbs, protein, vitamins and minerals like vitamin E and magnesium. They’re also loaded with antioxidants, which are necessary to help your body fight oxidative stress by fighting free radicals.

Free radicals can cause diseases, so getting enough antioxidants in your diet is incredibly important. Nuts can help you with that; in fact, walnuts may be even better than fish at fighting free radicals.

Learn more in 10 Self Care Superfoods For Health & Healing

2. Support Weight Loss

When eaten in moderation, nuts can actually help you lose weight. This is due to a combination of factors: your body doesn’t actually absorb all of the calories from the nuts, and they’re very filling and satisfying so that you’re less likely to crave junk food.

Nuts also stimulate your body to burn fat and may even help you burn more calories after a meal than if you don’t eat nuts. If you’re looking to shed pounds and maintain a healthier lifestyle, a few nuts can help you achieve that.

Learn more in 7 Ways to Knock Out Refined Carb Cravings

3. Maintain Heart Health

Promoting heart health is one of the biggest health benefits of nuts. Cholesterol levels and heart disease have been on the rise in recent years, and it’s important to do everything you can to lower your levels of bad cholesterol, maintain a healthy weight, and reduce your risk of disease.

Nuts are your ally in this, since their high content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can actually lower cholesterol. Almonds and hazelnuts are particularly good at both raising levels of good cholesterol and lowering levels of bad cholesterol and adding nuts into your diet could be as beneficial for your health as following a low-fat diet. They’re also low in carbs so they don’t raise your blood sugar, and they can improve your artery function for better heart health.

4. Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is a pesky symptom that can cause discomfort, pain and irritability in the short-term, but long-term can actually lead to disease and can cause damage to your organs.

Eating nuts can reduce inflammation and help you stay healthy as you age. If you have a serious health condition like diabetes or kidney disease, the anti-inflammatory power of nuts can be particularly beneficial to you, and pistachios, Brazil nuts, walnuts and almonds are especially good at lowering inflammation.

Learn more in 5 Dietary Tips to Fight Inflammation in the Body.

5. Source of Fibre

Nuts are full of beneficial fiber, which is essential for helping you feel full (and fight food cravings), digesting food, and improving gut health. While your body won’t fully digest nuts (some of the fat passes through without being absorbed), it helps you eat less while also pushing food through the digestive tract so that toxins aren’t sitting and building up on your digestive walls. Fiber also contains prebiotics, which your body needs to feed the good bacteria that cultivates a healthy, functioning gut.

Learn more in Essential Plant-Based Foods For Balanced Nutrition.

6. Improve Cognitive Function

Nuts aren’t just good for your physical health—the health benefits of nuts extend to your cognitive function. They’re linked to increased longevity and can help improve memory and brain health as you get older.

The high vitamin E content of nuts can also protect the brain from oxidative stress and free radicals as you age, helping you stay sharp and alert simply by consuming more nuts like almonds and hazelnuts.

7. Versatile Food Source

One of the best things about eating nuts is how incredibly versatile they are. You can incorporate them into any meal of the day or as an on-the-go healthy snack, and they require very little preparation. 

Plus, if you’re following a plant-based diet, nuts are an important source of protein and nutrients, so you should be eating them every day.

Nuts are a great topping, they’re delicious whole and on their own, they make great nut butters. You’ll never get bored.

Ways to incorporate more nuts into your diet:

  • Sprinkle them over your oatmeal
  • Add them to your stir-fry<
  • Top your salads with them for added crunch
  • Pack them in baggies for quick, easy snacks at work or while travelling
  • Add them to smoothies
  • Add them to side dishes like beans, rice, and carrots
  • Chop them and add them to wraps and sandwiches for texture
  • Blend them with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and seasonings for a healthy spread on crackers and bread
  • Make your own homemade nut milk

Learn more in 5 Amazing Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives.

For an easy way to add more nuts to your diet and enjoy more of the health benefits of nuts, try the Pulse Sacred Meal.

It’s a wholefood meal made of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and grains to give you all of the nutrients you need in a healthy, delicious meal that can even be eaten on the go. This body and brain food is full of nuts, helping you improve your physical and cognitive health, while also satisfying your hunger.

You can improve almost every aspect of your health by incorporating nuts into your diet, from maintaining a healthy weight to reducing inflammation and pain, preventing disease and keeping your mind sharp as you get older.

And don’t forget nuts are accessible, making it easy to include them in your diet, and there are many different types so there is bound to be one that suits your tastes.

How nuts is TOO nuts? 

You should aim to eat at least a handful a day to maintain good nutrition—especially if you’re following a plant-based diet. You're now armed with the undeniable reasons why nuts are a versatile, powerhouse food that should be included as a staple of your healthy diet regularly.

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