Advertisement
Advertisement

What are the benefits of eating nuts and seeds?

Many people perceive raw nuts as high-fat, high-calorie foods that should be avoided or consumed in only token amounts. The important role of raw nuts and seeds in the American diet has been almost completely ignored by nutritional advisers, and their absence is a huge flaw in American cuisine. The results of recent research have changed this perception completely. Fats from raw nuts, and seeds are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that not only offer unique health benefits, but also maintain the freshness of the food, preventing rancidity of the fat within.

Recent evidence shows that the frequent consumption of nuts is strongly protective against heart disease. An analysis of several large dietary studies found that those with the highest intake of nuts (about five times per week) had a 39% lower risk of coronary heart disease. In addition, several clinical studies have observed beneficial effects of diets high in nuts on lowering cholesterol levels. The beneficial effects of nut consumption observed in clinical and epidemiologic studies underscore the importance of distinguishing different types of fats. One study estimated that every exchange of one ounce of saturated fat for one ounce of fat from whole nuts was associated with a 45% reduction in heart disease risk.

Study after study shows that raw nuts and seeds not only lower cholesterol, but also extend life span and protect against common diseases of aging. They also provide a good source of protein, which makes up about 15% to 25% of their calories. Nuts' hard shells also keep them well protected from pesticides and environmental pollution. Raw nuts and seeds, not the salted or roasted variety, provide the most health benefits.

A tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hempseeds, chia seeds, or other seeds can supply those hard-to-find omega-3 fats that protect against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Seeds are also rich in lignans, a type of fiber associated with a reduced risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer. In addition, seeds are a good source of iron, zinc, calcium, protein, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, and folate. The plant goes to great effort in producing and protecting its seed, filling each genetic package with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils, and enzymes.
Eat for Health: Lose Weight, Keep It Off, Look Younger, Live Longer (2 Volume Set)

More About this Book

Eat for Health: Lose Weight, Keep It Off, Look Younger, Live Longer (2 Volume Set)

Dr. Fuhrman's scientifically proven system, Eat For Health, enables you to finally conquer your cravings and food addictions, while steering your taste buds toward healthier food choices. Medical...
Bryce B. Wylde
Allergy
Nuts and seeds have recently gained in popularity because of their omega-3 fatty acid content, which studies have demonstrated are great for your heart and brain function.

But nuts and seeds have great antioxidant power as well. Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and almonds top the nut list for their nutritional benefits and antioxidant power. Where seeds are concerned, I like the many benefits that sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds have to offer, including their high calcium and zinc content.

I recommend no more but no less than the equivalent of one handful of fresh (nonrancid) unsalted, un-roasted nuts and seeds, five times a week.
The Antioxidant Prescription: How to Use the Power of Antioxidants to Prevent Disease and Stay Healthy for Life

More About this Book

The Antioxidant Prescription: How to Use the Power of Antioxidants to Prevent Disease and Stay Healthy for Life

Dr. Bryce Wylde, one of Canada's most popular and respected health care practitioners, gives us individualized step-by-step treatment plans to fight disease and stay healthy.In The Antioxidant...

Continue Learning about Health Value Of Foods

Health Value Of Foods

Health Value Of Foods

A healthy diet is rich in foods with high nutritional value, providing your body with the vitamins, minerals and other food nutrients it needs to protect against disease and maintain a healthy weight. To identify healthy foods, it...

's important to read nutrition labels and know the source of your food. Products advertised as whole-grain, organic or fortified may not necessarily be healthy for you. Find out how to get the most health value from various fruits, nuts, spices, oils and vegetables -- and learn which types of red meat and processed foods to avoid -- with expert advice from Sharecare.
More

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.