For The Greater Goods (sm)

Raw Nuts: 10 Amazing Health Benefits & 7 Delicious Ways to Eat Them

My favorite snack for myself and my family are raw nuts. Just a small amount (handful) packs a huge nutritional punch and they are the perfect grab and go snack which makes a busy mom’s life just that much easier. They areraw-nuts-mixed great for packing in school lunches, before or after sports activities, long car rides and just great for anyone who’s in a hurry and needs a little snack on the run.

Not only are raw nuts a perfect snack but raw nuts also contain several really awesome health benefits!  And I don’t know about you, but given the choice, I’d much rather eat cashews and other types of raw nuts than take any sort of medication.

And so, here are 10 amazing health benefits of consuming raw nuts:

  1. Walnuts have high levels of vitamin E and are a great source for plant-based omega-3 fatty acids they are full of natural antioxidants and phytosterols which help to break down those nasty free radicals and protect our heart.
  2. Walnuts may also reduce the risk of prostate cancer, breast cancer and help guard against arthritis.
  3. Almonds, the skins are rich in antioxidants including phenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are typically associated with vegetables and fruits.
  4. Almonds are also rich in calcium and help stabilize blood sugar too.
  5. Brazil Nuts contain a powerful antioxidant -boosting trace mineral called selenium which may help prevent many types of cancers and cardiovascular disease.
  6. Cashews just a handful or two of raw cashews a day is equivalent to 1 dose of Prozac for mild depression
  7. Cashews have tryptophan with is the essential amino acid L-tryptophan is broken down into anxiety-reducing, snooze-inducing niacin. Even more important, tryptophan is also made into serotonin, one of your body’s most important neurotransmitters. Serotonin gives you that, good mood feeling.
  8. Cashews are also high in magnesium which is great for heart health and building strong bones. They are also usually more affordable than the other nuts listed.
  9. Pecans are high in vitamin E and 18 other vitamin and minerals, research has shown that a regular consumption of these may help lower LDL cholesterol and promote healthy arteries.
  10. Macadamias: are high in fat, most of it being monounsaturated. They are a good source of thiamine and contain small amounts of Potassium, phosphorus, calcium and selenium.

7 Delicious Ways to Eat Raw Nuts:

1. Make homemade “Larabars” This is my kids favorite, perfect for school, after school snacks, and to take on hikes or family activities.  I’ve adapted many of my own recipes from this site.

2. Throw a handful in your smoothies

3. Make nut butters (using a food processor or a Vitamix/Blendtec a Ninja might even do it too)

4. Sprinkled on top of a salad

5. Trail mix:  Throw in your favorite dried berries or fruit with a few pieces of dark chocolate.

6. Soaked: Another way to enjoy raw nuts is to soak or sprout them first. Soak them for at least 8-12 hours or overnight in purified water with a pinch of sea salt. This makes them easier to digest, and removes an outer coating that contains a digestive enzyme inhibitor.

7. Milk:  We love to make nut milk in our house. If you have a super blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec you can easily make Almond or Cashew milk.

In a nutshell:

Raw nuts are a powerhouse for nutrition and however you choose to enjoy them, your body is going to reap the rewards.  Just remember like with all things in life, moderation is key, so stick to a handful or two a day!

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