Are you looking for some delicious, alternative dietary choices to replace those highly processed sugar, and hydrogenated fat food snacks? If so, look no further than to nuts or seeds. Most people do not even consider them, avoiding nuts or seeds, altogether, because of their high fat and calorie content. While it is true that they are high in both, shunning them from your diet for these reasons, alone, will have you missing out on a wide array of other important nutrients.
Nuts and seeds, depending on the variety, are quite a nutrient dense food. Nutritional research science studies are finding out, that people who eat 1 to 3 ounces of nuts regularly have fewer risks of developing heart disease, cancer, and lessens the severity of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
These foods are healthy food snack choices, and although they are nutritious, some people may have a hard time not over indulging on them. As with any other diet choice, healthy or unhealthy, moderation is the key.
There is a way, though, that you can improve upon the nutritional aspect to eating them even further. Try eating them dry roasted. Avoid most commercially processed brands, which are slathered in several unhealthy varieties of processed polyunsaturated fats like cottonseed, rapeseed, and soybean oils, and coated in nutrient deficient processed salt.
While everyone may not have this convenience in their own backyard, Amish community bulk food stores are a wonderful resource for finding many different kinds of fresh, raw nuts and seeds. Roasting them does lessen the nutritional value slightly, but you can do this at home rather easily, and you will have a much healthier snack product afterwards. Coat the nuts or seeds with a little coconut oil, sprinkle with sea salt, bake in the oven, and store in an air-tight container.
Nuts and seeds are high in mostly monounsaturated fat and, to a lesser degree, polyunsaturated fat. They are also good sources of antioxidant vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fiber, and cholesterol lowering phytosterols.
When choosing to add them for health conscious reasons, to your existing diet, don’t consider them as a fix-all approach for poor eating habits. Look at them as a replacement therapy tool, in getting rid of the processed fatty meat snacks, other fried foods, and sugar laden treats out of your diet. Nuts and seeds can help you with weight management issues, because of their high percentage of healthy fats, protein, and fiber content. They provide a ‘full’ feeling of satiety when combined with a full glass of water.
Most nuts and seeds are high in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals help to control blood pressure, while their naturally high fiber content helps protect against colon cancer.
As an example, of the nutritional powerhouse that can be found in nuts and seeds, a listing of the content in certain types of nuts and seeds is provided below for your information. One hundred grams equals, approximately, a 3.5 ounce serving.
Seeds: Pumpkin-100 g pumpkin seeds contain 29 g protein, 11.2 mg iron, and 1144 mg phosphorous. Sesame- 100 g of sesame seeds contain 26.4 g protein, 12.6 mg vitamin B-3, 7.8 mg iron, 131 mg calcium, and 10.3 mg zinc. Sunflower- 100 g sunflower seeds are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium and contain 24 g protein, 7.1 mg iron, and 120 mg calcium. Flax seeds- 100 g flax seeds contain 431 mg magnesium, 831 mg potassium, and 112 g folic acid, not to mention its high omega-3 content.
Nuts: Almonds- 100 g almonds contain 16.9 g protein, 4.2 mg iron, 250 mg calcium, 20 mg vitamin E, 3.1 mg zinc, and 0.92 mg vitamin B-2. Cashews- 100 g cashews contain 17.2 g protein, 60 micrograms vitamin A, and 3.8 mg iron. Peanuts- 100 g peanuts contain 2.3 g protein, 2 mg iron, and 3 mg zinc. Pecans- 100 g pecans contain 9.2 g protein, a very high fat content of 71.2 g (of which, 60 percent is mono and 30 percent is polyunsaturated), 130 micrograms vitamin A (also very high), 2.4 g iron, and 73 mg calcium.
And, while there is definitely more nutritional content in each one of those food sources listed above, nutritional research science is still discovering, and identifying, even more unique and natural food substances in all of our plant foods every day.
One thing is for certain, we are all living through one of the most interesting generations to date. For the first time in history, man’s curiosity has him seriously investigating the perfect union nutritional path nature intended all of us to strictly follow.
What is being learned today, about eating beneficial plant foods in their truest and unadulterated forms, will help future generations wipe out many modern diseases that are, now, plaguing most modern cultures. Although this one aspect, alone, is not the complete answer to all of modern society’s health care woes, these new nutritional discoveries being uncovered today will definitely help more people lead healthier and happier lives tomorrow, in body, mind, and spirit.