Nuts and seeds contain the genetic potential for starting a new life, and contain enough nutrition to sustain their offspring. This means that within them is a powerhouse of nutrition for us, providing beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates. Nuts have a higher fat content than seeds do; seeds tend to be higher in iron. Both contain beta-carotene, B-complex vitamins, vitamins D and E, and calcium, and are excellent sources of vegetarian protein. Actually, by volume, nuts and seeds provide more protein than meat or milk.
Nuts are good for weight loss. Myth has it that nuts and seeds are fattening, but research suggests that they are beneficial for weight loss if they are not eaten to excess. One ounce a day may be plenty for women trying to lose weight. Men may benefit by 1.5-2 ounces. Slim, highly active people who can benefit from some extra calories can enjoy even more.
Nuts and seeds help to regulate blood sugar levels. They also help clean and strengthen teeth and gums. They can help to relieve constipation, have a “grounding” effect, calm nervousness, and strengthen weakness.
Nuts and seeds may increase lifespan. In an Adventist Health Study, several lifestyle factors were associated with longevity. Physical activity, vegetarianism, and frequent consumption of nuts lived an average of eight years linger tan those who did not. Nuts have also been identified as a dietary factor associated with risk of death from cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Nuts and seeds are best eaten raw. Roasting them reduces the amounts of valuable minerals and amino acids. Eating them with leafy greens can enhance the body’s absorption of fat-soluble nutrients from the greens. Try a nut-based salad dressing to absorb more nutrients from your salads.