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Last updated: July 30, 2021
We all know that nuts are generally considered a healthy food. I don’t know about you, but I personally love snacking on almonds, walnuts or macadamia nuts anytime any day.
Nuts are also very popular with vegans and raw foodies. In fact, most people who go vegan or raw for the first time typically find themselves overeating on nuts as it’s so easy to do.
In this article I am going to share my thoughts on eating nuts and dive into the pros and cons.
Why the Nuts?
So why is it that most of us really do like snacking nuts?
And why do so many vegans and raw foodies immediately reach for the raw nuts and seeds when switching to a vegan or raw diet?
1. We Want to Feel Full
Since nuts are solid, crunchy, and filling, we have a tendency to use them as a replacement for cooked food. As tiny as they are, they have the power to make us feel full.
For example, when I first tried the raw food diet, I would still feel “hungry” after eating a generous salad. I would then often eat a handful or two of nuts to get that semi-drowsy feeling I was missing.
2. Nuts Are Crunchy
Of course, another reason why we might find ourselves overeating on nuts is because of that nice crunchy texture that most people love.
The good thing is that nuts are more natural and healthier afternoon snacks than, let’s say, chips, popcorn, crackers, and so on.
Here’s a quick tip if that’s why you’re reaching for the nuts: try crunching on some celery, chopped carrots, or make kale chips with a food dehydrator.
3. It’s an Easy Snack Food
You don’t need to wash, cut, or blend anything to eat nuts. If you’re in a hurry or feeling tired, you can just open a jar or reach for a container of nuts and you’re good to go.
There’s nothing wrong with this behavior, but if you’re overeating nuts you will want to prepare adequate snack foods in advance.
Remember that being prepared is half the battle when it comes to eating healthy foods.
Pros and Cons of Eating Nuts
Let’s have a quick look at some of the pros and cons of eating nuts.
On the one hand, nuts make us feel full because our body is expending energy trying to digest them. Nuts are harder to digest than fresh fruits and vegetables.
In reality we probably wouldn’t be eating tons of nuts in nature, unless they were fresh and in season. How many of us live next to a Brazil nut tree? That’s what I thought.
On this note, something you can do to help the digestibility of nuts is soaking them for 6-7 hours in water with salt added. If you want the crunch, you can low-heat dry them (under 150 degrees F) until they get their crunch back.
You may notice that the nuts taste lighter, cleaner, easier in many ways. Still not good to overeat, but it really makes a big difference.
Nuts have tons of great nutritious qualities, and I certainly don’t think we should shun them entirely. In fact, a handful of nuts can help you live longer, according to studies.
The healthy oils found in nuts are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for the brain, and for keeping our stress levels under control.
Alternative sources of omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds and flax seeds.
What About Seeds?
Most people have an easier time digesting seeds than they do digesting nuts.
Also, one of the reasons why more people are allergic to nuts than to seeds is that nuts tend to go rancid if kept on a shelf for too long a time.
So, what’s the verdict?
No, you won’t go crazy if you eat too many nuts. But try to limit yourself to one handful per day, since they are somewhat hard to digest. If you feel bloated or gassy after eating nuts, cut down.
Also, you should avoid eating nuts with fresh fruits, since that may cause some discomforts and gas…
Other than that, go nuts!