We all know that nuts are considered healthy. 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 eating tons of nuts!
I know it’s not uncommon for people transitioning to raw food to overeat nuts, so I decided to write this article to share my advice about nuts.
Why the Nuts?
So why is it that most of us really do like snacking nuts?
And why do 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 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 overeat nuts at the beginning is that we miss that crunchy yummy sort of salty feeling. Nuts make a natural and healthier replacement for chips, popcorn, crackers, and other afternoon snacks.
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 enjoy.
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.
Nuts: The Good and the Bad
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 huge 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 your 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.
The Nutty Conclusion
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 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 will definitely cause some discomforts and gas..
Other than that, go nuts! 🙂