All About Raw Nuts: The Nutritional and Health Benefits of Raw Nuts

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Nuts make the perfect snack. They are portable, tasty and low in calories. Nuts are high in beneficial fats, protein and fiber. They are packed with essential nutrients that keep the body healthy.

Store-bought nuts are typically roasted to extend the shelf life and add a hint of smokiness to the nuts. Although roasted nuts are a part of a healthy diet, eating raw nuts may be better for you! Because the nuts are not exposed to high heat, they retain their nutritional value. In today’s post, we are listing down reasons why raw nuts are good for you:

Benefits of Raw Nuts

Lower in Calories

Raw nuts are slightly low in calories compared to roasted nuts. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an ounce of raw cashew nuts yield about 157 calories, 12.43 grams of fat, 8.56 grams of carbohydrates, 5.17 grams of protein, 0.9 grams of fiber and 7 mcg. of folate. On the other hand, the same serving size of dry-roasted cashews contains 163 calories, 13.14 grams of fat, 9.27 grams of carbohydrates, 4.34 grams of protein, 0.9 grams of fiber and 20 mcg. of folate.

Cuts Back Cravings

Do you experience intense food cravings throughout the day? A handful of raw nuts is all you need to tame your appetite. In a study published in the Food Biophysics journal, researchers found that roasting actually affects the digestibility of nuts, specifically almond nuts. Exposing the nuts to high heat affects the cellular structure of the nut, causing them to be digested easily. This affects the level of satiety you get from noshing on roasted nuts.

According to the report, raw almonds burn much slower than roasted almonds. That’s why raw almonds are much more filling than their roasted counterparts. Also, raw almonds swell more from stomach fluids than roasted almonds and this prolongs the feeling of fullness.  Researchers concluded that compared to roasted almonds, raw almonds are much more satisfying.

Cuts the Risk of Heart Disease

Raw nuts are packed with plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, and arginine. All these nutrients keep the heart strong and the arteries free from fatty plaques. In addition, raw nuts are proven effective in improving blood flow and relaxing constricted arteries.

In a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, consuming an ounce of raw nuts several times per week cuts the risk of heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythm and sudden cardiac death significantly. According to researchers, raw nuts are loaded with heart-friendly nutrients such as vitamin E, folic acid, fiber, and potassium. All these nutrients work together to keep the cardiovascular system healthy.

The Healthiest Nuts to Eat

Wondering what are the best types of nuts to snack on? Here’s our recommendation:

Almonds: Almonds are packed with phenols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. In fact, an ounce of almonds contains similar amount of polyphenols as a cup of green tea.

Walnuts: Walnuts are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, phenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids as well as protein. This type of nut is proven to cut the risk of breast and prostate cancer.

Pecans: Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals. This nut also lowers bad cholesterol in the body. It promotes a healthy heart and arteries!

Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are high in selenium. This nutrient acts as an antioxidant. It helps prevent cancer, heart disease, and inflammatory diseases.