Raw nuts and seeds are nutritional power houses in a tiny package, with a wide variety of minerals, anti-oxidants, essential fats, proteins, some with all the amino acids and with a high fibre content and plant based ALA.
They are highly portable, require no refrigeration and hence make an excellent snack on the go and, of course even as a quick and convenient snack at home.
Seeds are low in calories and can be eaten in greater quantities. They should be freshly crushed or ground to get the best effect and can even be sprinkled on food, especially flax seeds.
Seeds and nuts are crispy when roasted and can easily take the place of other unhealthy snack options.
Seeds should be carefully selected as suitable for human consumption and not for sowing. They should smell and look fresh and not harbour any fungii or bacteria.
However, most nuts and seeds have anti-nutrients like phytic acid that can make all the previously discussed important nutrients less bio available when you consume them. So if you plan on consuming seeds or nuts on a regular basis, it would be wise to soak or sprout them to reduce the effect of inhibitors such as phytic acid phytates, lectins and enzyme inhibitors, which can block nutrient absorption and cause digestive distress, soaking also enhances flavor and in case of sprouts also greatly enhances their phytonutrients effects. To make them more palatable, you can then dehydrate them or roast them lightly in your oven.
Raw pumpkin seeds, sprinkled with natural salt, can be roasted on a low heat setting in your oven (no more than 500 C), for about 5- 20 minutes as needed.
Nuts & Seeds:
PREDIMED, one of the largest randomized trials ever done on heart disease, found that those who ate nuts every day reduced their risk of getting heart attacks by 30 percent, equal to or better than if taking Statin drugs. Other studies have even found the risk of heart attack cut by up to 50 percent.
Avoid commercially roasted or salted nuts as the high temperature
they are processed at damages much of their beneficial fats. Roast
nuts lightly at home at oven temperatures of about (500 C to 750 C).
If you are not sprouting them, use warm salt water for overnight soaking and eat them after rinsing them next morning. For almonds, remove the skin layer before eating. For others you may even thoroughly dry them as a single layer in an oven set at not more than 500 C to make them crunchy and improve taste.