Nuts and Seeds

NAME PRIMARY MICRO NUTRIENTS SECONDARY MICRO NUTRIENTS NUTRITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS and NUTRITIONAL NOTES FUNCTIONAL BENEFITS, PHYTO-NUTRIENTS and AMINO ACIDs DANGERS
Almond Potassium, magnesium, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Vit E
Brazil Nut Selenium, Chromium Tea from nut used in Brazil for stomach aches heart disease, cancer, allergies and inflammation – from Selenium High oxalates (kidneys); Lipid peroxides – rancidity risk and susceptibility due to high polyunsaturated oil content; high selenium content – selenium can be toxic and excess selenium intake causes liver problems due to interference with sulfur enzyme activity and sulfur systems
Cashew Copper, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Vit B7
Chestnut
Chocolate / Cacao High in Flavonoids – contain factors that enhance absorption of these flavonoids. Cholesterol profile and uptake – saturated vegetables fat does not increase cholesterol levels and plant sterols help to prevent cholesterol uptake. Neurotransmitter nutrition – contains phenythlamine (released by neurons at moments of euphoria) and anandamine (released by brain to engender pleasant feelings, enhances relaxation and lessens anxiety, uses same receptors in brain that THC binds to). Compounds in chocolate further inhibit natural breakdown of anandamine Cholesterol damage, artery lining health – Anti-oxidant activity of flavonoids and catechins (also found in tea) and phenols (also found in red wine); heart problems – flavonoids prevent blood platelets from aggregating to form blood clots. Flavonoid content as Flavonols and procyanidans; catechins and phenols; plant sterols sitosterol and stigmasterol compete with cholesterol for absorption in GI tract. Amino acid Arginine – helps regulate blood flow, inflammation, blood pressure – Arginine needed to produce Nitric Oxide which causes blood vessels to dilate. Big industry – chemical use and slavery; Oxalates (kidneys); quantity of sterols in cocoa butter is small
Coconut Manganese, Molybdenum, Copper Selenium, Zinc Oil contains medium chain fatty acids – easily absorbed, preferential energy source for body, increases metabolic rate, decreases body fat stores; Medium chain fatty acids and monoglycerides produced from them in the body destroy pathogens by dissolving lipids and phospholipids in their cell membranes, causing pathogens to disintegrate; Lauric acid shown to interfere with virus assembly and maturation Blood Glucose regulation and promoting weight loss; Medium chain fatty acids Lauric acid and Capric acid – converted to Monolaurin and Capric acid which have important have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Monolaurin shown to interfere with signal transduction, thus disrupting bacteria’s ability to interact with cells they are trying to infect as well as eliminating lipid-coated viruses, pathogenic bacteria and having anti-microbial abilities to kill or inactivate a number of yeast, fungal and protozoa infections Oxalates (Kidneys); low-fat coconut milk has had beneficial medium chain fat removed; Arginine required by herpes virus to replicate
Flaxseed Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese Phosphorus, Iron, Copper Excellent source Omega 3 ALA fatty acid and most abundant plant source of fibrous lignans that contain phyto-estrogens; improving cholesterol levels. Desaturase enzyme needed to convert fatty acids for beneficial functional use is inhibited by those with diabetes, nutrient deficiency and by consumption of alcohol and saturated fats Omega 3 – reducing heart disease and cancer; Fibrous Lignans – bind to estrogen receptors and interfere with cancer-promoting effects of estrogen on breast tissue; lignans also increase production of SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) that regulates, eliminates and escorts excess estrogen from the body; lignans also bind to male hormone receptors and promote elimination of testosterone thus preventing and treating prostate cancer in men Never heat or use in cooking – valuable oils turn rancid; soluble fiber will thicken liquids so add last to a recipe; grinding seeds enhances digestibility and nutritional value
Hazelnut Vit E, B1, B6, B3, B2, Copper, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Calcium
Macadamia Nut magnesium, Potassium, Copper, Iron, Vit B3, B1, E, Phosphorus, Zinc
Olive Vit E
Peanut Vit B7, B1, B3, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Manganese
Pecan Vit B1, B3, B6, B5, Vit E, Manganese, Copper, Molybdenum, Zinc Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, Selenium, Calcium
Pine Nuts
Pistachio Vit B6, B1, B3; Potassium, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, Magnesium, Zinc Vit E, B2, B5, Folic acid; Selenium, Calcium
Pumpkin Seed Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Vit A, B1, B2, B3 ?
Sesame Seed Vit B1, B2, Copper, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Calcium Lignans – fiber – particular type (sessamin) has strong anti-oxidant abilities, inhibits manufacture of cholesterol in liver and reduces cholesterol absorption in diet. Unhulled seeds better protection against rancidity; phytates – inhibit bioavailability of minerals that attach themselves to in food (destroyed by heat) Very good amino acid source, especially of tryptophan and methionine. Source of phytic acid or inositol: enhances proper function of several neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine and serotonin – effects against depression, panic attacks and diabetes, also anti-oxidant and anti-tumor. Lowering effect on blood cholesterol levels; relieves constipation; removes intestinal worms; aids digestion; stimulates blood circulation; benefits nervous system. oxalic acid – interferes with calcium utilization; oxalates – kidney stones;
Sunflower Vit E, B1, B5, B6, Magnesium, Selenium, Phosphorus, Copper, Iron, Folic Acid
Walnut Vit E, Manganese, Copper, Phosphorus, Magnesium Extremely nutrient dense; one of the few nuts with Omega 3 Cancer and heart protection – from anti-oxidants. Ellagic acid – anti-oxidant that protects healthy cells from free-radical damage, helping to detoxify potential cancer-causing compounds, and preventing cancer cells from multiplying. Amino acid Arginine – conversion to Nitric oxide which allows blood vessels to relax, remain smooth and prevent platelet aggregation, leading to beneficial effect on cholesterol and blood vessel as well as cardiovascular protective properties; beneficial effects of monounsaturated vegetables fat Moderate oxalates (kidneys)

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

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2 thoughts on “Nuts and Seeds

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