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Abstract

Nuts play a very significant role in humanhealth and preventmany diseases.Thenuts are rich source of unsaturated fatty acids, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. No doubt they are important part of our diet but the overeating of nuts in an undesirable form will ledto serious health hazards. This article along with the nutritional and health benefits of consuming nuts also coversthe recommended quantity of nuts to be consumed and the form in which the nuts should be included in daily diet.
Indian Farmer 4 (Issue 8):627-637; August -2017 Kumawat et al
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K. L. Kumawat1*, W. H. Raja1, Lal Chand2 and K. M. Rai3
Division of Fruit Science,
*ICAR-Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture, Srinagar (Jammu and Kahsmir)-India
2ICAR-Central Agroforestry Research Institute, Jhansi (U.P.)
3ICAR-National Beaurow of Plant Genetic Resources, Regional Station, Bhowali, Nainital
(Uttrakhand)
Corresponding Author: kishan84hort@gmail.com
Introduction
Nuts form a significant part of everyday
diet for most of us and many public health
organisations recommend daily intake of
nut as part of an overall healthy diet. They
are not just delicious but are powerhouse
of energy, as they are loaded with calories.
They are rich in healthy monounsaturated
and polyunsaturated fats, protein and
dietary fibre. Monounsaturated fatty acids
helps to lower low density lipoproteins
(LDL) or “bad cholesterol” and increase
high density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good-
cholesterol” in the blood. Nuts are also a
good source of vitamins especially E and
B-complex group along with minerals like
calcium, potassium, phosphorus,
magnesium, iron, zinc and antioxidant
minerals such as manganese, copper and
selenium, plus other phytochemicals such
as antioxidant compounds and plant
sterols. Nuts contain a wide variety of
health benefits, they improve heart, blood,
mental, eye, skin, bone and oral health,
further, they improve digestive function,
memory and metabolism, boost immune
system, aid in weight loss, help manage
diabetes, prevent different type of cancer,
lower the risk of formation of gallstones,
protect against viral and fungal
infections.Thus we can say nuts are little
factories of good health or are a “complete
package” type of food. But you can enjoy
too much of a good thing. Despite a
number of health benefits, overindulging
of nuts also can have adverse effects.
Why we have to go for nuts?
Almonds:
Can a high fat food be good for you?
Almonds challenge this oxymoron
perfectly well. Almonds are known as an
all-rounder. They are high in heart
protective monounsaturated fats, which
are also good for brain and skin health.
Nutritional value and health benefits of nuts
Abstract:
Nuts play a very significant role in human health and prevent many diseases. The nuts are rich
source of unsaturated fatty acids, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. No doubt they
are important part of our diet but the overeating of nuts in an undesirable form will led to
serious health hazards. This article along with the nutritional and health benefits of consuming
nuts also covers the recommended quantity of nuts to be consumed and the form in which the
nuts should be included in daily diet.
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The high amount oleic acid, a
monounsaturated fatty acid reduce blood
pressure and helps to fight against
coronary diseases. Almonds contain more
fibre (12.5g/100g; about 33% of DRA),
protein (21.15g/100g), Vitamin E
(alpha-tocopherol-25.63mg/100g; about
170% of DRA of Vitamin E), riboflavin
(1.138/100g; 87.5% of DRA) and Ca
(269mg/100g; about 27% of DRA)
compared to other nuts. Fibre seems to
reduce the risk of developing diabetes,
heart disease, diverticular disease, colon
cancer and constipation. Protein helps in
growth and repair of body organs. Vitamin
E, is a strong lipid-soluble antioxidant
with so many cancer-fighting properties
and is reduce risk of heart diseases,
further it helps in maintaining and
protecting the skin from harmful oxygen-
free radicals. Riboflavin in almonds is
necessary for proper iron absorption.
Apart from riboflavin they also contain
phenylalanine and these two substances
improve neurological function. In other
words, almond boost brain power, and
that is why it is the most beneficial for
growing children. It is also a component of
several antioxidant enzymes that prevent
free radical damage in body and for that
reason, they are known as best nut for
disease prevention.
Walnuts:
Walnuts are very high in
polyunsaturated fats (47.174g/100g)
and are a good source of proteins, vitamin
B-6 and folate. They are only nuts that
have omega-3 fatty acid in high amount
and because of that it is very good for
vegetarians, as it is almost absent in a
veggie diet. It provide anti-inflammatory
benefits in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis,
and other skin disease related to
inflammation like eczema and psoriasis,
and therefore, they are known as an
Inflammation fighters. Moreover, because
of high in omega-3 they are also known as
a brain food as nearly 60 per cent of our
brain structures are primarily omega-3
fatty acids. Apart from this omega-3 fatty
acid prevents erratic heart rhythms and
regulates plaque formation in blood
vessels, meanwhile amino acid arginine
from walnut, makes arteries more flexible
thereby reduce the chances of developing
blood clots and for that reason walnuts
are known as best nut for heart. Walnuts
can lower the cholesterol level and boost
the immune system as they contain
antioxidants nutrients like phenols,
Vitamin E, gallic acid and ellagic acid.
Eating of walnuts soaked in water before
sleep induces a good night’s sleep as they
contain melatonin-antioxidant.
Cashew nuts:
Cashew nut are highest in cupper
(2.195mg/100g; about 244% of DRA) iron
Fe (6.68mg/100g; about 83.5% of DRA)
among nuts. Both copper and iron are
active compound of red blood cells and
are required for the proper functioning
and creation of red blood cells. Copper
helps in the metabolism of iron and iron
helps prevent microcytic-anemia. Further,
copper is vital in energy production and to
increase flexibility in blood vessels, bones
and joints. Cashew nuts prevent cancer as
it is rich source of antioxidant that helps
in elimination of free radicals. Moreover,
they have lower fat content than most
other nuts.
Pistachio nuts:
Pistachios are symbol of wellness and
they are known as the skinny nut because
they are the lowest calorie nut. They are
excellent source of vegetable protein. As
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compared to most of nuts pistachios
contain higher protein and lower fat. They
are rich source of many anti-oxidant
phyto-chemical substances such
as carotenes and polyphenolic antioxidant
compounds as well as amino acid
arginine. Among the nuts pistachios are
richest in potassium (1025mg/100g;
about 22% of DRA), vitamins A
(516IU/100g) and vitamin B-6
(1.7mg/100g; about 130% of DRA).
Potassium helps to maintain the correct
water balance in the nerves and muscles
cells thus it is important to keep muscles
and the nervous system functioning
normally. Further, Potassium helps
counter hypertensive action of sodium,
lower heart rate and blood pressure.
Pecan nuts:
Pecans are excellent source of phenolic
anti-oxidant, thiamine, zinc, copper and
richest among nuts in vitamin E (gamma-
tocopherol-24.44mg/100g; about 163% of
DRA of Vitamin E). In addition pecans are
rich in phyto-chemical substances
including antioxidant ellagic acid, zea-
xanthin and beta-carotene. Research
studies suggest that these compounds
help to the body to remove toxic oxygen-
free-radicals and as a result, protect body
from diseases and cancers. They are good
for men’s health as they are rich in beta-
sitosterol, a plant steroid that may help
relieve symptoms of benign prostatic
hyperplasia or enlarged prostate.
Hazelnuts or filberts:
Hazelnuts are highest in folate
(113µg/100g; about 28% of DRA) among
nuts and hence, hazelnuts help to reduce
the level of homocysteine, which causes
fatty plaque build-up in arteries.
Furthermore, folic acid is essential in
preventing any kind of abnormalities in
infants.
Macadamia Nuts:
Macadamia nuts contain highest fat
content (75.77mg/100g) among nuts, yet
are known as the superior nut as they are
lowest in polyunsaturated fatty acids
(1.502mg/100g) and richest in
monounsaturated fatty acids
(58.877mg/100g) compared to other
nuts. They are highly anti-inflammatory
nuts. Moreover, they are very low in anti-
nutrients like phytic acid and perhaps low
in lectins. Additionally they are richest
source of thiamine (1.195mg/100g;
about 99.5% of DRA) among nuts.
Thiamine from macadamias strengthens
your immune function, contributes to
cardiac health, and studies have lately
linked its supply to improved eye health
as well as improved mental health.
Brazilnuts:
Among the nuts, brazilnuts are an
excellent source of minerals like
phosphorus (725mg/100g; about
103.5% of DRA), magnesium
(376mg/100g; about 89.5% of DRA) and
exceptionally rich in selenium
(1917µg/100g; about 3485% of DRA).
Magnesium helps the body to cope with
stress, improve memory and protects
against age-related memory loss.
Moreover, it can help avoid heart attacks
and vital for healthy development of
muscles, tissues, bones and organs in
body. Phosphorus increase strength and
durability of bones and teeth. It also aids
in protein synthesis, absorption of fats
and carbohydrates. Selenium is very
important nutrient that is lacking in diet
of many people’s. It is crucial antioxidant,
which play an important role in the
functioning of thyroid gland and adequate
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selenium in the diet help prevent
coronary artery disease, prostate cancer
and liver cirrhosis.
Pine nuts:
Pine nuts are richest source of zinc
(6.54mg/100g; about 59.4% of DRA),
manganese (8.802mg/100g; about
382.6% of DRA), niacin (4.387mg/100g;
about 27.4% of DRA) and vitamin K
(53.9µg/100g; about 45% of DRA). Zinc is
critical to immune health and healthy
vision. Further, it is very important during
pregnancy for the growth of the baby and
the developmental years of childhood to
maintain stable state of the body.
Manganese contributes to bone health and
strength, and is valuable antioxidant
preventing free radical damage. It is also
play important role in absorbing other
nutrients such as thiamin, biotin or
ascorbic acid.In addition they are also
very good source of arginine amino acid.
Chestnuts:
Chestnuts stand out from other edible
nuts for their distinctive nutrition profile.
They are considered as real nut and are
starchy instead of fatty. They are very low
in fat (2.26g/100g) and beneficial as a
source of carbohydrate (45.54g/100g).
Carbohydrate helps in growth and
development of body tissue. Moreover,
they are exceptionally rich in Vitamin C
(43mg/100g, about 72% of DRA). Which
is a strong anti-oxidant and is needed for
matrix formation in blood vessels, bones
and teeth. On the other hand chestnuts are
low in anti-nutrients like phytic acid.
Reasons to say no to nuts:
Nuts are healthy, tasty, delicious, packed
with nutrition, easy to carry and it is easy
to go nuts over nuts. But it is best to
proceed with caution when it comes to
nuts because of a few reasons:
1. Bad omega-6 to omega-3 ratio
The problem comes to most nuts is the
high amount of polyunsaturated fat
(PUFA) especially omega-6 fatty acid, as in
high amount any kind of PUFA even
omega-3s become highly reactive and
toxic. Among the different nuts walnut
and pine nuts are very high, brazilnuts
and pecans are high, almond and
pistachios are moderately high, hazelnuts
and cashews are moderately low,
macadamia is low and chestnut are very
low in PUFA content. Omega-6 and
omega-3 are essential fatty acids and are
necessary for health, but the body cannot
make them, meaning we must get them
from foods we eat. It is impossible to say
that omega-3 is better than omega-6,
because both are essential, however
omega-6 is by far the easiest nutrient to
consume, but omega-3 found very low in
nuts and other food. Fish and seafood are
only a good source of omega-3 fatty acid,
they gets it from an algae diet and up the
food chain, somewhat omega-3 we can get
from grass fed ruminants.
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Table:1 Nutritive values of nuts per 100 gram.
Nutrients
Almonds
Cashews
Pistachio
Pecans
Hazelnuts
Macad-
amias
Brazil-
nuts
Pine
nuts
Chest-
nuts
RDA/d
(31-50
yr.)
Water (g)
4.14
5.20
4.37
3.52
5.31
1.36
3.42
2.28
48.65
3.7 L
Energy (kcal)
579
553
560
691
628
718
659
673
213
-
Protein (g)
21.15
18.22
20.16
9.17
14.95
7.91
14.32
13.69
2.42
56 g
Carbohydrates
(g)
21.55
30.19
27.17
13.86
16.70
13.82
11.74
13.08
45.54
130 g
Dietary fiber (g)
12.5
3.3
10.6
9.6
9.7
8.6
7.5
3.7
8.1
38 g
Total Sugars (g)
4.35
5.91
7.66
3.97
4.34
4.57
2.33
3.59
-
-
Total lipids (fat)
(g)
49.93
43.85
45.32
71.97
60.75
75.77
67.10
68.37
2.26
-
SFA (g)
3.802
7.783
5.907
6.180
4.464
12.061
16.134
4.899
0.425
-
MUFA (g)
31.551
23.797
23.257
40.801
45.652
58.877
23.879
18.764
0.780
-
FUFA (g)
12.329
7.845
14.380
21.614
7.920
1.502
24.399
34.071
0.894
-
Phosphorus (mg)
481
593
490
277
290
188
725
575
93
700 mg
Potassium (mg)
733
660
1025
410
680
368
659
597
518
4.7 g
Calcium (mg)
269
37
105
70
114
85
160
16
27
1000
mg
Magnesium (mg)
270
292
121
121
163
130
376
251
32
420 mg
Iron (mg)
3.71
6.68
3.92
2.53
4.70
3.69
2.43
5.53
1.01
8 mg
Zinc (mg)
3.12
5.78
2.20
4.53
2.45
1.30
4.06
6.54
0.52
11 mg
Manganese (mg)
2.179
1.655
1.200
4.500
6.175
4.131
1.223
8.802
0.952
2.3 mg
Copper (mg)
1.031
2.195
1.300
1.2
1.725
0.756
1.743
1.324
0.447
900µg
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Selenium (µg)
4.1
19.9
7.0
3.8
2.4
3.6
1917.0
0.7
-
55 µg
Nutrients
Almonds
Cashews
Pistachio
Pecans
Hazelnuts
Macad-
amias
Brazil-
nuts
Pine
nuts
Chest-
nuts
RDA/d
(31-50
yr.)
Sodium (mg)
1
12
1
0
0
5
3
2
3
1.5 g
Vitamin A (IU)
2
0
516
56
20
0
0
29
28
900 µg
Vitamin C (mg)
0.0
0.5
5.60
1.1
6.3
1.2
0.7
0.8
43.0
90 mg
Thiamine (mg)
0.205
0.423
0.870
0.660
0.643
1.195
0.617
0.364
0.238
1.2 mg
Riboflavin (mg)
1.138
0.058
0.160
0.130
0.113
0.162
0.035
0.227
0.168
1.3 mg
Niacin (mg)
3.618
1.062
1.300
1.167
1.800
2.473
0.295
4.387
1.179
16 mg
Vitamin B-6 (mg)
0.137
0.417
1.700
0.210
0.563
0.275
0.101
0.094
0.376
1.3 mg
Folate, DFE (µg)
44
25
51
22
113
11
22
34
62
400 µg
Vitamin E (alpha-
tocopherol) (mg)
25.63
0.90
2.86
1.40
15.03
0.54
5.65
9.33
-
15 mg
Vitamin E
(gamma-
tocopherol) (mg)
0.64
5.31
20.41
24.44
0.00
0.00
9.56
11.15
-
Vitamin K
(phylloquinone)
(µg)
0.0
34.1
-
3.5
14.2
-
0.0
53.9
-
120 µg
SFA: Total saturated fatty acid, MUFA: Monounsaturated fatty acid, FUFA: Polyunsaturated fatty acid.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient Database; RDA: Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies)
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Along with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6
fatty acids play an important role in
brain function, and normal growth and
development. Omega-6s help, maintain
bone health, regulate metabolism,
maintain the reproductive system and
hair growth. Whereas, omega-3 fatty
acids may be important in preventing
many health problems, including heart
disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and
cancer. Furthermore they are also play a
role in improving mood, sharpening
memory and improving night and color
vision. But massive consumption of
omega-6 promotes cancer, heart
disease, autoimmune disorders
including arthritis, diabetes, allergy and
asthma. Omega-6 fats are primarily
converted into a range of pro-
inflammatory hormones and omega 3
into anti-inflammatory hormones,
therefore, too much omega-6 and too
little omega-3 can lead to excessive
inflammation and for that reason, a
healthy balance between omega-6 and
omega-3 fatty acids in needed to bring
these diseases under control.
In an effort to optimize health
and longevity, one should strive to keep
a total PUFA intake under 4 per cent of
total calories. However, in respect to
ideal ratio of omega-6 and omega-3
scientists have different view some
suggest it should be 5:1, whereas some
suggest 4:1 and some even say it should
be 1:1. Almost all nuts are known for
their bad omega-6 and omega-3 ratio.
Most nuts contain very high amount of
omega-6 and very low amount of
omega-3. Among nuts walnuts often
praised for their high omega-3 content,
but are way too high in total PUFA and
still have a bad omega-6 to omega-3
ratio. And even nuts contain appreciable
level of omega-3 fat are not necessarily
a good source of omega-3 as the form of
omega-3 found in nuts is alpha-
Linolenic acid (ALA) which is a short-
chain form that needs to be elongated
ALA to DHA to be useful for body. ALA
can be elongated to eicosapentaenoic
acid (EPA) and docosahexaenonic acid
(DHA), but the process is very
inefficient.
Table:2 Comparison of omega-6 and
omega-3 fatty acids in nuts
Nuts
Omega
-6 (g)
Omeg
a-3
(g)
Omega-
6/Omeg
a-3
ratio
Almonds
12
0.006
2000:1
Walnuts
38
9
4.22:1
Cashew
nuts
7.78
0.06
129.6:1
Pistachio
s
13.2
0.25
52.8:1
Pecans
20.6
1
20.6:1
Hazelnut
s
7.8
0.1
78:1
Macadam
ias nuts
1.3
0.2
6.5:1
Brazilnut
s
20.5
0.018
1138.8:1
Pine nuts
33.6
0.11
305.45:1
Chestnuts
0.776
0.093
8.23:1
(Source: http://paleoleap.com/are-nuts-and-
seeds-healthy/)
2. High in phytic acid
The other problem when it comes to
most nuts is the presence of phytic acid
in them. Phytic acid is the storage form
of phosphorus and, especially found in
skin of nuts. Phytic acid is a strategy
employed to prevent nut from sprouting
before the ideal conditions are present
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but human’s body are not able to digest
phytic acid and is known as anti-
nutrient as in our digestive system. It
has the ability to bind to certain
minerals like calcium, iron, zinc,
manganese and magnesium and
prevents us from absorbing them. Here
it is important to know that phytic acid
does not leach minerals that are already
stored in the body; it only inhibits the
absorption of minerals from food in
which it is present. This means that you
would not necessarily get high amount
of a mineral even if you eat a nut high in
that mineral and, because of that diet
with high in phytate cause mineral
deficiencies (when phytic acid is bound
to a mineral in the nut, it’s known as
phytate). Moreover, phytic acid
interferes with enzyme required for
digestion of food, including amylase
(needed for the breakdown of starch),
pepsin (required for the breakdown of
protein in stomach), and trypsin
(required for protein digestion in small
intestine). However, these same anti-
nutrient properties of phytic acid can
also help in the prevention of chronic
disease. Now question is arise how
much phytic acid we eat. According to
Kresser (2016), human can tolerate
phytic acid in the rage of 100 mg to 400
mg per day.
Table:3 Comparison of phytic acid
present in some most popular nuts
Nut
Phytic acid
(mg/100g)
Black walnuts
1977
Cashews
1866
Hazelnuts
1620
Almonds
1280
English walnuts
760
Chestnuts
47
(Source: http://www.phyticacid.org/phytic-
acid-in-nuts/)
3. Lectins in nuts
Lectins are a type of protein that can
bind to cell membrane and are meant to
protect the plants. Lectins generally
found in the part of the nut that
becomes the leaves when the plant
sprouts, but also on the skins. They are
resistant to human digestion and they
enter the blood unchanged. Lectins can
irritate gut lining and create
inflammation.
4. Selenium Poisoning:
Selenium is a trace mineral and our
body only needs in small amounts. The
excess of selenium intake will led to
serious health issues. The common
symptoms of selenium poisoning are
hair fall, nails become brittle, breath
stinks and muscles and joints pain.
According to Braba (2015) 8 whole
pieces of brazilnuts, has 10 times
recommended daily amount of selenium
(55 micrograms).
5. Oxalates in nuts:
Almonds and cashews both contain
oxalates, which interfere with the
absorption of calcium and, the
accumulation of calcium can result in
kidney stones. People with kidney or
gallbladder stone problems should
avoid eating almonds.
6. Medication Interaction:
Pine nuts, hazelnuts, pecans,
macadamias and walnuts are fairly high
in manganese (about 382.6, 268, 195,
179 and 148 per cent of DRA/100g
respectively) and if we consume too
much these nuts on top of a manganese
rich diet, this might trigger drug
interactions. High quantities of
manganese in blood can interfere with
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some antipsychotic drugs, as well as
antacids, laxatives blood pressure
medications and certain antibiotics.
7. Allergy:
Sometimes tree nuts (especially
cashews, walnuts, pistachios and
chestnuts) incline to be an extremely
allergenic substance and it can be
manifested in a variety of ways. Being
allergic to nuts varies from one another
so you must be careful whenever you
add new type of nut in your diet. Allergic
reactions caused by these nuts can be
mild to severe and include heart
arrhythmia, respiratory malfunction,
skin and facial irritation,
gastrointestinal discomfort etc. For
example allergy from cashews can lead
to one or more of the complications like
contact dermatitis, vomiting, nausea,
diarrhea, gastric discomfort, runny nose,
coughing, shortness in breath and more
severe reactions can result in a fatal
condition like glottis edema or
anaphylaxix.
8. Weight gain
Nuts are high in fat and high fat means
high calories. However, most of the fat is
unsaturated and helpful in lowering
cholesterol and many research studies
have shown that nut can help to lose
weight if eat in moderate amount. But, if
you eat more than daily recommended,
you can gain weight more rapidly than
you might by over-eating other food.
9. Gastrointestinal Problems:
Some time people felt gassy and bloated
after eating nuts, it is a common side
effect of overeating of nuts as
compounds in nut called phytates and
tannins make them difficult to digest.
Moreover, according to Alan R. Goby,
author of Nutritional Medicine, eating
too much fat found abundantly in nuts
at one time can lead to diarrhea.
Further, nuts are high fibre food and we
need fibre to aid digestion but
consuming large quantity of fibre also
can lead to bloating, gas and diarrhea.
For adult the recommended dietary
allowance of fiber is 38 grams.
Table: 4. Presence of fibre content in
different nuts
Nuts
Total dietary fibre
(g/100g)
Almonds
12.5
Walnuts
6.7
Cashews
3.3
Pistachio
10.6
Pecans
9.6
Hazelnuts
9.7
Macadamia nuts
8.6
Brazilnuts
7.5
Pine nuts
3.7
Chestnuts
8.1
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
10. Blood Pressure:
Nuts are often served salted. This
improves taste, but also adds salt to
your diet. Too much salt can contribute
to high blood pressure.
Step should be taken to make nuts
safer to eat:
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)
are easily oxidized when comes in
contact with oxygen, light and heat,
and oxidized PUFAs are bad for our
health because they create many
kind of toxic reactions with sugars
and proteins in our bodies. For this
reason nuts are much better eaten
unroasted and should be
refrigerated in an air-tight container.
Many studies suggest that at least
some of phytate can be broken down
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by soaking, roasting and cooking.
Soaking and cooking also reduce
lectins content in them. According to
Gargi Sharam the brown peel of
almonds contains tannin which
inhibits nutrient absorption and
once you soak almonds the peel
comes off easily and allows the nut
to release all nutrients easily.
Meanwhile, soaking almonds
releases enzyme lipase which is
beneficial for digestion of fats.
Soaking of nuts for sixteen to
eighteen hours in normal or salty
water is an easy way to get rid of
most of the phytic acid and other
anti-nutrients. After the nuts have
soaked for number of hours, rinse
the thoroughly and dry them at very
low temperature (either in a food
dehydrator or at low temp. oven)
and then roasting or cooking the
nuts would likely eliminate a large
portion of the phytic acid. You don’t
absolutely need to dry the soaked
nuts, but the moisture still make it
easy for mold to grow, so they
should be eaten quite quickly.
Remove skin of nuts before eating or
eat blanched nuts for proper
digestion of them as fair amount of
lectins and phytic acid present in
skin of nuts.
Before adding any new nut in your
diet make it sure that you do not
have any allergy from that particular
nut.
If you add nuts in your diet, the
equivalent amount of calories
elsewhere should be subtracted,
otherwise you will gain weight more
quickly.
How much is too much
Too much of anything is bad. How much
is too much depends on context. It
depends on several factors such as body
weight, overall health, mineral status,
metabolic health. It also depends upon
in which form the nuts are consumed,
whether soaked, dehydrated and
roasted. Most studies recommended 28-
30 g nuts per day or even 2-5 times in a
week. Recommended nuts (28-30g)
contain approximately 20-24 almonds,
8-12 walnuts (halves), 30-45 pistachios,
5-7 Brazilnuts, 16-20 pecans (halves),
14-18 cashews, 18-20 hazel nuts, 14-16
macadamia nuts, 3-4 chestnuts and 140-
160 pine nuts. However, it is better to
consume mixed nuts to avoid adverse
effect of consuming one nut and to get
proper balance of different nutrients in
your diet and by doing so you can enjoy
variety of different kinds of nuts,
further, some nuts better than others
when it comes to health benefits.
Sharma (2016) has recommended 4 to 5
cashew nuts and 8 to 10 soaked
almonds every day”. Whereas, Makhija
(2015) recommended 4-7 almond and
3-4 halves walnut per day. Further,
Francis (2016) mentioned that
consuming 5-7 pistachios per day are
healthy. Joel Fuhrman has
recommended eating 4 Brazilnuts per
day.
CONCLUSION
Even if nuts are often loaded with
vitamins and minerals, most nuts should
be kept to a minimum in a healthy diet
for a few reasons. Most of the nuts
contain high amount of PUFA and very
bad ratio of omega-6 and omega-3. They
also contain phytic acid that binds
certain mineral and block their
637 | P a g e
637
absorption in the body. Further they
contain lectins that can irritate the gut
lining. Among different nuts Brazilnut is
extremely high in selenium and too
much eating of Brazilnuts leads to
selenium poisoning. Furthermore,
overeating of nuts can increase weight
and create gastrointestinal problem.
However, by some extent we can reduce
the toxic load of most of nuts by storage
of nuts in air tight containers and by
soaking, roasting, cooking and removing
skin of nuts before consuming. Eat nuts
because they have lot to offer, but, it is
best to proceed with caution and stick to
the recommended daily serving size.
REFERENCES
Are nuts and seeds healthy?
http://paleoleap.com.
Braba, K. (2015). ‘Surprisingly bad
things that can happen if you eat
too may nuts’.
http://www.prevention.com/food
/what-happens-if-you-eat-too-
many-nuts
Francis, R. (2016). ‘The Nutty Affair:
Which Nuts Should You Have Daily
and How Many?
http://food.ndtv.com/opinions/th
e-nutty-affair-just-how-much-of-
these-nuts-should-you-be-eating-
779321
Global Report (2009). How
micronutrients affect human
health. In: Investigating in the
future. A united call to action on
mineral and vitamin deficiency.
http://www.unitedcalltoaction.or
g.
Kresser, C. (2011). ‘Another reason you
shouldn’t go nut on nuts’.
https://chriskresser.com/another
-reason-you-shouldnt-go-nuts-on-
nuts/
Makhija, P. (2015). ‘Here’s how much
you should eat dry fruits’. http://
timesof india.indiatimes.com/life-
style/health-fitness/diet/Heres-
how-much-you-should-eat-dry-
fruits/articleshow/46734753.cms
Myers, C. (2014). The effect of
overeating nuts.
http://www.livestrong.com/
article/410236-the-effects-of-
overeating-nuts/
Ramaswamy, M. Benefit of 6 common
nuts and dry fruits. http://www.
medimanage.com/my-
diet/articles/benefits-of-6-
common-nuts-and-dry-fruits.aspx
Sharma, G. (2016). Why soaked almonds
are better than raw almonds.
http://
food.ndtv.com/opinions/why-
soaked-almonds-are-better-than-
raw-almonds-726909
Simopoulos, A.P. (2002). The
importance of the ratio of omega-
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Biomed Pharmacother, 56 (8):
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USDA (2016): National Nutrient
Database for standard reference.
28: May, 2016
https://ndb.nal.usda.
... IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-6) (Agra, Ferro, Barbosa, & Barreto, 2015;Grace et al., 2016;Sultana & Ata, 2008). The systematic consumption of nuts has been reported to decrease the risk of common civilization diseases (Kumawat, Raja, Lai, & Rai, 2017;Rajaram & Sabaté, 2006;Ros & Mataix, 2006). Some research work (Ahola, Forsblom, Harjutsalo, & Groop, 2021;Alasalvar et al., 2020;Kim et al., 2017) presents the position that the regular consumption of nuts is associated with an inverse risk for adiposity and metabolic syndrome contrary to the common claim that nuts contain a high level of fat (Kornsteiner et al., 2006). ...
... In the past years some researchers have focused on horticultural agronomy practice (Persic et al., 2018) or on basic chemical composition, e.g. fat, fatty acid (Kumawat et al., 2017;Ros & Mataix, 2006) and tocopherols (Pérez-Fernández et al., 2017) or polyphenols in walnuts (Beyhan, Gozlekci, Gundogdu, & Ercisli, 2016), hazelnuts (Pino Ramos et al., 2019), pistachio (Noguera-Artiaga et al., 2019;;Liu et al., 2014) or almonds (Bolling, Dolnikowski, Blumberg, & Chen, 2010). Increasingly, research is focused on waste nut products (Grace et al., 2016) and the importance of processing (Lainas, Alasalvar, & Bolling, 2016;Monagas et al., 2009;Pelvan, Olgun, Karadag, & Alasalvar, 2018;Sonmezdag, Kelebek, & Selli, 2019;Stuetz, Schlörmann, & Glei, 2017;Trox et al., 2010) or nut leaves (Amaral et al., 2004;Forino et al., 2016;Pereira et al., 2007), rather than on the nuts themselves. ...
... The analyzed results are in line with previous data (Beyhan et al., 2016;Kornsteiner et al., 2006;Kumawat et al., 2017;Stuetz et al., 2017). Experimental investigations by Stuetz et al. (2017) revealed that almonds and hazelnuts were abundant in α-tocopherol while walnuts were rich in γ-tocopherol. ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim present of the present study was to examine the nutritional (fat, fatty acids, minerals, sugars) and bioactive compounds (polyphenols, tocochromanols, triterpene) and their influence on in vitro anti-diabetic (pancreatic α-amylase and intestinal α-glucosidase), anti-obesity (pancreatic lipase) and anti-cholinergic (AChE and BuChE) inhibitory activity of 8 different popular nuts—pecan, pine, hazelnuts, pistachio, almonds, cashew, walnuts, and macadamia. The total content of phenolic compounds in nuts ranged from 432.9 (walnuts) to 5.9 (pistachio) mg/100 g. The dominant polyphenols are polymeric procyanidins (walnuts – 415.1 mg/100 g). Nuts are rich in tocochromanols (832.9-4377.5 μg/100 g), especially α- and γ-tocopherols. The highest content of α-tocopherol (vitamin E) was detected in hazelnuts and almonds (2551.0 and 2489.7 μg/100 g, respectively) while the lowest amounts were detected in macadamia, cashew and walnuts. The most abundant in nuts are oleanic and pomolic acids (35 and 22% of total, respectively), while betulin, uvaol and erythrodiol are less characteristic triterpenes for nuts (<1%). Pine nuts are the nuts with the highest content of triterpene (690.3 mg/100 g). Pistachio and almonds are the richest in total fat (>45%), but monounsaturated (17.5-79.3%; hazelnuts, almonds, cashew, macadamia, pistachio and pecan) and polyunsaturated (7.5-69.3%; pine, walnuts) are the dominant fatty acids. Moreover, nuts are low in Cu, Zn, Mn and Na content, but rich in K (464.5-1772.3 mg/100 g) and Mg (197.0-502.5 mg/100 g). Macadamia, walnuts and cashew are good sources of Se. Pistachio, almonds and cashew were characterized by the highest content of sugars, but the dominant sugar was saccharose (58.2-2399.3 mg/100 g). All nuts showed high activity in inhibiting intestinal α-glucosidase (> 90%), but lower ability to inhibit pancreatic α-amylase and pancreatic lipase activity. The activity in inhibiting acetyl- and butylcholinesterase was up to 30%. As described above, all nuts contain various compounds that improve the nutritional value. Therefore they should be one of the important components of the daily human diet rich in functional foods.
Article
Several sources of information suggest that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) of approximately 1 whereas in Western diets the ratio is 15/1-16.7/1. Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established. Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today's Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects. In the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, a ratio of 4/1 was associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality. A ratio of 2.5/1 reduced rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas a ratio of 4/1 with the same amount of omega-3 PUFA had no effect. The lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio in women with breast cancer was associated with decreased risk. A ratio of 2-3/1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5/1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10/1 had adverse consequences. These studies indicate that the optimal ratio may vary with the disease under consideration. This is consistent with the fact that chronic diseases are multigenic and multifactorial. Therefore, it is quite possible that the therapeutic dose of omega-3 fatty acids will depend on the degree of severity of disease resulting from the genetic predisposition. A lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies, as well as in the developing countries, that are being exported to the rest of the world.
Here's how much you should eat dry fruits
  • P Makhija
Makhija, P. (2015). 'Here's how much you should eat dry fruits'. http:// timesof india.indiatimes.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/diet/Hereshow-much-you-should-eat-dryfruits/articleshow/46734753.cms
The effect of overeating nuts
  • C Myers
Myers, C. (2014). The effect of overeating nuts.
Benefit of 6 common nuts and dry fruits
  • M Ramaswamy
Ramaswamy, M. Benefit of 6 common nuts and dry fruits. http://www. medimanage.com/mydiet/articles/benefits-of-6-common-nuts-and-dry-fruits.aspx
Why soaked almonds are better than raw almonds
  • G Sharma
Sharma, G. (2016). Why soaked almonds are better than raw almonds. http:// food.ndtv.com/opinions/whysoaked-almonds-are-better-thanraw-almonds-726909
National Nutrient Database for standard reference
USDA (2016): National Nutrient Database for standard reference. 28: May, 2016
Surprisingly bad things that can happen if you eat too may nuts
  • K Braba
Braba, K. (2015). 'Surprisingly bad things that can happen if you eat too may nuts'.
The Nutty Affair: Which Nuts Should You Have Daily and How Many?
  • R Francis
Francis, R. (2016). 'The Nutty Affair: Which Nuts Should You Have Daily and How Many? http://food.ndtv.com/opinions/th e-nutty-affair-just-how-much-ofthese-nuts-should-you-be-eating-779321
How micronutrients affect human health. In: Investigating in the future. A united call to action on mineral and vitamin deficiency
Global Report (2009). How micronutrients affect human health. In: Investigating in the future. A united call to action on mineral and vitamin deficiency. http://www.unitedcalltoaction.or g.
Another reason you shouldn't go nut on nuts
  • C Kresser
Kresser, C. (2011). 'Another reason you shouldn't go nut on nuts'. https://chriskresser.com/another -reason-you-shouldnt-go-nuts-onnuts/