Nuts! The favorite HEALTHY food of everybody. Raw nuts are extremely delicious food and personally, for me they were what helped me quit eating processed junk food and start eating real food.
Still, nuts are pretty calorie dense. In the same time, they are the kind of food, which disappears immediately… you just opened the package. You reach for one more handful of nuts and you can feel the empty bottom and the last raisin that got stuck in the corner. What I am trying to say is that it is easy to overdo them. Still, nuts are not a substitute to your meals. Personally, I can eat a cup of raw nuts, but I will always feel like eating something else, until I eat a steak/ eggs/ fish or some other protein rich food.
Communicating with people I train with, as well as with many of you- my readers, I understand that a lot of you abuse with the word HEALTHY in front of nuts and decide that if it is considered real food, you can eat it without limitations.
I am not going to lie to you, but nuts, more often than not, interfere with your progress ( when we talk about appearance) and I do not encourage you to fill your moments of boredom by eating them.
I notice, that especially women, eat a whole package of raw nuts in between the main meals. Do not forget that they are calorie dense and they contain both- a lot of fats and a lot of carbs, which Is not the perfect ratio and when you add the rest of the food you eat, you will easily g overboard with the total amount of calories you’ve eaten.
What are you supposed to know about nuts?
Nuts are the type of food, that is healthy in certain conditions and not so healthy in other conditions. I am not gonna comment processed nuts- you should exclude them from your menu.
If you eat nuts, you should eat them raw. Often times, we underestimate the way we store nuts ( and food as a whole), and realize it or not, this have a direct impact on their quality and the way they reflect on our health.
I will once again say, that in nature, nothing is a coincidence. It is no coincidence that all nuts, in their natural state, exist in some kind of a shell that keeps them safe. First, this has to do with their inborn defense from the animals, which feed on them, and second, it has to do with their storage.
Think about olive oil. You know how olive oil should be in a dark bottle. It is no coincidence. Vegetable oils shouldn’t be exposed to light, because they get oxidized and this makes them bad.
This is true for nuts, as well- they should stay in dark, dry places, and they shouldn’t be exposed to light.
Nuts and seeds contain the so called enzyme inhibitors ( think about phitic acid- the storage form of phosphorous in plants). These enzyme inhibitors, create problems in your stomach and they interfere with the absorption of food.
What are enzyme inhibitors? They are something like the defensive mechanism of plants, which doesn’t allow them to sprout in advance.
In order to be activated- to sprout- nuts and seeds should be soaked in water. Once they are soaked, the enzyme inhibitors are released and the process of sprouting and growth begins. This is the process when the nutrients are set free and they become absorbable.
Different nuts and seeds, require different amount of soaking- usually seeds are soaked for shorter- 4 hours, and nuts should be soaked for longer- 8 hours.
I will lie to you, if I say that I always pre-soak the nuts I eat. I happen to buy nuts and eat them immediately.
It is best to buy nuts with the shell and then soak them before eating. Right now I have walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds in a shell, which Ivaylo and I gathered during our hikes in the mountain.
It is important to know this information, because sometimes we fool If you overdo it with the nuts, if you do not store them properly, then this might have a negative influence on your digestion, and it determines your health status. It might turn out that “the healthy” nuts are harming you more than they are helping you.
My advice is to eat nuts in moderation and try to eat them every now and then- not on a daily basis. Sure, there is nothing wrong with adding a couple nuts to your salad, but if you eat 4 times and every time you eat 40-50 grams of nuts… add it up and you will see that you get a bunch of calories just from the nuts, and meanwhile you’ve eaten 4 more meals!
If you don’t have progress with your healthy eating, you are probably eating too much nuts!