What does it take for a food source to be a “superfood?” According to American Heart Association, there is no set criteria, but the general consensus is that superfoods usually
a.) are nutrient-rich,
b.) are beneficial for health on several fronts and
c.) help promote overall well-being in mind and body. Based on those three factors, there is no doubt that nuts and seeds are true superfoods that can help you on your Healthy Breast journey. Here’s why!
- They are chock full of minerals.
- They contain a high fiber
- They are a good source of healthy fats.
- They contain loads of protein. One half cup of mixed nuts like the ones described below contains about 13 grams of protein.
- They contain phyto-nutrients like flavonoids and other antioxidants.
- They may help prevent “metabolic syndrome.”
- They may help prevent chronic dis-ease.
- They may help you live longer!
Most nuts and seeds contain vital vitamins, minerals and fiber. Some may be more beneficial than others and some may contain key nutrients that can especially help you along on your Healthy Breast journey.
Some of the Best Nuts and Seeds to Eat for Health:
Here is a list of just a few of the best nuts to consume for a vital life overall:
-Walnuts. Walnuts contain high amounts of vitamin E, which has been known to help your heart.
-Almonds. Almonds help stabilize blood sugar and are alkalizing to the body. They are also a good source of naturally-derived calcium as well as magnesium. Some studies, including a 2017
study on colon cancer cells, have also shown that almonds may have anticancer properties as well.
-Cashews. Like almonds, cashews are also very high in magnesium. They are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which help the brain, and have been proven to reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
-Macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts are a great source of monounsaturated fat. They also contain thiamine, calcium, selenium and phosphorus. They are also a great source of potassium, a mineral that many people in the United States are deficient in. They are a perfect nut for a Ketogenic approach.
-Pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are great as an on-the-go protein source. They also contain high amounts of zinc, Omega 3 fats, and tryptophan (for a good night’s sleep). Studies have linked pumpkin seed consumption with help for diabetes, heart and liver health and hormonal balancing for both men and women.
-Apricot seeds. Apricot seed kernels have gotten a lot of press surrounding their supposed anti-cancer properties (and some skepticism as well). Another name for apricot seeds is B 17, and its possible healing properties were first discovered almost 90 years ago with research done by Sir Robert McCarrison on the Hunzas of Pakistan. Apricot seeds’ disease-fighting properties, mostly centering around the phyto-nutrient Amygdalin, have since been well documented.
The Gut-Healthy Way to Eat Dry Nuts and Seeds
Perhaps the only downside to consuming nuts and some seeds like pumpkin seeds is that they sometimes can be hard to digest. If you have a sensitive gut, any form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or an autoimmune condition, consider soaking your dry nuts and seeds before you eat them. It is actually a good idea to soak them even if you don’t have these conditions since nuts in particular have an outer coating that acts like a “digestive enzyme inhibitor.”
Soaking them removes this coating. Simply soak them your nuts and seeds in a container of fresh spring water with a pinch of sea or Himalayan salt in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 8 hours). You can also grind your soaked nuts to make a butter, spread or pate’—and you can even sprout them too!
Finally, always make sure that you get raw (not roasted), organic nuts and seeds, grown in your local area or tested for safety if possible to avoid mold toxicity and rancidity that can occur when they sit in storage too long.
You may have to invest a little more time and money into finding the best products for you, but in the long run it will be oh-so worth it as you add these true superfoods to you Healthy Breast toolbox!