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Going Nuts! It’s a Good Thing

I hope you are having a nice early spring.  Recently, I went to the New York Botanical Gardens and saw the Orchid Show as well as beautiful daffodils and greenery.  I even hugged a tree!  It was so wonderful to be in nature.  I encourage you to experience nature and smell the roses for your health and well-being.  Please refer to an earlier Newsletter about

Forest Bathing

to learn about the therapeutic benefits of being in nature.  

Speaking of nature and well-being, this month’s Newsletter is about NUTS
and their beneficial health effects.  Nuts have various salutary benefits, except in people who have allergies or food intolerance to them.  Please refer to this excellent reference
to learn about nut allergy. 

It is a common belief that eating nuts causes weight gain.  However the research “indicates that higher nut consumption does NOT cause greater weight gain; rather, nuts may be beneficial for weight control and prevention of long-term weight gain. “
(2, 3)

Nuts, which are composed of protein, fiber, and fat, increase our ability to feel full and are
“rich sources of energy.”(4) For this reason, they are a good choice for a snack instead of chips, baked goods, or
other sweets.(3) Eating nuts with a healthy carb such as a fruit instead of eating a fruit alone can also slow down
the rise of insulin from the pancreas, a good thing.

Types of Nuts:

Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts are called

tree nuts

because they grow on trees.

Peanuts (which are really legumes and not true nuts), almonds, and pistachios, have the highest
protein content.

The majority of antioxidants are located in the “co-products” of nuts–including the shell and the
“pellicle”—the skin around the almond and the peanut, for example.   If the skin is removed, the antioxidants are
lost.(5) For pistachios, most of the antioxidants are in the shell.  However there are other benefits to the nuts. 

Health Benefits of Nuts: 

1. “antioxidant,

2. anti-inflammatory,

3. prebiotic,

4. anti-microbial,

5. chemopreventive (preventing disease) — phytochemicals, fatty acids

6. cholesterol lowering “(1) 

7.Improve Brain function (8) 

8. Improved Mood (8)

9.Rich in vitamins and minerals.(5) Brazil nuts are known for high selenium.(2)

10. High Phenol content (1)

Raw, Dry Roasted, Unsalted?

Yes.  All of the above.  Ideally it is best to have unsalted, raw or dry roasted nuts.  It is best
to have unsalted nuts especially if you have high blood pressure. 

Nut Butters? Yes, But:

Nut butters can have salt, sugar, and unhealthy trans fats, and other oils added to them. See this American Heart Association Guide
for more information about nut butters.

Soaking nuts? 
One study showed lower mineral content for soaked nuts.(11) More research is needed.

Just some caveats:

1. Both raw and roasted nuts can be affected by fungus and mold.
“Discard nuts that look moldy, discolored, or shriveled.”(9) Peanuts can be afflicted with Aflatoxin, a product of
fungi, that has been shown to cause liver cancer.

Click here
to learn how to minimize aflatoxin risk. 

2.  Watch Your Teeth!
Hard nuts, especially almonds can crack teeth when chewing.  Having sliced almonds is a good option.

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s Newsletter and that you are able to incorporate nuts into your
diet because of their many health benefits.

Have a beautiful month of April!


Dr. Jill


1.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464616301724
–Nuts and their co-products: The impact of processing (roasting) on phenolics, bioavailability, and health benefits
– A comprehensive review, Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 26, 2016, Pages 88-122.

2.  de Souza RGM, Schincaglia RM, Pimentel GD, Mota JF. Nuts and Human Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review. Nutrients.
2017 Dec 2;9(12):1311. doi: 10.3390/nu9121311. PMID: 29207471; PMCID: PMC5748761 

3.  Baer DJ, Dalton M, Blundell J, Finlayson G, Hu FB. Nuts, Energy
Balance and Body Weight. Nutrients. 2023 Feb 25;15(5):1162. doi: 10.3390/nu15051162. PMID: 36904160; PMCID:

4.  Tan SY, Dhillon J, Mattes RD. A review of the effects of nuts on appetite, food intake, metabolism, and body weight.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100 Suppl 1:412S-22S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071456. Epub 2014 Jun 11. PMID:

5.  Gonçalves B, Pinto T, Aires A, Morais MC, Bacelar E, Anjos R, Ferreira-Cardoso J, Oliveira I, Vilela A, Cosme F. Composition of Nuts and Their Potential Health Benefits-An Overview. Foods. 2023
Feb 23;12(5):942. doi: 10.3390/foods12050942. PMID: 36900459; PMCID: PMC10000569. 

6. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/nuts/art-20046635#:~:text=Most%20nuts%20appear%20to%20be,to%20be%20quite%20heart%20healthy.

7. https://www.aaaai.org/tools-for-the-public/conditions-library/allergies/everything-you-need-to-know-about-tree-nut-allergy 

8.  Chauhan A, Chauhan V. Beneficial Effects of Walnuts on Cognition and Brain Health.
Nutrients. 2020 Feb 20;12(2):550.

9. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/aflatoxins

10. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2020/08/14/nut-butters-are-a-healthy-way-to-spread-nutrients#:~:text=But%20use%20caution%3A%20While%20nut,of%20sugar%20or%20saturated%20fats

11. Kumari S, Gray AR,
Webster K, Bailey K, Reid M, Kelvin KAH, Tey SL, Chisholm A, Brown RC. Does ‘activating’ nuts affect nutrient
bioavailability? Food Chem. 2020 Jul 30;319:126529. 

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