Nuts and seeds are fatty foods, which are typically the best sources of vitamin E, an immune enhancing antioxidant and nerve protector. They contain the largest quantity of fat of all unprocessed foods but much of it is in the form of essential fatty acids. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, and others are just a part of their remarkable properties.
Looked at in total, nuts and seeds are the “spark of life, a living and perfect food“. They are best consumed in small amounts. Most tonify the body and add weight and strength.
Here’s the catch..
Nuts and seeds lose their nutrients and become rancid once hulled or shelled. Deterioration begins immediately. Only buy them in their shells. They will last up to one year. Store hulled seeds in dark glass bottles in cold places since oil rich foods, such as seeds, combine with plastic to form plasticides.
Polyunsaturated oil contains essential fatty acids, which our bodies cannot provide. There are three essential fatty acids – linoleic, alpha-linolenic, and arachidonic acid. The latter most people have in excess from eating animal products.
Linoleic and arachidonic acids are “omega-6″ fatty acids and encourage blood clot formation. Alpha-linolenic acid,”omega-3” oil, reduces clotting. The objective is to achieve a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Essential fatty acids promote healthy, youthful skin and hair, support proper thyroid and adrenal function bolstering immunity, promote healthy blood, nerves and arteries, and are crucial in the transport and breakdown of cholesterol.
Deficiencies can lead to skin disorders, dry hair, loss of hair, nail problems, gallstones, irritability, liver problems, varicose veins, susceptibility to infections and retarded growth, among other problems.
With our heavy use of vegetable oils it would seem a lack of essential fatty acids would seldom occur, but most oils contain rancid forms of these fatty acids. Polyunsaturated oils easily oxidize and turn rancid creating free radicals in the body that fosters aging and weakened immunity. However, when polyunsaturates are eaten as whole, unprocessed food they are preserved within the food and are the freshest, most beneficial form, with the correct balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Nuts and seeds are the highest sources. Some other sources are avocados, olives, and soybeans.