Over the years, nuts have been given a bad rap and sometimes for good reason! It’s all in the preparation. Buying nuts in the store can leave you with an increased risk of heart disease and inflammation. All too often the nuts are roasted in very low quality oils that have been shown to have adverse affects on our bodies.
So that’s the bad news… the good news? We can easily prepare heart healthy nuts at home. According to the Mayo Clinic nuts have:
Unsaturated fats- It's not entirely clear why, but it's thought that the 'good' fats in nuts; both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower bad cholesterol levels.
Omega-3 fatty acids- Omega-3 fatty acids are found in many kinds of fish, but many nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a healthy form of fatty acids that seem to help your heart by, among other things, preventing dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to heart attacks.
Fiber-All nuts contain fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol. Fiber makes you feel full, so you eat less. Fiber is also thought to play a role in preventing type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin E- Vitamin E may help stop the development of plaques in your arteries, which can narrow them. Plaque development in your arteries can lead to chest pain, coronary artery disease or a heart attack.
Plant sterols- Some nuts contain plant sterols, a substance that can help lower your cholesterol. Plant sterols are often added to products like margarine and orange juice for additional health benefits, but sterols occur naturally in nuts.
L-arginine- Nuts are also a source of l-arginine, which is a substance that may help improve the health of your artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow.http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/nuts/art-20046635
This recipe for homemade nuts, has some additional benefits. Soaking the nuts breaks down the phytic acid and also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors- making the nutrients of the nuts easier for your body to absorb! Super easy and more delicious than store bought… I am in!