Why Do We Ask You to Eat Raw, Unsalted Nuts and Seeds?
We often specify that you select raw, unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds – and the same for pecans and walnuts. Most of us have grown up eating the roasted and salted versions of these foods. Why switch to raw?
We are seeking not just the protein and minerals that you’ll get from these foods, but also the oils that will do your body the most good. All nuts and seeds carry an assortment of essential fatty acids – the good kinds of fat.
Some of these fatty acids are subject to destruction or alteration by heat, making them less effective. These fatty acids are the same component of the nut that causes it to deteriorate more quickly. So processors often roast them to extend their shelf life. But in so doing, you also eliminate the healthful oils.
Salt is added as a preservative after roasting. Whether or not you personally need to reduce the amount of salt in your diet, salted nuts and seeds are an indicator that you’re getting a product that’s been roasted and therefore won’t have the essential fatty acids we’re looking for.
To keep these foods fresh, keep them in a cool, dark place, tightly covered. Buy smaller amounts – or if you want to buy them in large quantities, freeze most of them and only take out a small batch at a time.
One further note – we also recommend that you soak raw almonds in water overnight. This is because almonds have a higher content of protease inhibitor in them than other nuts. You’ll get protein from almonds, but the inhibitor interferes with how well your body can use that protein. When you soak them overnight in water, then drain it off, you’ll still get the oils you need, but also will get better use of protein from them.
Once your almonds are soaked and drained, we recommend you also keep them refrigerated.