Like the raw milk saga, raw nuts are also a cause for disruption in our country. Raw almonds are actually illegal to sell in the US although you may buy almonds at your local health foods store that are labeled raw, that is not the case.
You see several yrs ago it was decided by the FDA and USDA that all almonds had to be pasteurized due to possible outbreaks of e-coli and other water carried illnesses. However they allowed farmers to still label the almonds as raw which is an outright lie.
So why should you care about raw almonds and other types of raw nuts? Well let’s just cover 3 of the methods of pasteurization:
– Propylene Oxide (PPO) Fumigation (propylene oxide was also used as an insecticidal fumigant till 1988 when its registration was terminated. California Prop.65 rates PPO as a CARCINOGEN. (Cited from http://www.mbow.org)
– High Heat (which degrades the integrity of the nuts and enzyme structure).
– Steam Pasteurization (will also further devalue the nutrients, enzyme activity and antioxidants.)
I don’t know about you but I’d rather eat my nuts raw and reap all the benefits they have to offer.
But where can you get raw almonds and other raw nuts when they have become illegal to sell in the US. Well you have to shop online at places like Blue Mountain Organics which actually has the healthier sprouted nuts . These nuts come from other countries like Italy and Spain that do not pasteurize their nuts. Not only is the taste and texture significantly different but the health benefits are amazing. Just looking at almonds alone you will see why raw consumption is best.
Benefits of Almonds:
Vitamin E: This powerful vitamin is an excellent antioxidant.
Monounsaturated fat: This is the “good” kind of fat that your heart and arteries love — same type as found in olive oil.
Protein: A quarter cup of almonds has over seven grams of protein.
Magnesium: This important mineral helps your cardiovascular system to be more efficient, thus delivering more nutrients and oxygen to the body. It also protects the heart from free radical damage and acts as a natural channel blocker. One-fourth cup of almonds contains 99 mg of magnesium and 257 mg of potassium. When levels are high, your veins and arteries relax, allowing an increase in the flow of oxygen and nutrient rich blood.
Potassium: Necessary for optimal nerve and muscle functions. Also helps to stabilize the heart muscle and blood pressure.
Copper and manganese: These trace minerals are key components of an enzyme produced by the body called superoxide dismutase. This powerful substance is an excellent weapon against free radicals. It also stimulates the production of energy at both the cellular and bodily levels.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): B2 also plays an important role in energy management, especially in areas such as the heart, lungs, brain, and other organs that are highly dependent on a rich oxygen supply.
Almonds have probiotic properties. Finely ground almonds seem to significantly increase the levels of beneficial bacteria. However, this effect is not seen when the fat content was removed from the almond preparation.
Lowered gallstone risk. Some studies have shown that consuming nuts can lower the risk of developing gallstones by 25 percent.
Weight Loss. A study, reported in an WHFood’s article about almonds, involving 8865 adults found that those who consumed nuts at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than were those who never or seldom consumed them.
Vitamin B17 Source. Raw and unpasteurized almonds are a good source of Vitamin B17.
Bottom Line if you eat nuts make sure they are truly raw if not you might as well just not buy any instead of wasting your money on something that has little to no health value for you.
- Organic almond growers fight back (sfgate.com)
- Why Eating Almonds is Healthy (healthmad.com)
- Raw Almond Producers Fight Federal Regulations Requiring Steam Or Pesticides On Crop (huffingtonpost.com)