Nuts and seeds are well protected by their hard outer coat and, as with grains and beans; this signifies a high concentration of stored energy within them, resembling the idea of Jing essence in Chinese medicine and Ojas for Ayurveda. Each nut has the potential to become a whole tree! Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of fat and secondly of protein, they strengthen the body and help gain weight. Nuts and seeds have a warming and moistening effect (except for pumpkin and sunflower seeds which have a warm and dry effect), making them suitable for the slim, deficient and fragile people who need rich sources of nutrition and grounding. People who are robust or heavy, oily or phlegmy, should eat very little of nuts and seeds if at all.

Nuts and seeds go rancid quickly and easily therefor they are best bought with the shell. Store them in a non-plastic container, in a dark and cool space. Unshelled they can store well for one year. After shelled they should be stored in a non-plastic container in the refrigerator and optimally eaten within days.

Although nuts and seeds seem naive in appearance; they are not easy to digest!And may be too rich and Sticky for someone with a weak digestion.

Quantity – a good rule of thumb is to eat not more than 5 nuts or a spoonful of seeds at once and not more than 3 times a day. Nuts and seeds could be served as a snack between meals, combined with fruit, vegetable or grain, or mixed as garnish with the main meals such as porridge, grains, cooked vegetables, salads or legumes.

Lightly roasting seeds and nuts render these highly indigestible foods digestible. Light roasting is more appropriate during the cold seasons and for people who suffer from cold and deficiency.

Another method for aiding digestion of these wonderful healthy foods is to soak them in water for several hours or overnight. This method activates dormant enzymes and reduces phytate content. Soaking is more appropriate during the warm seasons and for people who suffer from heat. Nuts and seeds could be first soaked and then lightly roasted for optimizing their digestibility.

In the case of a substantially weak digestion, after roasting or soaking the nuts and seeds, they can be grinded with water in a blender, made into a smoothie with other ingredients or grinded with water and strained to make nut milk.

Nut butters – are very dense, heavy, oily and sticky. To digest them well, combine the butter with a small amount of pickled Umebushi paste or miso paste and a spicy vegetable such as scallion, watercress, chives, black pepper or other spices. Add enough water to produce a creamy paste, and mix together/blender the ingredients well.  This combination can be used cooked or uncooked, as a spread for breads and crackers, or as a delicious sauce for grain and salads and cooked vegetables.

While nuts and seeds can take up to three hours to digest, they are a satisfying and important energizing source of nutrition and an essential part of a healthy diet.

Nutty cravings

Many people have strong cravings for nuts and seeds, and the butters derived from them, particularly those who follow strict or limited plant based diets, poor in either high quality fats or protein. These fat and protein rich foods tend to fill the void for those in need. Nuts and seeds can also serve as a rebound craving food for a no carb diet, trying to compensate with additional fats for the lack of the sweet taste and the good feeling associated with it.This craving pattern results in digestive and respiratory problems.


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