Nuts are extremely versatile and can be enjoyed in countless ways. They can be consumed as a snack, added to breakfast smoothies or cereal bowls, made into a butter or paste and smeared on grainy crackers or toast, added to stir fries or salads. And they work really well whole, chopped or ground in healthy baked goods. Just be sure to exercise some portion control – about 30 grams or 10-15 nuts is equal to one serve; that’s based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines (4).
Lastly, should you activate your nuts? The answer is a resounding ‘No’. For the uninitiated, activating nuts involves soaking them and then leaving them out to dry; a process that can take up to 24 hours. Some would have you believe that activating nuts denatures phytates, (a so-called anti-nutrient and phytochemical naturally present in nuts as well as legumes), thereby making the other nutrients in the nut more bioavailable. However, there is no evidence to support this theory. In fact, phytates have some cancer-fighting properties, which is a good thing! Plus soaking your nuts is time-consuming and inconvenient. And, if you purchase them already activated, the price tag is grossly inflated. You’d have to be an activated nutter to bother.
Nuts get my tick of approval. Just don’t activate mine, please.
1) Li TY, Brennan AM, Wedick NM, Mantzoros C, Rifai N, Hu FB. Regular consumption of nuts is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in women with type 2 diabetes. J Nutr. 2009 Jul; 139(7):1333-8
2) Afshin A, Micha R, Khatibzadeh S, Mozaffarian D. Consumption of nuts and legumes and risk of incident ischemic heart disease, stroke, and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jun 4.
3) Grosso G, Yang J, Marventano S, Micek A, Gabano F, Kales SN. Nut consumption on all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015. 101 (4) 783-93
4) National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council. www.eatforhealth.gov.au