13 Top Raw Almonds Nutrition Benefits (And How To Get Truly Raw Almonds)
By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Sep 20, 2018
Got your eye on raw almonds in this year’s Group Buy? The most potent nutrition benefits and best taste come from truly raw almonds. But unless you have a direct connection to an almond trees grower (and we do!), truly raw almonds are impossible to buy because of regulations that require pasteurization and fumigation of any quantity over 100 pounds. In this article:
California has forced almond growers to pasteurize all their nuts above 130 degrees. This steam process not only blunts the almond flavor, but it also kills enzymes, which are destroyed at 118-120 degrees.
Raw Nuts but Pasteurized
But since there is no legal definition of “raw” when it comes to food, retailers can sell pasteurized almonds and still call them “raw almonds,” because they aren’t roasted, not because they are actually raw!
Raw Organic Almonds Have Live Enzymes
You want truly raw almonds for their superior taste, live enzymes, and so you can soak and sprout them. Pasteurized almonds are “dead” and won’t sprout!
Why Should You Soak and Sprout Raw Almonds?
When you soak raw almonds for 12-24 hours, they germinate and become a living superfood. These amazing health benefits happen when you sprout almonds:
Enzymes Multiply. The water signals to the almond (which is actually a seed rather than a nut) that it is time to grow. To grow, seeds have to turn off their natural enzyme inhibitors, and rapidly increase the enzymes needed to sustain a growing plant. These enzymes then become available to your body when you eat sprouted almonds, improving your digestion and other bodily processes.
Minerals and Vitamins Increase, the B vitamins in particular. Growing plants need B vitamins and their mineral partners to metabolize carbohydrate for energy, which also means that when the almonds are soaked or sprouted, these vitamins and minerals become available for our body to absorb.
Carbs Decrease. Seeds are their own energy source, and they use their carbohydrate to produce the energy they need to sprout.
Oxalates are Reduced. People who are sensitive to oxalates can enjoy more raw almonds simply by sprouting them!
Bioavailable Nutrients are Unlocked. Amino Acids and other nutrients “unlock.” They become more bioavailable, as well as increase.
The Taste Improves. A sprouted almond has an even more nutty, almond taste than raw. If you’ve been eating pasteurized almonds (which you almost certainly have, since raw almonds take effort to find), you are missing out on taste!
How Do you Sprout Almonds?
Once you sprout your raw almonds, you can use them to make delicious, homemade almond milk!
Raw almonds need about 12 hours of soaking in water, at room temperature, to start the sprouting process (I usually soak mine overnight). You don’t have to soak them long enough to see the nub of the sprout poking through the skin (that would take days, and often the nut will mold first). Just be sure to give the almonds at least 12 hours in the water. Remember, pasteurized almonds won’t sprout, no matter how long you soak them!
Almonds have a great electrolyte balance, with 162 mg potassium and just .2 mg of sodium per serving. The high potassium-to-sodium ratio lowers blood pressure by drawing more fluid out of the bloodstream and into the cells.
5. Prevents Muscle Spasms and Cramping
High magnesium and potassium in almonds keep blood and oxygen moving to muscles and help regulate the electrical signals that contract those muscles. They also help blood vessels and muscles relax, so oxygen and other nutrients can feed cells and prevent cramping.
6. Reduces Diabetes Risk
Meals featuring almonds have been shown to cut surges in blood sugar, as well as increase antioxidants. Both factors are important in preventing and controlling diabetes.
7. Protects Skin, Organs and Connective Tissues
Almonds have high vitamin E levels, a nutrient responsible for keeping organs–including skin–supple and functioning well. Almond oil has been a treasured skin protectant and moisturizer for millennia.
8. Slows Aging
Along with Vitamin E, researchers have found that almonds have a unique combination of bioflavonoids, particularly in their brown skins. The synergistic effect of the flavonoids with Vitamin E serves to prevent cellular damage and help cells regenerate and repair quickly.
9. Gives You Energy
Cellular energy production requires trace mineral “triggers,” such as copper and manganese, which are found abundantly in almonds. The B vitamins and antioxidants C and E also assist in energy production. The even better news is that sprouting raw almonds greatly multiplies the amount of all these nutrients!
10. Helps You Lose Weight
Many people avoid nuts for fear of weight gain, which turns out to be baseless. A study comparing overweight people eating a low-calorie, high-complex-carbohydrate diet, vs. those eating a low-calorie, almond-rich diet, showed the almond-eaters to have a 56% greater reduction in body fat, 50% greater reduction in body fat, and a 62% greater reduction in overall weight! Other studies have shown that people who eat nuts like almonds twice a week are less likely to gain weight than those who never eat them.
11. Helps Prevent Gallstones
The Nurses’ Study showed that women who ate just 1 ounce of nuts per week (just 28 almonds!) lowered their risk of gallstone formation by 25%.
12. Mops Up Free Radicals
The high percentage of the antioxidant vitamins E and C are natural free radical scavengers, reducing inflammation and preventing DNA damage to cells and tissues.
13. Encourages Healthier Eating
A year-long study found that people eating 2 ounces of almonds every day (and given no other guidelines) naturally gravitated toward eating more nutrient-dense foods, and fewer nutrient-poor, high-sugar foods.
A high-vibration life is full of high-vibration foods like raw almonds and sprouted almonds! Get the whole list of 200 high-vibration foods (and the lowest-vibration foods to avoid) in this free printable shopping list! Do you have tips on how to find raw and organic nuts in the stores? Share them with us in the comments section below.Up Next: Almond Flour CrustResources:
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 9, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.