We all love to snack on these delicious natural powerhouses, but have you ever wondered what the difference is between raw and roasted nuts? Whatever your preference, read on for Raw Nuts vs Roasted Nuts: Which are Healthier for You?
What are Raw Nuts?
- A raw nut is simply a nut that has not been exposed to heat.
- Whole raw nuts have a longer shelf life than roasted, chopped or ground nuts.
- Raw nuts contain Phytic Acid, which protects the plant from germinating too soon or being eaten by insects however it can block your body from absorbing nutrients. Soaking or roasting nuts will remove the Phytic acid.
- Raw nuts can host harmful bacteria, peanuts can harbor aflatoxins, a harmful fungus that can cause severe illness, roasting kills about 50% of the aflatoxins presents in nuts.
What are Roasted Nuts?
- Dry roasting uses dry heat to ensure the nut is evenly cooked on all sides whilst roasting in oil is given away in the name.
- The roasting process gives the nut a different aroma to a raw nut and produces that famous crunch.
- When nuts are roasted, Acrylamides form, these chemicals have been associated with some types of cancer.
- Roasting in high temperatures may lead to the fats becoming oxidised leading to formation of harmful free radicals which can damage your cells. Nutrients that are sensitive to heat will be lost during the roasting process for example Vitamin E.
Raw and roasted nuts share the same nutritional content, apart from if they are roasted in oil. Nuts are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Each nut contains its own unique combination of nutrients, minerals and trace elements. For example, almonds, an all-time favourite, are high in vitamin E, a nutrient essential for maintaining the condition of your skin, whereas Brazil nuts are bursting with selenium, a mineral important for supporting the immune system. Incorporating a variety of raw nuts into your diet will ensure you receive all the remarkable benefits they have to offer.
Pack a Protein Punch
Peanuts, pistachios and cashews are just some of the nuts that come with a high protein content. Protein is needed for a wide range of bodily functions including building and repairing tissues and the synthesis of hormones. Adding even a small daily handful of different types of raw nuts to your diet will assuredly increase your protein levels, bolster your immunity and keep you glowing, fit and healthy.
A small handful of nuts may contain approx 5g of fibre, which is crucial for keeping your digestive system healthy whilst preventing constipation. Nuts at the top of the list for fibre content include almonds, pistachios and chestnuts.
A Handful of Nuts-a-Day Keeps the Doctor Away!
Nuts are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are both classed as ‘healthy fats’. Heart-healthy monounsaturated fats help reduce your risk of heart disease by reducing bad cholesterol levels in your blood. Raw nuts are also packed with the amino acid L-arginine, responsible for relaxing the body’s arteries. This consequently increases blood flow which will reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
Nuts have a low glycaemic index meaning they are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised by the body causing a lower and slower rise in blood glucose. This means that you will stay fuller for longer and your insulin levels will remain lower. This makes them the perfect snack for diabetics or anyone watching their weight – for the latter, there’s only so many nuts you can eat before you’re fairly quickly satiated!