What’s wrong with peanuts and cashews?

From the 5/6/15 eNewsletter of the Hippocrates Health Institute:

“Peanuts are not the best choice in a healthy diet. Most nuts grow above the ground on trees which keeps them relatively dry. This minimizes the possibility of developing mold, fungus and rot. Peanuts are unique as they grow below the ground making them much more susceptible to mold. Aflatoxin is a potent carcinogen produced by the Asergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus molds, which can grow on peanuts. The syndromes of aflatoxin toxicity are vomiting, abdominal pain, pulmonary edema, convulsions, coma, and even death.

To make matters worse, peanuts normally go through a sorting process after they are harvested. The best mold-free peanuts are reserved for roasting and eating whole. The remaining, less-than-pristine peanuts are often ground up and used for making peanut butter. These second rate peanuts may be infested with aflatoxin mold which goes unnoticed once ground up into peanut butter.

A much better option is to use raw almonds and raw almond butter instead of peanuts. Almonds are an excellent source of calcium which helps build strong bones and teeth. Other benefits of almonds include:

  • Reducing the risk of heart attack by lowering ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and raising blood HDL.
  • Protecting artery walls from damage. This is because raw almonds have an antioxidant effect warding off free-radicals.
  • Provides protection against diabetes because raw almonds are a blood sugar balancer.

Make sure your almonds are “truly raw” and that you soak them for eight hours prior to eating or using in recipes. This releases the enzyme inhibitors making them easier to digest and more nutritious.

Most Americans are getting far too many omega-6 fats in their diet compared to omega-3 at a ratio of about 40:1. This is because the Standard American Diet (SAD) includes eating animal products, processed foods, and processed oils. We need a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 oils at a ratio of about 1:1. Cashews contain too much omega-6. 

The other issue with cashews is that they are in the same family as poison ivy and poison sumac. This means that the cashew plant contains powerful chemical irritants, just like the previously named plants. Urushiol is the ingredient in poison ivy that binds to your skin causing a rash, but it occurs in a much smaller amount in cashew husks.

People who are extremely sensitive to poison ivy may even get a rash on their lips from eating cashews. You must be wondering why we are able to eat cashews and not have any reactions? The chemical irritants are only found in the shell and not in the nut itself. To make sure that the cashews are free of these irritants, manufactures heat the nuts in the shell at a very high temperature to destroy them. Even “raw” cashews have actually been heat treated. 

An excellent substitute for cashews is pine nuts and macadamia nuts which are also sweet and creamy. Just like with almonds, make sure your pine nuts and macadamia nuts are “truly raw” and that you soak them for eight hours prior to eating or using in recipes.”

And a recipe from them…

“From the Kitchen – Pad Thai

Trying to ditch the peanuts? Try our amazing version of the classic Pad Thai

Pad Thai with Almond Ginger Dressing Pad Thai, Yield: 4 Servings
1 1/2 C. Spiralized Purple Top Turnips
2 C. Bean Sprouts
1/3 C. Thinly Sliced Scallion
1/2 to 1/4 C. Almond Ginger Dressing
1/4 C. Chopped Dehydrated Almonds

1. In a bowl, combine the radish noodles, bean sprouts, and scallion. Add fresh cilantro and/or basil if desired.
2.Toss the Almond Ginger Dressing with the noodles and scallions.
3. Add he bean sprouts and mix again.
4. Add chopped almonds and mix again.
5. Plate and garnish with additional bean sprouts, scallions and almond.

Almond Ginger Dressing, Yield: 4 Cups
2 C. Chopped Bell Pepper
1 C. Raw Almond Butter
1/2 C. Chopped Scallion
1/4 C. Chopped Red Beet
2 T. Chopped Ginger
1 Clove Garlic
1 1/2 T. Kelp Powder
1 C. Water
1 T. Braggs Aminos or Nama Shoya (optional)
1/2 T. Fresh Lemon Juice
Cayenne to taste

1. In a blender combine all ingredients (of the dressing). Blend well and season to taste.”

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