Nuts and Seeds
The Global Burden of Disease Study, the largest analysis of risk factors for death and disease in history, calculated that not eating enough nuts and seeds was the third-leading dietary risk factor for death and disability in the world, killing more people than processed meat consumption. Insufficient nut and seed intake is thought to lead to the deaths of millions of people every year, 15 times more than all those who die from overdoses of heroin, crack cocaine, and all other illicit drugs combined.
Major studies have shown that people who eat nuts appear to suffer fewer deaths from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease, as well as living longer. Indeed, our life span may be increased by an extra two years by eating nuts regularly—one handful (or about a quarter of a cup) five or more days a week.
PREDIMED, one of the largest interventional dietary trials ever performed, followed more than 7,000 men and women at high cardiovascular risk randomized into different diet groups. One group received a free half pound of nuts every week for four consecutive years. Compared with other groups, the added-nuts group appeared to cut their stroke risk in half. If this works as well in the general population, 89,000 strokes a year, or ten strokes every hour, would be prevented in the United States alone simply by adding walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts to the nation’s daily diet.
Recipe – Nut and Seed Bread
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup flax seeds, roughly ground
2 Tbs. chia seeds
½ cup hazelnuts, almonds, or any nut, roughly chopped
4 Tbs. psyllium seed husks or 3 Tbs. psyllium husk powder
1 ½ cups rolled oats, not quick or instant
1 to 1 ½ tsp. salt
2 Tbs. maple syrup
3 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
1 ½ cups water
In a bowl, combine well all dry ingredients. Whisk maple syrup, oil, and water together. Add to dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely saturated. Transfer to oiled or parchment paper-lined loaf pan. Smooth out the top with a spatula. Let sit on the counter for two to eight hours. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing. Keep refrigerated. Makes delicious toast.