Nuts and Nut Butters
I read a comedic story of an indigenous group in the Amazon being introduced to peanut butter. They refused to eat it because it looked like human waste. Dogs are highly allergic to many types of nuts like walnuts and macadamia nuts. The symptoms that dogs suffer from nut poisoning include muscle tremors, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and elevated heart rate. As with grains, nuts are very high in plant toxins including phytic acid. The symptoms suffered by dogs that ingest nuts strongly suggest that nuts seem to have some substance, possibly lectins, which can affect the central nervous system.
This nervous system effect is seen more clearly with dogs than with humans. Peanut allergies in humans can cause anaphylactic shock. This is just another potential sign of the potent plant toxins hidden in nuts. It is common for people with rampant tooth decay to rely on raw nut and seed butters as staples, including too much raw tahini.
Nuts are powerful inhibitors of iron absorption. But phytic acid levels in nuts do not directly correlate with the decrease in iron absorption. Even though fresh coconut has a moderate amount of phytic acid, fresh coconut has little or no impact on iron absorption. Sprouting nuts improves iron absorption but only modestly. Vitamin C in the dose of 25 milligrams can prevent compounds in nuts from blocking iron absorption. Interestingly the iron-blocking characteristics of nuts may have to do with how nut proteins are digested. This may explain the indigenous cultures’ propensity to mix nuts with animal proteins.
Phytic Acid Content of Nuts
Almond Walnut Peanut Roasted Sprouted Hazel Nut Brazil Nut
1.14 0.98 0.82 0.95 0.61 0.65 1.72
Just so you understand these figures, nuts contain about the same level of phytic acid as grains.
Do not misunderstand me; I think nuts are delicious—especially when they have been sprouted and low-temperature dehydrated, and then roasted to eliminate a large amount of phytic acid. It seems almost universal that indigenous cultures cooked their nuts in some way, such as adding them to meat soups and stews. The problem people have with nuts is that they are consuming too many raw, which means they are high in phytic acid, and too much as a staple, rather than as a part of a wholesome diet.
An interesting note about macadamia nuts is that they are an aboriginal nut from Australia. Aboriginal peoples also had access to the highest vitamin C rich fruit on the planet, the kakadu plum. The high amounts of vitamin C in the aboriginal diet may have protected Australia’s Aborigines from plant toxins from macadamia nuts. Many types of macadamia nuts are known to be toxic and are not cultivated. A certain nut from Thailand needs to be buried in volcanic soil for 100 days, and then soaked for three days in water to make it safe to eat. Nuts contain nourishing vitamins, but also potent plant toxins that could adversely affect the central nervous system.
Since many people consume coconut flour, I will mention that dried coconut flour has about the same amount of phytic acid, 1.17 percent,as many grains and other nuts. Coconut does not impact iron absorption which implies that it is much lower in the potent plant toxins found in grains and beans. Traditional societies shred coconut and usually cook it. This is not the same as commercially sold coconut flour. Coconut meal is a less powdered form of coconut flour. Coconut flour is made from the byproduct of coconut milk or coconut oil production. Coconut meal is usually used as animal feed.
Even as an animal feed, its low protein digestibility causes pigs not to grow fully when it is used as a protein supplement. It contains twice the fiber of the bran of grains. Because of the phytic acid content of coconut flour, consuming it regularly may affect your calcium / phosphorous metabolism. If you do consume coconut flour, make sure to have plenty of the vitamins and minerals that protect against phytic acid. Again, these are calcium, vitamin C, and fat-soluble vitamins A and D.
Nuts in moderation should not be a problem for most people with minor cavities. If you have severe tooth cavities, or have some nagging cavities that do not heal, consider avoiding nuts entirely until the problem resolves.
- Avoid commercially produced nut butters.
- Moderate the amount of nuts you eat; do not make them your staple food.
Make sure to have plenty of food-based vitamin C, or calcium-rich foods
with your nuts, such as roasted and skinless almonds with cheese.
Be careful with almonds; they seem to be very high in plant toxins. The skins must be removed.
Additional Intermediate Guidelines
Advanced Nut Guidelines
Roast nuts and use them for cooking, particularly with meat-based soups and stews.
Extract the oil from freshly roasted nuts. Or, avoid nuts entirely.