It’s winter in the northern hemisphere and that means we naturally gravitate towards denser foods like nuts and seeds.  Unfortunately, many of the raw food and fruitarian groups rail against nuts and seeds and this can lead to confusion about whether we should be eating them at all. 

Common questions come to mind about how many nuts are too many.  Are all nuts raw? Will nuts stop detox?   Often these questions can lead us to shy away from nuts and seeds.

In addition, it is easy to overdo a meal of nuts if we are eating them pre-shelled. Sometimes our digestion through the healing process can struggle with the nuts and seeds making us feel like we shouldn’t be eating them.  Lastly, we have many loud voices in the various raw and fruitarian communities spreading the false message that nuts, like greens, will slow down or stop the detox.   This is 100% false and nuts should not be avoided based on a fear of stopping detox. 

In short, both nuts and leafy greens are essential to a well-rounded diet which is essential to returning the body to a state of health.  Let’s see what some of the noted Natural Hygienists have to say about nuts and seeds.

Nuts in the Hygienic Diet

“Next to fruits, nuts are the most essential foods in a well-balanced and wholesome diet.” – Otto Carque, Rational Diet

“We should consume only pure water as thirst demands and wholesome raw ripe fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds as genuine hunger dictates. – TC Fry

“Nuts in general are the best, the most wholesome and most economical source of Protein, because while they are eaten unfired their protein is well balanced with the positive salts.”  – George Julius Drews

[Note: salts are minerals]

“Coming now to nuts, they are, as before pointed out, the great source of proteid – outside meat and certain legumes.  When thoroughly masticated, they are a wholesome and very nutritious article of diet…..They contain practically the elements of a perfect food in due proportion – supplying the system with proteids, fats, carbohydrates, and salts in a concentrated form, with but little waste.   In addition to the nitrogenous matter which they contain, they are also a valuable, and in fact the chief, source of fats….On the whole, it may be said that they are the most valuable articles of food that we know, and when supplemented by a few fruits, form a perfect and nutritious diet.”   – Hereward Carrington

Kellogg says that “nuts are the choisest of all substances capable of sustaining life,” and that in “nutritive value the nut far exceeds all other food substances.” Also, “The nut is the choisest aggregation of the materials essential for the buildnig of sound human tissues, done up in a hermetically sealed package, ready to be delivered by the gracious hand of Nature to those who are fortunate enough to appreciate the value of this finest of earth’s bounties.”

“Nuts, particularly the pecan, produce more food per acre than any other product and no one need eat animal products so long as these delightful foods are to be had. They are not to be considered as a “meat substitute.” The meat is the “substitute,” as Prof. Sherman, of Columbia University, says.”” Herbert Shelton, The Science and Fine Art of Food and Nutrition

“The digestibility of protein in 28 experiments with mixed diets, to which were added fruits and nuts, averaged 90 percent. …The digestibility of the carbohydrates in nuts, so far as the available data show, is about equal to that of the same ingredients in other foods…It would appear that, while it is not possible to state the exact digestion coefficients for all nuts, enough has been done to indicate their high nutritive value and digestibility…The distress sometimes experienced when nuts are eaten is undoubtedly often due to improper mastication or over-indulgence.  The investigations made at the California station indicate clearly that considerable quantities of nuts properly eaten do not cause distress…As a whole nuts may be classed among the staple foods, and not simply as food accessories.”  – Professor Jaffa, “Nuts and their Uses as Food” from “The Natural Food of Man”, Hereward Carrington

“Paleontologists tell us that primitive man was a nut eater. All over the face of the earth man has used nuts as food from time immemorial. There are many kinds of nuts and these have all proven excellent sources of food, not alone for man, but for the lower primates and many other animals, including many birds. They are rich in food values, delightfully flavored and keep for extended periods so that man, as well as the squirrel, may store them for future use. Many animals besides squirrels eat large quantities of nuts. Many of the birds make use of the nut as an article of food. Horses will consume great quantities of acorns. While they will eat fruit from the trees, they eat acorns off the ground after they have fallen. Hogs eat so many hickory nuts that in certain parts of the country they are called pig-nuts. Horses are also fond of pecans.

“It takes months of sunshine to perfect the nut and when it is completed it is a veritable storehouse of minerals and high-grade protein, emulsified oil and health-imparting vitamins. Packed in a nature-made, water-proof and air-tight shell, the nut-meat comes to us clean and wholesome. Hermetically sealed the nut does not become contaminated and spoiled as does meat, for example. Nuts are free from waste products, are aseptic and do not readily decay, either in the body or outside of it. They are not infested with parasites (trachinae, tape-worm, etc.), as are meats.” – Herbert Shelton

Nutrition in Nuts

“Scientific investigations prove that all the nuts, especially in the form of unroastes nut butter, furnish a relatively high amount of basic amino acids , and that nut proteins are of a high biological value.”  

“Animals that have declined on a diet devoid of water soluble vitamin, promptly recover when the almond, English Walnut, filbert, hickory nut, pine nut, chestnut and pacan were introduced.  

“Nuts are rich in minerals, particularly iron and lime. Pecans are rich in potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Almonds, pecans, walnuts, chestnuts, and hazelnuts contain an average percentage of iron of about two and a half times that of fruit, three times that of vegetables, greater than that of cereals and more than average meats. The almond is rich in iron and lime. One pound of almonds contains as much calcium as twenty-five pounds of beef or eleven pounds of bread and potatoes. The almond is twice as rich in blood-building elements as meat and is very rich in bone-building elements, in which meat is sadly lacking.”  Herbert Shelton

“Most nuts are abundant in vitamins A and B. The researchers of Cajori demonstrated the abundant presence of growth-promoting vitamins in pecans, English walnuts, chestnuts, almonds, pine nuts, filberts, and hickory nuts. Most nuts are rich in oils. The fats (oils) of nuts are the most easily digested and assimilated of all forms of fat. Kellogg says: “The fat of nuts exists in a finely divided state and in the chewing of nuts a fine emulsion is produced so that the nuts enter the stomach in a form adapted for prompt digestion.

Nuts are fairly rich in starch and sugar, and are three to four times richer in vitally important salts than animal flesh, even richer than milk in these vital substances. Not albumen is easily assimilated and does not form uric acid. Nuts are rich in fat, which, like that of milk, is in a state of emulsion – that is, ready-made, prepared, or pre-digested, as it were – for circulation through the lymphatic system. 

Measured in calories, most nuts rank high. One example must suffice. Measured in calories, two ounces of shelled pecans contain as much food as a pound of lean beef.

Everything that can be had from flesh foods can be gotten in better condition and more usable form from other sources, and especially from nuts. Nuts are not only cleaner than meat, they come in hermetically sealed shells that prevent contamination.

Nut proteins are of the highest order, most nut proteins being complete. Kellogg maintains that nut proteins are the best of all sources upon which the body may draw for its supplies of tissue building substances and that the proteins of nuts are superior to those of ordinary vegetables or meat. “Nuts furnish perfect proteins.” Nut proteins are superior to those of cereals and are claimed to be more complete than those of eggs. Indeed, Kellogg says: “The special method of research adopted by Dr. Hoobler of the Detroit Women’s Hospital and Infant’s Home, provides a most delicate biological test for the nutriment value of food. The test shows the nut to be superior to meat, milk or eggs or all these foods together in producing the highest degree of nutritive efficiency. Nut protein is the best of all sources upon which the body may draw for its supplies of tissue-building material.” – Herbert Shelton

“Studies of the proteins of nuts by Osborn and Harris, Van Slyke, Johns and Cajori demonstrated that the proteins of nuts are at least equal to those of meat. This was shown to be true of the almond, black and English walnuts, butternut, pecan, filbert, Brazil nut, pine nut, chsetnut, hickory nut and cocoanut. Observations have shown that, in general, the proteins of oily seeds are complete proteins. Johns, Finks and Paul found that the globulin of the cocoanut is an adequate growth-factor in rats and that cocoanuts are almost completely sufficient as the sole source of protein in human beings. Para nuts have also been shown to be rich in superior protein. Not all workers are agreed about hickory nuts, many maintaining that these possess a low-grade protein. The others named are rich in high-grade proteins, promoting growth, development, reproduction,lactation, and the rearing of the young, not alone in animals, but also in man.”  – Herbert Shelton

“Nuts are acid-ash foods, as are all proteins, but they are not so much so as are animal proteins. The comparative degrees of acidity of the proteins run walnuts, 8; oysters, 15.3; veal 13.5; eggs, 12; chicken, 11.2; beef, 9.8; etc. Nuts contain less acid minerals than meat.” – Herbert Shelton

Proper Food Combining of Nuts

“Nuts are often used as a dessert after a heavy meal. In this case, they are harmful. Combined with fruits or vegetable salads, nuts make a complete meal in themselves, and their indigestibility in most cases must be attributed to a lack of wisdom in the choice of food eaten with them.  If nuts are thoroughly masticated and used in small quantities, and well combined, they are easily digested and utilized by the human body.” – Otto Carque

Carque goes on to explain that nut butters are an excellent option for those with defective and weak teeth who are not able to thoroughly masticate the whole nuts.   Nut butter should always be raw and without salt.   

Nuts pair well with greens and can also be paired with dried fruits.  Nuts can be eaten as a stand alone meal, prior to the salad, or after the salad.  They are often enjoyed as part of the salad meal, either as a salad topping or dressing.   

“It would be difficult to overestimate the tremendous gain that would accrue to the people of our country if the millions of acres now devoted to grain-raising were devoted to nut and fruit culture.”  – Herbert Shelton