In Ayurveda, dry fruits are considered a valuable source of energy and essential nutrients, and they have distinct effects on the doshas. Almonds, for instance, nourish and enhance memory, while dates provide energy and support digestion. Raisins have a cooling effect and promote healthy skin, and cashews are heavy and provide strength. Walnuts are beneficial for all doshas, and pistachios support heart health. Ayurveda recommends soaking dry fruits overnight for improved digestion and suggests their consumption during the day.
Nuts, being an excellent source of fiber and a storehouse of essential vitamins and minerals, have been studied extensively for their potential to protect against chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart issues. These delicious and crunchy snacks also serve as perfect allies in weight loss journeys due to their high protein and fiber content, promoting a feeling of satiety and prolonged fullness. Even individuals with diabetes can rely on nuts to help manage their blood sugar levels.
While moderate nut consumption is generally considered healthy, excessive intake can lead to adverse effects. Ayurveda provides specific guidelines for maximizing the health benefits of nuts. Nuts are rich in vitamin E, calcium, selenium, copper, magnesium, and riboflavin. They also contain iron, potassium, zinc, and B vitamins such as niacin, thiamine, and folate. Therefore, incorporating nuts into your daily diet is undoubtedly a healthy choice.
However, you need to be aware of the correct quantity, potential side-effects of overconsumption, the best ways to consume nuts, and when it is advisable to avoid them. Nuts are not suitable for everyone, particularly individuals with certain health issues.
Guidelines for Consumption
Ayurveda classifies nuts as “heavy to digest” (guru) due to their substantial content of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, and they are considered “hot in potency” (ushna virya). To enhance their digestibility, it is best to soak them for 6-8 hours. Soaking reduces their heat properties and removes phytic acid/tannins, making it easier for our bodies to absorb their nutrition. If you cannot soak them, dry roasting nuts before consumption is a much better option than eating them raw.
Ideal timing for consumption
The Ayurvedic expert recommends consuming nuts as a morning snack, or during mid-day or evening, as they help curb cravings.
How many dry fruits should you eat daily?
For individuals with optimal digestive capacity, a regular exercise regimen, adequate water intake, and no underlying diseases, consuming an ounce (an amount that fits in the palm of your hand) of nuts daily is considered healthy.
Side-effects of overindulging in dry fruits and nuts
Excessive nut consumption can lead to indigestion, abdominal discomfort, overheating, diarrhea, weight gain, and reduced appetite due to their high fat content.
Who should avoid
People with poor gut health, digestive problems, bloating, acidity, or GERD may need to avoid nuts.