Another Reason You Shouldn't Go Nuts on Nuts | Chris Kresser
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Another Reason You Shouldn’t Go Nuts on Nuts

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In a previous article1, I suggested that nut consumption should be limited or moderated because of the high levels of omega-6 fat many of them contain. But there’s another reason you shouldn’t make nuts a staple of your diet.

One of the main principles of the Paleo diet is to avoid eating grains and legumes because of the food toxins they contain. One of those toxins, phytic acid (a.k.a. phytate), is emphasized as one of the greatest offenders.

But what is often not mentioned in books or websites about the Paleo diet is that nuts are often as high or even higher in phytic acid than grains. In fact, nuts decrease iron absorption even more than wheat bread2. This is ironic because a lot of people on the Paleo diet – who go to great lengths to avoid food toxins – are chowing down nut like they’re going out of style.

What is phytic acid and why should we care?

Phytic acid is the storage form of phosphorus found in many plants, especially in the bran or hull of grains and in nuts and seeds. Although herbivores like cows and sheep can digest phytic acid, humans can’t. This is bad news because phytic acid binds to minerals (especially iron and zinc) in food and prevents us from absorbing them. 3 Studies suggest that we absorb approximately 20 percent more zinc and 60 percent more magnesium from our food when phytic acid is absent4. It’s important to note that phytic acid does not leach minerals that are already stored in the body; it only inhibits the absorption of minerals from food in which phytic acid is present.

Phytic acid interferes with enzymes we need to digest our food, including pepsin, which is needed for the breakdown of proteins in the stomach, and amylase, which is required for the breakdown of starch. Phytic acid also inhibits the enzyme trypsin, which is needed for protein digestion in the small intestine.

As most people following a Paleo diet will probably have heard by now, diets high in phytate cause mineral deficiencies. For example, rickets and osteoporosis are common in societies where cereal grains are a staple part of the diet.5

How much phytic acid should you eat?

Before you go out and try to remove every last scrap of phytic acid from your diet, keep in mind that it’s likely humans can tolerate a small to moderate amount of phytic acid – in the range of 100 mg to 400 mg per day. According to Ramiel Nagel in his article “Living With Phytic Acid”6, the average phytate intake in the U.S. and the U.K. ranges between 631 and 746 mg per day; the average in Finland is 370 mg; in Italy it is 219 mg; and in Sweden a mere 180 mg per day.

If you’re on a Paleo diet you’re already avoiding some of the higher sources of phytic acid: grains and legumes like soy. But if you’re eating a lot of nuts and seeds – which a lot of Paleo folks do – you still might be exceeding the safe amount of phytic acid.

As you can see from the table below, 100 grams of almonds contains between 1,200 – 1,400 mg of phytic acid. 100g is about 3 ounces. That’s equal to a large handful. A handful of hazelnuts, which is further down on the list, would still exceed the recommended daily intake – and that’s assuming you’re not eating any other foods with phytic acid, which is not likely. Even the Paleo-beloved coconut has almost 400 mg of phytic acid per 100 gram serving.

[Disappointing side note for chocolate lovers: Raw unfermented cocoa beans and normal cocoa powder are extremely high in phytic acid. Processed chocolate may also contain significant levels.]

FIGURE 2: PHYTIC ACID LEVELS1
In milligrams per 100 grams of dry weight

Brazil nuts1719
Cocoa powder1684-1796
Oat flakes1174
Almond1138 – 1400
Walnut982
Peanut roasted952
Brown rice840-990
Peanut ungerminated821
Lentils779
Peanut germinated610
Hazelnuts648 – 1000
Wild rice flour634 – 752.5
Yam meal637
Refried beans622
Corn tortillas448
Coconut357
Corn367
Entire coconut meat270
White flour258
White flour tortillas123
Polished rice11.5 – 66
Strawberries12

Can you prepare nuts to make them safer to eat?

Unfortunately we don’t have much information on how to reduce phytic acid in nuts. However, we know that most traditional cultures often go to great lengths prior to consuming them.
According to Nagel7:

It is instructive to look at Native American preparation techniques for the hickory nut, which they used for oils. To extract the oil they parched the nuts until they cracked to pieces and then pounded them until they were as fine as coffee grounds. They were then put into boiling water and boiled for an hour or longer, until they cooked down to a kind of soup from which the oil was strained out through a cloth. The rest was thrown away. The oil could be used at once or poured into a vessel where it would keep a long time.50

By contrast, the Indians of California consumed acorn meal after a long period of soaking and rinsing, then pounding and cooking. Nuts and seeds in Central America were prepared by salt water soaking and dehydration in the sun, after which they were ground and cooked.

Modern evidence also suggests that at least some of the phytate can be broken down by soaking and roasting. The majority of this data indicates that soaking nuts for eighteen hours, dehydrating at very low temperatures (either in a food dehydrator or a low temperature oven), and then roasting or cooking the nuts would likely eliminate a large portion of the phytic acid.

Elanne and I have been preparing nuts like this for a few years, and I personally notice a huge difference in how I digest them. I used to have a heavy sensation in my stomach after eating nuts, but I don’t get that at all when I eat them after they’ve been prepared this way.

Another important thing to be aware of is that phytic acid levels are much higher in foods grown using modern high-phosphate fertilizers than those grown in natural compost.

So how many nuts should you eat?

The answer to that question depends on several factors:

  • Your overall health and mineral status
  • Your weight and metabolic health
  • Whether you are soaking, dehydrating and roasting them nuts before consuming them

One of the biggest problems I see is with people following the GAPS or Specific Carbohydrate Diets, which are gut-healing protocols for people with serious digestive issues. Most GAPS and SCD recipe books emphasize using nut flour to make pancakes and baked goods. This is presumably because many people who adopt these diets find it hard to live without grains, legumes and any starch. While nut flours don’t tend to contain much phytic acid (because nut flour is made from blanched nuts, and the phytic acid is found mostly in the skin of the nuts), they can be difficult to digest in large amounts — especially for those with digestive issues. I’ve found that limiting nut flour consumption is necessary for most of my patients that are on GAPS or SCD. It’s also best to be moderate with consumption of most commercial nut butters, which are made with unsoaked nuts. However, some health food stores do carry brands of “raw, sprouted” nut butters that would presumably be safer to eat.

All of that said, in the context of a diet that is low in phytic acid overall, and high in micronutrients like iron and calcium, a handful of nuts that have been properly prepared each day should not be a problem for most people.

460 Comments

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  1. I can’t say I believe this. If I were in the wild I’d be eating so many nuts per day it would be out of control. Grains I would not be eating. I think there is some research that needs to be done here.

    • nah, you wouldn’t, at best you’d sit under a tree cracking nts for 3days then 10 minutes to eat them, you would starve to death within a month unless you were a thief and stole meat dairy vegie and fruits from the locals, you don’t just walk into the wilderness eat nuts and expect to live, Oh you probably would then die do your research

  2. Eat all the nuts you want, seriously , what these sites should be saying is all our food is processed, contains added sugar in most everything we buy, stay away from anything processed but eat all you want that is pure and wholesome!!!

    • Nuts are not a processed food. This has been said for years, that nuts are not as healthy as one would think. This article also has footnotes added to each fact so that sources could be checked. I eat paleo, but I am on AIP, which is much more paleo than the Americanized “paleo” diet, which I see many eat that isn’t really paleo at all. We have so many great fruits and vegetables. But if you must eat nuts, lower physic acid by using one of the processes stated above.

      • So then what is healthy .. they have said for years that meat has been linked to cancer …
        Kale along with many other greens supposedly have toxins if not cooked ..
        Now nuts and seeds .. Like come on already …
        SO WHAT IS HEALTHY .. I believe there is a lot of disinformation designed to confuse people .. because no matter what direction we take to improve our health, somebody always comes around saying .. “Don’t eat that, it’s bad” .. so what gives .. I say eat what we want since EVERYTHING is supposedly bad in some way or another ..lol

        • Healthy, is listening to your own body, carefully observing even the slightest reactions, and adjusting your diet and routine accordingly. No one should just listen to all research and claims, with no personal proof or at least damn solid inclinations.

          My body definitely reacts to nuts in a negative way. So research (/opinions) like this, may make sense for MY BODY.

          People need to remember that everyone has a unique genetic makeup and a body that reacts differently to all foods and life habits. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with this explained theory, except that most people reading it are either gullible or obsessed.

          • I agree. I am starting to think my body does not like nuts/seeds. However, it’s easy to snack on them and keep going back, then not realise just how many you have consumed! Listen to your body, work out what it likes and does not like and do so in moderation. Read up on-line and take a measured view – no knee jerk reactions, just a common sense approach. Having eaten Paleo in the past, I’ve never felt better but it’s hard to put into practice when leading a busy life. Having been Gluten Free for almost two years, it definitely helps but I’m not 100% there yet!

    • Why should they if it isn’t drilled in enough I think people need to be aware about how our food works. In this case it doesn’t mean you should cut it out but have it at a time where youre not having much of anything else as it won’t effect what there isn’t there to absorb

    • crap, culture and tradition say the opposite, they didn’t ferment germinate soak boil roast denature for nothing, science today confirm the wisdom of old, todays jenetiks is profit without wisdom

  3. Hi,
    I recently (today) found out I’m allergic to almonds via scratch test. However, being on the GAPS diet, I’ve been consuming almond milk, almond flour, and making granola with almonds. I make everything with almonds I’ve soaked and dehydrated and I’m curious if the allergy is to the nut or the phytic acid in the nut. My doctor had no idea so I was hoping someone could shed some light as to what typically causes a nut allergy.
    Thank you!

    • Hello Katie,
      I would think it’s the protein in the almonds you are allergic to. People are generally not allergic to phytic acid.

      Since you are on the GAPS Diet, maybe this “allergy” is not permanent. Once you rebalance your gut, you might be able to tolerate foods you were not able to tolerate before. 🙂

    • wata dopey question, your dr is an idiot obviously and you no good with maths and so much for your scratch test, shish i allergic to almonds i need almond milk butter powder musli, if you had an allergy it would be impossible to live on almond as you do, but why would you want to almond milk butter toast, are you nuts and you allergic, more like a mental disorder that will develop into an eating disorder. Avoid every bit of advice from a vegan, they are predators and in order to deal with their life destroying dilimma, they paint a pretty picture and push their deadly doctrine, it makes them feel better watching another suffer in denial, avoid them, they are a deadly plague especiall when they mingle it in occultish religion and new age sda rasta essenes, by the way coconut like milk and honey is a gift from heaven, coconuts is natures breast milk and immunises in the same way, do your own research this author is misinforming you

  4. Hi guys!

    Important to note – the nuts *could* effect your bodies’ ability to absorb the nutrients that are included in the meal you consume at the same time as the nuts.

    So let’s say your metabolism is normal, and your nuts are digested in about 45 minutes (This varies greatly depending on your gut health and metabolism). If you eat a handful of nuts at 10am, the food you eat for lunch is unaffected by the nuts you ate in the morning.

    When presenting a world wide audience with information that suggests we ought to limit intake of an extremely healthy food, it is only ethical to include ALL of the relevant information.

    Keep eating nuts, guys, just watch your food combining, that’s all!!

    • food combining, eating is a pleasure a simple pleasure, dont complicate it or destroy the simple of others, icecream chocolate and cushed nuts mmm,

  5. What is healthy then?

    Seeds & nuts = unhealthy
    Fish = Full of mercury and other shit
    Meat = Cancer and heart attacks

    Guess I should just eat rice.

    • The only foods that we are biologically designed to eat and cause no issues are fully ripe raw fruit and tender leafy greens like lettuce.

      • Some digestive issues will cause some people to have to moderate the fruits, esp those with small seeds (as will diabetes). Isolating on veggies and fruits may leave you struggling for some nutrients. Balance is key (or lack of it.) I am on something like the Atkins diet, which is unbalanced by many measures (certainly I eat almost no sugar or grain & very little fruit.) I eat a ton of spinach, a fair amount of other veggies, some nuts, and a variety of meats. Once I hit my target weight I plan to fit in a modest portion of dairy and fruit. The nuts seem to be reducing my blood pressure, since I added them later, fwif, but it’s not like I did any kind of controlled study.

      • Every body is unique. Take into account your bio-individuality and find a diet that works best for you. As much as I advocate for pale and believe in its power, I also think there is a place for a few well prepared grains, bean, and nuts. The amount is dependent on the integrity and health of your GI tract.

    • Modern research has dispelled the rumor that meat causes cancer and heart attacks, but rather it’s the refined sugar (like cheap high fructose corn syrup in all processed foods) and phytosterols that causes atherosclerosis and cancer.

      Animal fat and cholesterol has been wrongly demonized by mass media and public-know-it-all’s for the past 50 years. If you dig deeper, you’ll find that the majority of cancer and heart disease patients consume high-sugar diets.

      There was even a case of a 40 year old vegan that died of a heart attack, a person that’s been a vegan their entire lives dying of a heart attack? That’s insane, right?

      I’ve cured my own disease on so many levels by switching from my SAD (standard American diet) to, at first, a paleo diet, but I even went further and discovered the Art and Science of Nutritional Ketosis. This may be personal anecdotal evidence, but I used to have frequent gout attacks (at least 5-6 per month), even when I was eating a paleo diet. I stopped eating grains like rice (and I’m Asian too, I grew up eating this stuff, but I have to give it up to lose the bodyfat and lower inflammation).

      The first three months I ate paleo, I lost a ton of weight but I was still getting gout, I decided go completely keto for the last 3 months, not only did I lose 71 pounds and 25% bodyfat WITHOUT exercise, gout attacks became obsolete.

      You see, gout occurs when you have too much uric acid in your blood, they form tiny crystals in your blood acting like sharp razorblades and attack your joints. I’ve had a gout attack in every joint below my waste, so the pain was REAL. I cut out everything that contained phytic acid during those last three months of testing out the keto diet, that included fresh fruits and even veggies and ate only meat, butter, and drank distilled water. Boom, all inflammation GONE.

      • yes rasta and you look real mean with your fermenting mayne and a mouldy lettuce leaf in your mouth. Ganghi himself would call you a murderer and a deciever4 of india,

    • I don’t think meat itself is a problem, but unless it’s organic, it’s loaded w/ antibiotics, & compounds from grains & whatever else is feed to the animals, as well as preservatives. A good example is “processed meats”, which are full of nitrates & nitrites, which, according to the 2010 Presidental report, have been grossly underestimated to cause cancer.

    • yes polished processed rice, then bleach it, then add artificial rice flavor, then bulk it up with vitamin fortified shredded cardboard, add fish flavor, mmm fish soup n rice, or mold it and make deep fried fish finger mmm vegan fish finger

  6. I found that walnuts can really hurt your throat, cause mouth sores. Singers avoid them. I had sores a few weeks back, so cut down on the walnuts, then caught a cold, ate a few nuts during. I actually lost my voice, first time in my life, and I’m almost 60. I do drink soy, only in the a.m. in my iced coffee, but the walnuts have put me over the edge of acidity. Too bad, as I love them!! Heard it was only black walnuts that cause the problem, but not in my case. Have great hair, though!! (Paleo, allergic to wheat, dairy, eggs)

    • Consuming soy in any form is highly unadvisable. Even fermented soy should be approached with caution and only eaten with a completely healed gut and in the absence of an allergy.

      • I just spent the morning reading up on soy.
        There seems to be lots of fear mongering from the meat industry there. Be aware and do your reading.
        Here is a good breakdown by eden foods. Yes, they sell lots of soy, but seem pretty honest in their rebuttals to a lot of the soy fear mongering here. I found this rather reassuring that some good, clean soy is not a problem in moderation.
        http://www.edenfoods.com/articles/view.php?articles_id=80

        • Soy, like many commercialized/monetized crops, has been genetically altered. That alone should be enough to scare us far, far away from such. When it comes to “food”, it’s not worth the risk to eat anything that has been ‘manipulated’ to be “better” for the sellers, at unknown risk to buyers.

        • Soy is high in Oxalates too. Plus, all that Glyphosate (main chemical in Roundup herbicde) is HIGH in oxalates too. Majority of Soy nowadays is heavily sprayed with Roundup AND just 3 days before harvest too. If you have the COMT gene mutation, which slows your estrogen metabolism, you will want to AVOID soy & other estrogenic foods.

          • Well, new studies are showing that GLYPHOSATE converts to Glyoxalates in the body. Apparently Monsanto recently researched adding Oxalate Acid to their seeds to kill the bugs. Oxalates can kill OUR good gut bacteria AND cause Leaky Gut too.

      • Consuming soy in any form is highly advisable provided it is fermented soy, go out of your way 4her seek her earnestly desire her, she should be eaten to aid healing guts and introduce friendly healing bacterior, beautiful she is, lika sweet maiden who doesit all and she digests the food for you, put your foot up relax and rest your gut while she eats away making you feel all good inside, fermenting away converting harsh sugars into delicate sweet energies, she salt and sugar are mother natures finest preservative, they work together and convert rich mineral salts into life sustaining transporters… eat her up, she’ll touch your sides gently as she goes down on the inside, its like having a loving protecting angel caressing you all over the internal organ, the seat of your emotions is where she sits enthroned like a QUEEN waiting 4aking in some cases aching so treat her right

  7. Chris,

    I got lazy a couple years into going totally Paleo and started consuming (apparently) WAAAY too many nuts… Lara bars with almond milk for breakfast or muffins/breads made with almond flour, cashew and almonds as a snack, Justin’s Maple Almond butter (LOVE) by the spoonful, etc… I started breaking out with the worst acne I have ever had in my life… it took me a LONG time to figure out it was the nuts, but once I completely eliminated ALL nuts from my diet I have not had a break out in over a year! My question is… do you think I will EVER be able to have nuts again? Have you ever heard of someone becoming allergic to nuts at the age of 46? In the past year I have found even if I have a speck of a nut I will break out.
    thank you,
    missing nuts :o(

    • I developed some huge skin cancers on my face a few years ago that required reconstructive surgery. I was given antibiotics and frightened into taking them after the procedure. Within 2 weeks I had developed a huge nut intolerance (they were my favourite food before this!). Even soaking and roasting them made no difference and I would be scratching madly with huge hives for days after eating them. Not long after I developed a seed intolerance (my second favourite food) which made my hives even worse. I researched the issue and found many people like me who had taken antibiotics then developed intolerances. So something in my gut had to be the problem. Long story short, I started the SCD, avoided nuts and seeds and found that not only did my hives go but my eyesight improved (I was scheduled for a cataract op), the nodules on my thyroid reduced significantly and I felt clearer and sharper than I had in years. I now tell people that eating changed my life – eating the right and not the wrong foods!!

      • Best thing to do after antibiotic use is to take a month or three of refrigerated broad-spectrum probiotic pills from the health food store. Get back the good guys that were killed off, and there’s just not enough of them in fermented foods to do it at first.

      • That’s amazing!!! I’m happy you took matter into your own hands. Based on my journey back to health I have to say food is healing and depending what stated of health I am then I have to change my diet accordingly. I honestly believe we are not meant to stick to one diet
        As my father always said, “listen to your body. If it’s craving a certain something or doesn’t want to eat it… then it’s due to a reason. It tells you what you need and don’t need.”

  8. Can you tell me if soaking nuts and seeds also leaches the good vitamins and minerals from the nuts please Mark?

  9. I guess I’m torn as I was doing meat veg only diet for years with digestive enzymes all the time. I have had nothing but increased reflux and weight gain with it. I recently added seed butters to replace meat. It feels much better on my stomach and head but am nervous about the fat content and seeds being hard to digest. Sometimes I wish I had less gut issues and could just eat easier.

    • Check out these books for ideas: The Acid Reflux Solution by Jorge Rodriguez (I think) and Dropping Acid by Dr. Jaime Koffman. True life-savers!

  10. I just want to thank Chris for this article. I am a 60-year-old man who is struggling to heal leaky gut. Recently I had a bone scan that revealed osteoporosis. Right now I am “correctly” doing an elimination diet for the first time in my life. I have always relied heavily on nuts and their butters while attempting to restrict my diet in other ways. This phytate problem with the nuts could be part of my osteoporosis puzzle.

    • osteo is complex.. I could take a guess that possibly the restriction in your diet in ‘other ways’ is more to do with it, as well as genetics, as well as being underweight, (if you are) or thin, as well as not getting enough sunlight vitamin D, as well as not getting enough magnesium and potassium as well as not getting enough weight bearing exercise as well as not eating enough greens…. I doubt nuts will be the cause. hit the gym, get some sunlight or take some D, eat lots of white vegetables for potassium and get some muscle resistance training… don’t drink soft drinks…carbonated waters…sugar… BTW I eat a ton of nuts every week have no problem, they are my staple food, not for any other reason except i like eating them.

  11. I’m sure that sprouting the almonds and some other few nuts, could help reduce phytic acids? ive seen sprouted almonds for sale before just came to mind..

    • I bought raw cashews two days ago and have been soaking them. They have now sprouted. I think if I roast them I might lose the benefits provided by the sprout. Confusing for me.

    • If you really want to feel and taste the difference between raw and sprouted nuts try eating the 2 side by side. The sprouted nut (after dehydration)is lighter and very flavorful. BTW- we buy sprouted nuts from Livingnutz.com as they are certified organic and have the best all around prices.

    • Can anyone explain why nuts need to be soaked if I am going to put them in a blender ( for almond milk)? It seems like breaking down the walls of the nuts would suffice to allow more nutrient absorption, but from my research, it appears most people still soak before blending. I would appreciate any feedback.

      Thanks!

      • I think this was addressed in the article. Soaking beforehand and gives enough time to activate the nuts, ready for sprouting as they naturally would before growing; in this process the phytates (which protect the nuts before they reach ideal growing conditions) are at least partially released into the soaking water. So after soaking, discard this water and rinse the nuts. As a bonus they’ll whizz into nut milk even easier :). The article mentioned that dehydrating then roasting might also get rid of further phytic acid. Also, as most of the protective phytates are found in the outer skin of the nut, then blanching or buying pre-blanched almonds would help, too 🙂

  12. When I was vegan, my diet staple were almonds (I would take down a pound in a sitting) and I did fine. But I can understand why they may cause issues, I don’t digest them as well as I used to. I am on the semi paleo diet (my body just can’t handle meat) and I may consider insects as an alternative food source to nuts and meat. I may have to raise them myself!

    • did you make a full recovery or do you still suffer eating disorders and pycological food combining disorder a full recovry means you enjoy eating something deliciouus
      no one recovers, or its rare, gandhi would have gone mental but for his commitment to higher priorities, just the same he suffered but he free now

  13. I think we are all panicking for nothing because if eating nuts only prevents the mineral absorption in the Nuts themselves we can just get iron from other foods like spinach etc or how about just taking a gentle iron and mg supplement? Of course I usually soak nuts but some don’t take too soaking. Their taste changes and if u soak more than u need they mold.

    • Hello Huvs,
      It’s possible the phytic acid in nuts and seeds chelates minerals in the other foods you consume at the same time. The food consumed during a meal combines with gastric acid into a substance called chyme, so I’m guessing the phytic acid could bind up minerals from other foods. I believe following the example of traditional cultures is best in this case.

      • Andrew Chin, you said it all simply and in its entirety. To add anything to that would complicate the truth and earn you money
        absolutely perfect.

  14. what a bunch of Scare mongering BS.

    your body can handle these substances naturally.

    seriously, you can find on the internet any argument you are looking for. I searched for toxic level nuts and sure enough there is an article for that. like this one.

    do a search on the toxic level of breathing air. sure enough you will find one. the internet is a scourge to human knowledge.

    • Let’s hope you never get any disorder which makes you search for an answer, because most docs certainly don’t have any real answers 90% of the time.

      • Sad to say, but that 90% estimate seems about right. Getting the details right in my diet has solved far more than any conventional doctor.

        • Hi, I am also searching for answers as doctors cannot help me. I have got rid of life-long eczema almost completely through diet and acupuncture. Would you please be so kind as to give me some more tips of what you do to keep healthy? Thank you

          • Hi Jo,
            I have a very bad eczema on my face, my neck and my arms. I have tried everything i came across, but it always goes away for a few days, and then it comes back even worse. I’m not using steroids anymore, but as a child, I used them a lot. would you please share with me what helped you get rid of your eczema? I would greatly appreciate it.
            Thank You, Iveta

            • Hi Iveta,
              My understanding (after many, many years of research and seeing many therapists and healers), is that eczema is a body’s way of telling you it is not managing to cleanse the normal way (liver, kidneys…) I used to suffer terribly and like you, used a LOT of steroid creams as a child and as an adult. There were number of things that helped me. First one was sorting myself emotionally. I understand that it is not everybody’s cup of tea, but I have been fortunate to meet two incredible healers that help me tremendously (childhood traumas and such) but I also did a lot of work myself. Read loads of books and did my best to put the advice I found into practise. Second thing that helped me a lot was to find out what my body did not like me to eat. For me the main culprits were gluten, dairy and sugar. But everybody’s body is different. I also addressed candida in my body. I started drinking home made kefir, which is an amazing super food!. After these two things, my skin calmed down considerably, but I still got a lot of eczema. The last thing that got my skin clear for the first time since I was two, was an amazing acupuncturist. He first needed to get the steroids out of my liver (the body cannot deal with them properly, so it stores them, making it harder for the liver to work). That was a horrible process I would not want to go through again, but was so, so worth it. Hope you find this a little useful and I will keep my fingers crossed for you!! Wishing you all the best.

              • I would love to get the name of the acupuncturist. Since my round of chemo and radiation treatment, the toxins from my liver never was addressed and now I am playing catch up with gut digestive issues. Please send the name of the acupuncturist and I live in the bay area. Thanks

            • Hi Iveta,

              My husband, who suffered with terrible ekzema for twenty years got clear skin after he went on a two week green smoothie cleanse. He maintains healthy skin now by consuming green smoothie every morning and avoiding dairy and flour as much as possible. Hope this helps.

              • yop. cuz the greens killed the worms which gave him teh exzema.

                Crushed cloves — daily half teaspoon. good preventative. Mechanically makes round worm eggs not-viable.

            • My friend used a natural lotion and mixed in colloidal silver and his legs cleared up in days. He had had it for years.

    • If you feel good after eating nuts, you are probably not eating too many. Simple. Many people are allergic or sensitive to them, especially pea’nuts’ which aren’t really nuts.If you have any symptoms, eliminate nuts for a while and see what happens. Too bad about cocoa, but I definitely get symptoms after consuming it. Better to eat real chocolate in small amounts. Also, if you find yourself eating tons of nuts, you are probably not eating enough of the more healthy foods in the Paleo diet.

    • JJ, I hope you don’t spend much time looking for examples of wrong answers to serious questions. Searching the internet for misinformation, mistakes, or poorly understood science always yields an abundance of results. Good answers are often harder to come by, but they won’t help you sneer at all the people you think of as suckers or feel like you’re actually debunking something.

  15. I wonder if this apply if i eat them at separate times if that the case then is still a good snack by itself since the phytic acid would not have any negative effect

    • Hello Dmitri,
      If you eat nuts by itself, it wouldn’t bind up minerals from other foods, but it would likely bind up the minerals in the nuts itself. Nuts and seeds tend to be high in the minerals bound up by phytic acid, like magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.

      • Thank you Andrew. I guess I just need to eat more nuts then. E.j. if i only get 25% of minerals then i eat four times the ammount. Maybe a good idea or bad idea? I mean I need my fat – doesn’t hurt. 🙂

    • Hello Phil,
      Most nut butters are not sprouted, so they likely contain quite a bit of phytic acid.

      Truly raw nut butters likely have the most. Most people consider raw products to be processed at 118 degrees or less, but this is not regulated, so most of the so-called raw nut butters might be processed at slightly higher temperatures.

      Maranatha advertises some of their nut butters as “raw”, but they use a grinding temperature of 260 degrees. Some nutrition is destroyed, but at this temperature more of the phytic acid is probably destroyed as well.

      Roasted nut butters are likely even lower in phytic acid, i.e., roasted peanut butter or almond butter.

      The soaked and sprouted nut butters could be the lowest in phytic acid. The two brands making these kinds of nut butters are Gopal’s and Blue Mountain Organics.
      http://www.bluemountainorganics.com/by-type/seed-and-nut-butters
      http://www.gopalshealthfoods.com/product-category/nut-butters/

      The one exception would be coconut butter. Coconut has phytic acid, but mainly in the form of a salt, i.e., sodium phytate, potassium phytate, etc. Phytic acid salt, aka phytate, does not have the chelating power of free phytic acid.

      This is hands-down the best article on phytic acid I’ve found:
      http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/living-with-phytic-acid/

      Blessings,
      Andrew

  16. Fascinating stuff, all this about phytates. I have been evolving my diet backwards to a more Paleo regime and certainly feel the benefits.

    When I started reading these comments it was on the back of the quantities of phytates in nuts so I would like to add my penny worth. It seems beyond doubt that neutralising the phytates by some sort of ‘processing’ makes the nuts more nutritionally sound. Now I admit to not having read all the 300-odd posts but apart from the soaking and roasting methods, nobody seems to have mentioned fermenting.

    Natural fermentation or placing grains in an acidic environment is said to neutralise most of the phytates before consumption. Also using buckwheat flour in the mix is said to do the same which is why soda bread has far fewer phytates than commercial bread. Now I’m not advocating eating bread but I am pointing at the same principles for preparing nuts.

    What I do is, using a ‘magic bullet’ grind a handful of Brazils, almonds and macadamia nuts in the bullet and add them to a strained kefir milk (that has brewed for 24 hours), leave it to ferment for another 24 hours. I also have oat flakes, buckwheat flour and a teaspoon of nigella seed (really worth looking at these seeds) in the mix.

    After 24 hours I blitz the whole lot in a smoothie containing blueberries, strawberries, pineapple and banana. My wife and I share this ‘supersmoothie’ every morning

    Now I know that most of the posts on here are anecdotal recommendations, and mine is no different, but since I started to use the fermentation method of preparing nuts and oats (oats is the only grain I eat, now) we have no hunger gaps, carb dips and definitely no belly grips or heavy feeling. Digestion is smooth and pleasant and our sustained energy levels are greatly improved.

    I would be interest to hear if anyone else has tried this method of preparation.

  17. To answer the question:

    “Can you prepare nuts to make them safer to eat?
    Unfortunately we don’t have much information on how to reduce phytic acid in nuts.”

    Sprouting.

    Sprouting nuts, seeds, legumes and grains neutralizes phytic acid very effectively. It also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors.

  18. Chris I use my Nutribullet every day for breakfast & I add 30 grams of raw nuts about 1/4 of a cup so does this process protect me from all these issues with nuts

      • unfortunately nutri bullet has got nothing to do with that-it just makes everything into a liquid form. For phytic acid to be neutralised a special preparation is needed before – like soaking and roasting – which still doesn’t get rid of all phytic acid – some people peel the nuts as that acid is mostly present in the skin. hopefully it helps.

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