Here is partial list of nuts and seeds is presented as a part of the Whole Foods as Medicine Series. These tasty nuts and their rich oils can be used in cooking, salads, dressings, rice dishes etc. and offer amazing healing properties and health benefits.
Almonds are prized above all nuts as for their chi building ability, strengthening intellect, reproductive chi and spirituality. Almonds are slightly warming with a sweet flavor and have a beneficial alkalizing effect on the blood. Eaten raw they help remove stagnant chi in the lungs, alleviates cough and resolves phlegm. Almonds have lubricating property and are beneficial in conditions of dryness of the lung or colon. This food is useful in treating constipation, dry cough, asthma or shortness of breath due to insufficient kidney yang.
Black Sesame Seeds
Black Sesame Seed are neutral in thermal nature and sweet in flavor and is used for fortifying the yin fluids of the liver and kidneys. Eating them strengthens all five of the yin organs – heart, liver, kidney, spleen –pancreas and lungs. This is a wonderful food and acts as tonic for the whole body. Used to relieve rheumatism by relieving wind obstruction. Relieves many symptoms including constipation, dry cough, and blurry vision, blood in urine, back ache, stiff joints, headache, numbness or stroke caused by deficient blood yin. Noted to darken premature graying hair. Beneficial to elderly individuals for treating wasting conditions and nutrient deficiency.
The coconut meat and liquid or “milk” has a warming nature and a sweet flavor. It is a strengthening tonic for the heart. It is used for weakness and malnutrition. Coconut is a good source of saturated fat for vegetarians but less desirable for individuals that may already have a diet high in saturated animal fats, such as pork, eggs and dairy. Clears summer heat, relieves thirst and is useful in treating edema, fever, and diabetes or heart weakness.
Neutral in heat a nature and sweet in flavor, the flax seed has mucilage properties which mean it helps reduce inflammation and pain. It balances the spleen- pancreas chi and colon chi. Flax seed has the highest source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is valuable in strengthening the protective chi found in the immune system. Cleanses the heart and arteries and is useful in many degenerative conditions.
Peanuts have warming nature and a sweet flavor. Peanuts harmonize the stomach, lubricate the intestines and strengthen the lung and spleen- pancreas chi. Peanuts are said to increase mother’s milk by roasting and adding them to rice or millet. Overweight individuals or individuals with damp conditions should avoid eating the peanut as it has a tendency to slow the metabolism. Eaten moderately, peanuts can be most beneficial to people with a fast metabolism and can be eaten to build strength and endurance. Commercially grown peanuts are sprayed with chemical pesticides and grown in soil laden with synthetic fertilizers. The unhealthy peanut can develop a fungus known as aflaxotoxin. This carcinogenic substance is responsible for many peanut allergies and not necessarily the peanut itself. It is therefore best to use organic peanuts and peanut butter as this will reduce chemical residues which also increase the peanut’s resistance to the toxic fungus. As we can see, it’s also extremely important in many cases, for our food to be in healthy condition before we eat it!
The pistachio is neutral, that is, not cooling or warming in nature with a sweet, bitter and slightly sour flavor. The raw pistachio is considered to be an important tonic for the whole body. They are commonly available in roasted and salted form; however they should not be eaten this way if used for healing. Individuals that are overweight or have damp conditions should especially avoid the salted variety but can enjoy them raw or lightly toasted with no salt. Suitable as a healing food for most every type, this nut has healing benefits that purifies the blood strengthens the liver, kidney and colon chi.
Pumpkins and Squash Seeds
These seeds are also neutral in their thermal nature and both sweet and bittier in flavor. They are a valuable source of zinc, trace minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids. These seeds have diuretic properties that can help the body get rid of excess water and vermifuge properties that expel parasites. Pumpkin seeds can be eaten for nausea, difficulty or scant urination, strengthen prostate function,impotence and strengthen spleen – pancreas chi.
The warming nature and sweet flavor of the walnut can b eaten to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Perhaps this is due to the large percentage of Omega 3 fatty acid in its oil. It is nourishing to brain and kidney chi. Relieves dry cough and constipation. Used to treat cold conditions, aversion to cold, weak knees, painful back and bladder imbalances. Walnuts nourishes the kidneys, enrich kidney yang which is important for a well balanced body and overall good health.