Why Eat Unpasteurized? – Enzymes, Numerous health benefit
First, What is steam pasteurization? Steam partially cooks the almond, causing a reduction of nutrient content. Steaming them sounds harmless, but it's not. In this process, the almonds are exposed to steam for 8 seconds at 210-215 degrees F. For the next 44 seconds, they are moved through a high-heat dehydration tunnel, removing the moisture resulting from the steam. The temperature of the circulating air is 391- 395 degrees F. The almonds themselves reach the temperature of 220 degrees Fs. Health benefit degradation begins around 105 degrees.
Unpastuerized (truly raw) almonds retain the live enzymes which help your body with digestion. Enzymes in the live nut spare our pancreas from the extra work of manufacturing and secreting digestive enzymes needed for digestion .
There is a 30-70% reduction in in antioxidant properties during heat pasteurization process . The antioxidant properties are found in the Flavonoids which are in the almond skin.
Vitamin content is diminished, proteins are denatured, beneficial bacteria are killed, and the growth of pathogens is encouraged .
Heat oxidizes the omega-3 fatty acids in almonds, potentially turning them rotten and creating free radicals that are suspected of playing a role in the development of a host of degenerative medical problems, including cancer .
Heating almonds potentially creates harmful levels of acrylamide, a byproduct of the amino acid asparagine. Acrylamide is a chemical known to cause cancer, and/or reproductive toxicity leading to birth defects and other manifestations of reproductive harm .
Lower Death Rate: eating once ounce of nuts was associated
with a 20% lower death rate .
Almond Skins have Flavonoids. Among the many benefits attributed to flavonoids are reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma, and stroke. They may play a special role in protecting the brain. Flavonoids, like other antioxidants, do their work in the body by corralling cell-damaging free radicals and metallic ions
An excellent antioxidant.
Aid in weight loss: Research has found that people can snack on modest amounts of them without gaining pounds, and that nuts can even help in slimming down  . European Journal of Clinical Nutrition i found that study participants eating 1.5 ounces of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds every day experienced reduced hunger and improved dietary vitamin E and monounsaturated (“good”) fat intake without increasing body weight.
Nut Consumption Associated With Lower Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence and Death in Breast Cancer Survivors according to a new study published in the International Journal of Cancer. Researchers compared nut consumption with cancer survival in 3,449 breast cancer survivors as part of the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study. Those who ate more nuts improved their overall survival and disease-free survival rates when compared to those who consumed lower amounts of nuts. These associations were strongest among survivors with earlier stages of breast cancer .
Promotes Glucose Uptake: There have been numerous citations on the effects of organic almonds on blood sugar. Intake of organic almonds helps maintain insulin sensitivity .
Provides Energy: Almonds are all-natural energy-boosters. In addition to their role in glucose metabolism, organic almonds are packed with the right combination of minerals that speed up the production of cellular energy. Magnesium, manganese, and copper are dietary elements involved in different metabolic pathways that lead to the generation of adenosine triphosphate, which powers cellular activities .
Scavenges Free Radicals: Free radicals are almost always incriminated in the formation and progression of many known diseases, which is the reason why antioxidants have become a major component of nutrition today. Organic almonds contain up to 45% RDA of vitamin E. Furthermore, they are one of the best natural sources of selenium and manganese, two trace minerals that raises the antioxidant defense of the human body .
Facilitates Regularity: Nuts are generally considered high-fiber foods, and almonds are no exception. Fiber adds bulk to stool and attracts water in the colon to facilitate regular bowel movements. By doing so, it enables the smooth muscles along the gut to perform peristaltic movements, which are pivotal in the passage of waste materials. The fiber content of organic almonds makes them a viable treatment for constipation .
Improves Complexion: Throughout the centuries, almonds have been utilized as ingredients to skin care products. For example, the oil is extracted from the nuts and applied to the skin during massages. Modern science points to the unique nutrient profile of organic almonds that strengthens the capacity of the epidermis to ward off irritants and nourishes the lipids found in the skin .
Sharpens Memory: Organic almonds are among the oldest foods believed to have brain-boosting properties. For one, they are a rich source of fatty acids that are important to the synthesis of brain chemicals and activation of neuronal activities. More importantly, their nutritional value remains largely unrivaled by other natural sources touted to enhance mental clarity and improve cognitive function .
Lowers Cholesterol: Almost all the fat in almonds is monosaturated, with absolutely no cholesterol. Almond nuts have long been known to be good for the cardiovascular system, but only recently have clinical trials supported this health claim. Regular consumptions of almonds appear to lower low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol .
Almonds are loaded with minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and folic acid .
One serving of almonds (20-25 almonds) contains 12% of the daily value of protein and 35% of the daily value of Vitamin E according to a 2,000 calorie diet. Almonds are the best whole food source for Vitamin E, which is known for its cancer fighting qualities .
Provide lots of healthy fiber .
Calcium: One serving of almonds contains as much calcium as ¼ cup of milk, a valuable tool in preventing osteoporosis and building strong bones and teeth .
Magnesium: more than oatmeal or spinach .
The almond may be considered a fruit or a seed, but it is one of the healthiest nuts around. About 30 grams of almonds have 184 calories and 16.8 grams of fat. This may seem like a lot of fat, but the fat in almonds is considered to be healthy fat, or monounsaturated fat. The same serving provides 9% of the daily calcium intake and 29% of the daily magnesium intake. They are also good sources of zinc, Vitamin E, potassium, phosphorous, iron, Vitamin C, foliate, Vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, fiber and protein. They also help to lower cholesterol, heart disease and the risk of cancer. The flavonoids in almonds are very beneficial to the body.
Pasteurization and the Law
The only way to receive the full nutritional benefits of almonds is to eat them unpasteurized. In 2007 the Almond Board of California, pseudo-governmental agency, passed a law (7 CFR Part 981)  which requires pasteurization for all California-grown almonds. The requirement is the result of two cases of Salmonella Bacteria poisoning and the desire to protect the industry from a larger outbreak. The cases of salmonella were tied to the unclean, mechanical harvesting practices used most growers. Pasteurization is achieved by a fumigant, propylene oxide (listed as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen) or by steam heating. Steam heating destroys most of the health-beneficial enzymes within the almond.
Therefore, you may see a package of almonds in a store say the almonds are “raw”, but they are pasteurized by law, unless they are grown in a foreign country like Spain or Italy. In 2008 a judge ruled companies can use the term raw even if they are pasteurized. Packaging laws do not require the handler to disclose which method they use for pasteurization. The least expensive form of pasteurization is fumigation. Labeling DOES NOT require which type of pasteurization is used, however only steam is approved for an organic product.
Part 981.413 and 981.13 exempts growers from pasteurization when they sell via their roadside stand for home use (not for resale) and in quantities not to exceed 100 pounds per customer per day. Our website is an extension of our roadside stand. It is a virtual roadside stand which enables people who do not live near an almond grower to enjoy the nutritional and taste benefits of California almonds .
Benefits of Soaking Almonds
Nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances found in nuts grains and seeds can be minimized or eliminated by soaking. These are enzyme inhibitors, phytic acid, polyphenols, and goitrogens .
It is generally accepted that we should sprout nuts and seeds to unleash their full nutritional value by activating their enzymes .
Use of Almonds
Almonds come in many forms. Almond oil, flour, butter, syrup, paste, and milk are products found in the market worldwide. Almonds can be found whole, cut, or flaked over and in desserts. Different countries use the almond based on their personal cooking dishes. Almond oil can be used as a lotion and by massage therapists during massages. Almond milk is healthy because it has no cholesterol, and almond butter is considered to be a safer fat.
Nutritional Facts of Almonds
. Delicia Beaty and Sharon Foutch. The Benefits of Soaking Nuts and Seeds. http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/the-benefits-of-soaking-nuts-and-seeds
. Federal Regulations. § 981.13 Handler. http://federal.eregulations.us/cfr/section/2011/11/28/7-cfr-981.13
. Rederal Regulations. § 981.413 Roadside stand exemption. http://www.almondboard.com/Handlers/Documents/2009-Rules-Regs.pdf
. Aqiyl Aniys. Benefits Of Soaking Almonds - Should I Soak Almonds? http://www.naturallifeenergy.com/should-i-soak-almonds-benefits-of-soaking-almonds/
. Andrea Cespedes. How to Eat Almonds to Lose Weight. http://www.livestrong.com/article/414307-how-to-eat-almonds-to-lose-weight/
. Michael Moss. Are Nuts a Weight-Loss Aid? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/dining/are-nuts-a-weight-loss-aid.html?_r=0
. Wellness Tips Blog. Pasteurized almonds update.http://blog.wellnesstips.ca/blog/?p=127
. New England Journal of Medicine The study examined the diets of 119,000 professional men and women tracked for nearly 30 years. http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa1307352 November 2013
 The Journal of Nutrition Flavonoids from Almond Skins Are Bioavailable and Act Synergistically with Vitamins C and E to Enhance Hamster and Human LDL Resistance to Oxidation. Chung-Yen Chen, Paul E. Milbury, Karen Lapsley, Jeffrey B. Blumberg https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/135/6/1366/4663832
 Wang C, Gu K, Wang F, et al. Nut consumption in association with overall mortality and recurrence/disease- specific mortality among long-term breast cancer survivors. Int J Cancer. Published online October 19, 2021.