Why soaking nuts & seeds is a good idea

As a veggie, I eat a lot of nuts and seeds. People worry because of their high calorie content; but a handful here and there can provide you with lots of benefits. Not only are they a great source of protein, they also contain some other useful & healthy bits and bobs:

  • Unsaturated fats which help lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids – these are a healthy form of fatty acids which help your heart, are an anti-inflamatory (great if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis), assist with baby development and have a positive effect on gradual memory loss linked to old age as well as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • Fiber – helps with digestion, stabilising blood sugar levels & lowering cholesterol levels.
  • Vitamin E – protects the body against toxins.
  • Plant sterols – these are natural fatty substances found in all plants. Also known as phytosterols, they provide cholesterol control, prostate relief and provide immune function improvement.
  • L-arginine – Nitric oxide is a powerful neurotransmitter that helps blood vessels relax and also improves circulation. Some evidence shows that arginine may help improve blood flow in the arteries of the heart.

So back to the reason why I’m writing this post – why do I soak my nuts and seeds and is it necessary? The answer to the latter part of the question is absolutely! Nuts, as well as grains and legumes, have phytic acid in them. Phytic acid is often considered as an anti-nutrient because it binds minerals in the digestive tract. This means they can’t be absorbed into the intestine which can lead to deficiencies.

By soaking nuts you break down the phytic acid and neutralise the enzymes, allowing for proper digestion.

How?

Cover your nuts in salt water. I recommend grey natural sea salt which is a great source of soaked-dried-nutsminerals. The salt is necessary to neutralise the enzymes. I leave the nuts in the water for about four hours. The place them on a tray and dry them in the over for around 2 hours at a temperature of 50 degrees celsius. I don’t have a dehydrator but I have heard and read that they are fantastic for this too.

I’ve found that by doing this to my nuts their taste is enhanced. They have a slightly crispier texture and generally taste better. If you haven’t tried this before, I’d recommend giving it a go!

Michelle xoxo

 

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5 thoughts on “Why soaking nuts & seeds is a good idea

  1. It sounds like a lot of work… I know you have to soak acorns. That’s why they don’t sell them at the Bulk Barn. But other commonly available nuts? If it was absolutely necessary surely the health community would be telling us about it? Just asking…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question, Vinny Grette. In the UK you can buy “activated” nuts in health stores but they tend to be more expensive than your standard nuts. I guess it is because it is more costly to the producer to have to spend the time soaking them and then drying them. That would be my guess. I think eating nuts over not eating nuts at all just because they haven’t been soaked though is better for you overall. Thanks for stopping by! x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just reread a post I wrote on nuts (and acorns…) a while back. I couldn’t remember what I wrote about soaking ordinary nuts. As it turns out, I did mention soaking them to increase digestibility – more important if nuts make up a large part of your diet, eg, vegetarians. I eat a handful a day, so I guess i don’t have to go to the trouble of soaking them as long as I buy fresh ones. That’s what I love about blogging – you always learn new stuff 🙂 – https://cookupastory.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/nuts-to-you-cowboy/

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