Did your mom give you handful of soaked nuts before you left for school like my mom did?
If yes, then you have started your day just perfect!
But now a day’s with the entire hustle bustle around, not a lot of us soak the nuts before eating, isn’t it? Let me tell you, soaking the nuts and seeds have benefits and it even enhances the taste of the product.
Let’s understand how soaking helps and then the right way to soak nuts!
Nuts have certain nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances like enzyme inhibitors, phytates, and goitrogens.
So what are enzyme inhibitors –?
It is a molecule that binds to an enzyme and decreases its activity. Nuts and oilseeds have numerous enzyme inhibitors that put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess.
Soaking increases the natural enzymes in the nuts and seeds. It even helps provide greater absorption of the nutrients and increases digestibility.
Now let’s understand what phytates are –
Nuts have phytic acid in the outer layer or the bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc and will not allow its absorption in the gut.
Goitrogens suppress the thyroid function by interfering with iodine uptake, which can be a reason to cause goiter.
When we soak nuts it helps reduce the amount of goitrogens and increases minerals needed for a healthy thyroid.
Soaking will require 2 basic ingredients – Warm water and salt. Water for Soaking (obviously, duh!); and Salt for increased palatability (think salted nuts vs plain ones when it comes to taste). But if you are watching your sodium intake, skip salt!
You can choose to soak every night or in the morning, dry them and eat for a prolonged time.
2 cups of nuts or seeds
3-4 cups warm water
1 tbsp salt (optional)
• Take a bowl and add warm water to it, add salt and let it dissolve.
• Add the nuts and seeds that you want to soak and allow it to submerge in water.
• Soak it for at least 7 hours, you can do it overnight or soak them early morning and eat them in evening. Rinse it quickly before you have them.
• If you want to store them and consume later then you would need to dehydrate them.
• For dehydration – spread them on a baking sheet. Bake it in the oven at lowest (150°F) or dehydrate until completely dry.
Benefits of soaking nuts
• Encourage the production of beneficial enzymes
• Reduces phytic acid
• Reduces tannins
• Neutralizes enzyme inhibitors
• Helps neutralize toxins in the gut and keep the gut clean.
• Increase protein availability for absorption.
• Increase the amount of vitamins especially B complex vitamins.
So the next time you have your nuts or seeds don’t forget to soak them for at least 7-8 hours to make nutrients available to your gut!
Oh! and btw, if you hear about “Activated Nuts, and their so-called benefits”, before grabbing a $$$ bottle off of your health food shelf, know that those are nothing but soaked nuts!
Yes, you can activate them at home as well…
Her fitness mantra is “do not start with a diet that has an expiration date, instead, focus on a healthy lifestyle that will last forever”. Disti has completed post graduation in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She is also a certified Diabetes Educator.
She is keen on bringing together her acquired knowledge on nutrition and other health aspects with people’s goals to achieve a healthy life. For her fitness is not being better than someone else; it’s about being better than who we used to be. “We don’t have to be great to start, but we have to start to be great”. So give your best!
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for any consults.