Nuts and seeds can be a nutrient-rich snack or excellent addition to a meal but as grains and legumes, they can also contain substances that interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
like the process of soaking, sprouting or fermented grains reduce the anti-nutrient content and makes them more beneficial to the body, the simple process of nuts to soak improvement their nutrition.
enzyme inhibitors in nuts and seeds
as grains, raw nuts (and especially raw seeds) contain moderate levels of inhibitors and enzymes phytic acid. Phytic acid is biologically necessary for the plant, as it helps to safeguard the nut or seed until adequate growth conditions are present and may occur germination.
These enzyme inhibitors prevent the seed germinates early, but can cause potential problems in humans by binding to the nutrients in the body and contribute to nutrient deficiencies and irritation system digestive. In the body, this process may stop nutrients from being absorbed into the digestive system and reduce the digestibility of these foods.
In other words, just because nuts and seeds are good sources of protein and nutrients, it does not mean that your body can absorb these nutrients. All plants contain phytic acid on some levels, but cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds typically contain the highest levels.
It is also important to note that phytic acid can not be all bad, but the dose makes the poison. Modern diets high in processed grains and low in fat dense in nutrients and minerals can increase the likelihood of problems absorbing nutrients and make it even more important to reduce the levels of phytic acid in food.
Research is finding that some phyic acid levels may have a protective effect on the body and a second messenger role in cells. It seems that in order to provide this beneficial effect, must be balanced by certain fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients and the person must be able to absorb these.
This is why it can be useful to reduce the phytic acid content of seeds and nuts and make nutrients more available and this step is especially important for young children who are still developing enzymes for decomposing these plant foods (never seen undigested nuts, grains or seeds in the feces of a small child? this is partially due to their inability to digest certain proteins and nutrients in these foods).
the importance of soaking Nuts and seeds
Some phytic acid is neutralized naturally during the digestive process, but foods that are particularly high in phytic acid benefit of soaking process (and sometimes germination) and dehydration to further reduce the content of anti-nutrients.
soaking in a simple mineral solution (such as salt) and low temperature dehydration helps break down most of the phytic acid and make nutrients more available nuts for the body.
Although many traditional cultures, of course, soaked or sprouted seeds, this step rarely taken with large-scale production as it is long. It is, however, simple and inexpensive to make at home and can greatly increase the nutrient content of seeds and nuts are consumed.
How Soaking seeds and nuts
There are two parts to soak nuts and seeds :. warm salt water
hot water will neutralize many of the enzyme inhibitors and increase bioavailability of many nutrients, especially vitamins B. Salt helps activate enzymes that inactivate enzyme inhibitors present in nuts.
During the soaking grains or beans, more acidic substance is often used, but as nuts and seeds contain less phytic acid grains / legumes enzyme inhibitors but the salt is more beneficial.
Within 7-24 hours (depending on the seed or nut), many of the enzyme inhibitors decompose. At this point, a dehydrating process beings nuts to return to a crisp texture. I have found that nuts have been much better taste pre-soaked and not end undigested little ones diapers
What you need :.
- 2 cups raw, organic nuts or seeds (it is better to absorb one type at a time)
- 3-4 cups of hot filtered water (to cover the nuts)
- 1 tablespoon salt
What to do:
- Put the warm water in a medium or jar container (half gallon or larger). Add salt and let it dissolve.
- Add nuts or seeds, making sure they are completely submerged in water.
- Leave uncovered on the counter or in a warm place (not the refrigerator) for at least 7 hours, preferably overnight.
- rinse in a colander and spread on a baking sheet or dehydrator. Bake in the oven at the lowest temperature (150 F is optimum) or dry until completely dry. This step is important because any moisture in nuts or seeds can make molded. dehydration time can often be up to 24 hours, so a dehydrator simplifies the process, but not necessary
- . NOTE: If you are using nuts or seeds to make homemade almond milk or any other variety, this is the optimal time, as already softened. This is an important step in the process of homemade nut milk as enzyme inhibitors are mostly extracted and nuts and soften to make a creamier milk
One step :. Sprouting
outbreak goes a step further soaking and reduces levels of enzyme inhibitors even more. Often, products sold as sprouted nuts and seeds are merely “activated” by the soaking process, but some seeds can germinate after several cycles of soaking, washing, and giving exposure to air to allow germination.
raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds are the best candidates for germination, and some nuts such as walnuts and pecans will not sprout. If you want to add this extra step, soak the seeds with the above process. Then rinse and follow normal germination process until outbreaks. This will only work with non-irradiated and only certain varieties seeds. This step is not further reduced enzyme inhibitors, but except for those with digestive problems or severe nutritional deficiencies, this step is often not necessary and taking alone is enough.
soak or not to soak?
Not all nuts and seeds can be soaked easily. Flax seeds and chia gel when soaked and are very difficult to work. For any nuts or seeds may be soaked, you will have to weigh the benefits and see if the process is worth the time investment for you.
Personally, I like this step, simply because the seeds and nuts taste much better once soaked and makes the nutrients more available. If you eat a lot of nuts or seeds, this process can be especially useful for you as the highest levels of enzyme inhibitors may be more problematic. Soaking and dehydrating organic raw nuts and seeds also make an end result similar to roasted nuts, but without the added vegetable oils or roasted at high temperatures that can damage the nutrients and enzymes present in these foods.
high-quality pre-soaked and sprouted seeds and nuts are now available (personally I like this brand ), but you can achieve the same end result drenching your own home. a small investment of time is needed, but worth the taste and nutritional benefits in my opinion.
Do you have any experience with soaking nuts and seeds? What method do you use?