Activate Your Nuts: The Art of Soaking
We're all told that nuts and seeds are a good source of nutrition. They are high in magnesium, tryptophan
, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin b and many other goodies.
For vegetarians they are a primary source of protein.
But what if we weren't able to absorb these wonderful nutrients from the nuts and seeds ? What if there was something preventing us from being able to absorb all these rich healthy nutrients?
Enter phytic acid
Phytic acid is found in the hulls of nuts, seeds and grains. It has a strong binding affinity to important minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc. When the minerals bind to the phytic acid, it becomes insoluble, and hence is indigestible in the intestines.
So what do we do? It's really simple.
By soaking your nuts and seeds 12-24 hours before consumption we dissolve or leach out the phytic acid that's contained in them. After that, all you need to do is rinse them and they are ready to eat.
With almonds it is preferable to peel the husks. The husk of the almond is quite difficult for the body to break down and can be aggravating on the tummy. By soaking the almonds it makes the husk break away and its easy to peel off.
It has been documented that Aborigines and tribal cultures have been soaking their nuts and seeds for hundreds if not thousands of years. They recognised the importance of digestion and found the soaking process would enable a smoother digestion of them.
Archibald Meston in 1889 reported on the inland Australian Aborigines:
“The koa nut and other large nuts not yet botanically named, are the chief articles of diet. Some of the nuts and roots they eat are poisonous in their raw state, and these are pounded up and placed in dilly bags in running water for a couple of days to have the poisonous principle washed out.”
But wait, theres more! Here's an added bonus…
Soaking the nuts and seeds activates them. That is, the nuts and seeds awaken from their slumber and begin the germination process. When dry, the seeds and nuts will lie dormant for a long time, as a storage device. When they are soaked in water it tricks them to germinate thinking it is time to sprout. This germination is an energy activation so you are consuming the nuts and seeds in their most energetic potent state.
I usually soak sesame and sunflower seeds overnight to add them to my morning smoothies. Once I had forgotten about them for a few days and found them all sprouted and growing in the bowl!
So take that little bit of extra time preparing your nuts and seeds by soaking them in a bowl overnight and you will get maximum benefits out of this of powerhouse foods.