I started researching the practice of soaking nuts, seeds and legumes for a project at work and I wanted to share what I found. The process of soaking nuts, seeds and legumes is a “traditional method,” one that lost it’s place in our modern society with the advent of food processing. The premise is simple: nuts, seeds and legumes are better absorbed and more nutrient dense when we soak them. Just like animals have protective mechanisms, so do the living organisms that we eat. The outer coating of most nuts, seeds and legumes provides protection against the environment, predators, bacteria and fungus. It also allows for long term storage without the risk turning rancid or growing mold. These properties are naturally eliminated when the nut, seed or legume is provided with enough moisture, warmth and acidity – which is exactly what soaking does.
Here’s what I learned:
- Nuts, seeds and legumes contain phytic acid, which blocks the absorption of nutrients and can cause gas, bloating and abdominal discomfort when people consume them (Beano, anyone?).
- They also contain enzyme inhibitors, which block the enzyme Trypsin. We use Trypsin to digest proteins from our diet.
- By creating a moist, warm, acidic environment we mimic the natural germination process which leads to a neutralization of phytic acid and unlocks powerful enzymes and nutrients.
The Result: Higher mineral content, better digestibility and easily absorbed nutrients.
For more information and How-To’s: