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Why We Should All Be Soaking Nuts

We’ve created this article to explore the rationale behind soaking nuts and discover how this simple process may increase their digestibility, boost their nutritional profile, and unlock a host of health advantages.

Have you ever wondered why health enthusiasts and dietitians frequently advise soaking nuts before consuming them? Well, to put it simply, there are a few reasons behind this recommendation.

Nuts are often recommended for healthy eating due to their high nutritional content and health-promoting qualities, but how we cook or eat them may have a big influence on how nutritious they are and how well our bodies can absorb them.

For that reason, we’ve created this article to explore the rationale behind soaking nuts and discover how this simple process may increase their digestibility, boost their nutritional profile, and unlock a host of health advantages. Let’s get right into it…

What Are Nuts and Why Are They Beneficial for Your Health?

As we may all know, nuts are small, edible seeds that are usually covered in a hard shell. They are well-known for having a high nutritional content and a host of health advantages. They are prized for their flavor and nutritional value and are a staple of many diets and cuisines across the world.

Nuts are nutritional powerhouses. They are high in unsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, which are well-known for their heart-healthy properties. Additionally high in protein, nuts are a fantastic snack for both satiety and energy. They also include a lot of dietary fiber, which promotes gut health and helps with digestion.

Nuts include a wealth of vitamins and minerals in addition to lipids, protein, and fiber. These include minerals like magnesium, zinc, and selenium, all necessary for different body processes, as well as vitamin E, which possesses antioxidant qualities. Additionally, plant sterols—compounds that can decrease cholesterol—are present in several nuts.

Numerous health advantages have been connected to regular nut eating. They can decrease cholesterol, help control weight, and reduce the risk of heart disease. They are also excellent in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body due to their high antioxidant content.

Including nuts in your diet can be an easy yet powerful method to improve your general well-being. Nuts provide adaptability and a nutrient-dense punch that may improve many areas of health, whether they are eaten as a snack or even added to salads.

Why Are Soaked Nuts Better Than Regular Nuts?

Now that we know the nutritional value of nuts, why are they considered better when soaked? Simply put, nuts that have been soaked have several benefits over their dry substitutes, which makes them a more palatable and healthful choice. Here are some advantages of soaking nuts:

  • Decreased Phytic Acid and Enzyme Inhibitors: Mineral absorption in the body can be slowed down by the binding of phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors found in nuts. By neutralizing these substances, soaking nuts increases the bioavailability and facilitates the body's ability to absorb the nutrients.
  • Better Digestibility: Soaking helps nuts become simpler to digest by dissolving some of their complex components. This process helps lessen the bloating and gas that are frequently brought on by eating specific nuts such as almonds.
  • Enhanced Nutrient Availability: Soaking the nuts can cause certain enzymes to be activated, which raises their nutritional value and content.
  • Improved Flavor and Texture: Soaked nuts typically have a softer texture, which works better in some recipes. Additionally, soaking can enhance the flavor of some nuts by removing some of the bitterness that is present in their skin.
  • Diminished Tannins: The tannins found in some nuts can impede the absorption of nutrients and cause problems with digestion. Soaking can reduce the concentration of these tannins, facilitating their removal.

To summarize, soaking nuts improves their nutritional value and increases their digestibility and palatability. This easy step may make a big difference in how much you enjoy and profit from nuts, both in terms of flavor and nutrients.

How to Properly Soak Nuts

While it's usually a simple process, properly soaking nuts does take some forward though. Here's how to accomplish it:

  • Pick Unsalted, Raw Nuts: To begin, start with unsalted, raw nuts. Soaking roasted almonds won't do much good since the heat has already changed their nutritious makeup.
  • Rinse the Nuts: Give the nuts a good rinse under cold running water before soaking. This aids in clearing the surface of any debris, residue, or pollutants.
  • Use Clean Water: Put the nuts in a big basin or bowl and pour plenty of cool, clean water over them. Make sure there is enough water to keep the nuts completely immersed since they will expand as they absorb water.
  • Soaking Time: The amount of time needed to soak a nut varies based on its kind. Soak them for a minimum of seven to twelve hours. Softer nuts, like cashews, take less time to soak than harder nuts, like almonds.
  • Drain and Rinse: After the nuts have soaked, drain, and give them a good rinse under cold water. By doing this, the water is free of phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that have leached in.
  • Dry Properly: Unless you are using the nuts right away, they should be dried by a dehydrator or at low heat in an oven.
  • Store Them Properly: If you intend to consume them right away, store them in the refrigerator; otherwise, freeze them for longer storage.

While soaking is known for its various benefits, dehydration can also be a beneficial way to consume nuts. Let’s now take a look at how to properly dehydrate nuts.

How to Properly Dehydrate Nuts

When nuts are properly dehydrated, their flavor is enhanced, vital nutrients are preserved, and their shelf life is increased, making them a more nutritious and delicious snack choice. Soaked nuts also retain their pleasant crunch when dehydrated which many people prefer over soaked nuts. That said, here's how to properly dehydrate nuts:

  • Preparation: Once you’ve gone through the soaking process, rinse the nuts well to get rid of any inhibitors and anti-nutrients. To get rid of extra water, thoroughly drain them.
  • Arrange the Nuts: Arrange the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet if using the oven, or on a dehydrator tray. Make sure they are dispersed equally so that the drying process may occur consistently.
  • Food Dehydrator: If you are using a dehydrator machine, turn the dehydrator's temperature up to 115–120 degrees. The nutrients and enzymes in the nuts are preserved after dehydration at this low temperature. It might take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours for the nut to dehydrate, depending on its size and kind.
  • Oven Dehydration: If you don't have a dehydrator, you can dry nuts in the oven. Preheat it to the lowest setting that will replicate the symptoms of dehydration, preferably less than 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintain a slightly ajar oven door to let moisture out. It is recommended to check on this process frequently since it may take several hours depending on the strength of your oven.
  • Examine for Dryness: When nuts are crunchy and feel dry to the touch, they have been adequately dried. They require more time if they feel moist or wet.
  • Allow Nuts to Cool: After dehydrating, allow the nuts to cool fully before storing. By doing this, moisture accumulation that might cause spoiling is avoided.
  • Storage: Keep the dried nuts sealed in a container. To extend their shelf life, store them in the refrigerator or in a cold, dry area.

Summary: Why We Should All Be Soaking Nuts

To summarize, the act of soaking nuts has substantial advantages for both physical well-being and culinary enjoyment. By immersing nuts in water, enzymes are activated, which subsequently degrade and neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors.

Soaking enhances the digestibility of nuts, facilitating the body's ability to metabolize and assimilate the nutrients they provide. Additionally, it enhances the bioavailability of these nutrients, guaranteeing a higher intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants per portion. Soaking nuts can also decrease the probability of experiencing bloating and gas, which are commonly linked to nut consumption, particularly for individuals with sensitive digestive systems.

In addition, the process of soaking improves the flavor and consistency of nuts, making them more adaptable for use in other culinary contexts. Soaked nuts, whether utilized in baking, cooking, or sauce-making, possess a softer texture.  Furthermore, the same crunchy texture can be enjoyed when soaked and even when they are dehydrated.

Learn More About the Benefits of Soaked Nuts for Your Health at Mitogenesis in Scottsdale, AZ

Wondering how soaking nuts might improve your health? Dr. Mel Schottenstein is here to be your helping hand and answer any questions you may have.

Our experts at Mitogenesis are happy to explain the benefits of soaking nuts and how to implement this simple yet important step into your regular diet.

Our goal at Mitogenesis is to assist you in making healthy nutrition choices one dietary change at a time. To get started give us a call or fill out a contact form with your information!

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