Nuts and seeds are full of nutrients, healthy fats, and fibre, and if they aren’t already a part of your diet, you should definitely consider adding them in. They make for easy, delicious, and satisfying snacks, and can add a huge punch of essential nutrients to otherwise lacking meals and smoothies.
Get The Most Out Of Your Nuts
If you are eating roasted nuts I urge you to consider switching to raw, dried nuts. Unfortunately, during the roasting process the natural oils in the nuts often become rancid and this can lead to various health concerns. Many companies use cheap oils to roast their nuts as well. To preserve the integrity of your nuts without sacrificing that delicious roasted flavour, you should buy them raw and roast them yourself, making sure to eat them as soon as possible (but waiting for them to cool down before doing so!)
Why Should Nuts & Seeds Be Activated?
To take full advantage of everything nuts have to offer, you must first soak them for several hours or overnight in a process known as activation.
Nuts and seeds contain something called Phytic Acid – the storage form of phorphorous in plants. It binds to minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and manganese in the digestive tract, rendering them unavailable to us. If we consume too many phytic acid containing foods on a regular basis, we run the risk of developing mineral deficiencies and potentially osteoporosis. If you eat a few nuts here and there this likely won’t affect you, but if you’re someone who eats handfuls a day, then you should consider activating your nuts.
Some animals have phytase in their bodies, the enzyme which breaks up phytic acid, but unfortunately we humans do not. Fortunately, we do have tools available to us to recreate this enzyme so that we can effectively obtain all the nutrients and minerals these nuts and seeds have to offer. Soaking, sprouting, and/or fermenting our nuts and seeds helps neutralize phytic acid.
Nuts And Seeds Also Contain Enzyme Inhibitors
Enzyme inhibitors occur naturally, preventing nuts and seeds from sprouting prematurely. In the wild, nuts and seeds can lay dormant for a long time while waiting for ideal germination conditions — warmth and moisture. The inhibitors clog up and essentially deactivate the active site of an enzyme, which is why unsprouted nuts can be difficult to digest.
Soaking and activating nuts and seeds diminishes the phytic acid and essentially switches off their enzyme inhibitors, making the enzymes available to us. Soaking dried nuts tells the nut that it is time to germinate so it can switch off these elements and begin the sprouting process.