Nuts and seeds are the part of a healthy diet. They play a vital role in preventing disease form our body and keep us healthy as we grow. Nuts and seeds consist of fiber, minerals, vitamins and healthy fats which help to reduce the inflammation in our body and it also reduces the risk of heart disease.
Ayurveda celebrates nuts and seeds as super foods. According to Ayurvedic diet, intake of all types of nuts and seeds in moderation, butters and milks are healthy. Nuts and seeds have been one of the staples of foods for ages across different cultures, various countries all over the world. Nuts and seeds provide lubrication and nutrition to body, skin, joints and hair. Nuts and seeds functions as a good fuel for gastrointestinal fire (heart burn).
Purpose of Soaking Nuts and Seeds
Naturally, a seed or nut normally gets enough moistness from rain to wash-down the acids and enzyme inhibitors so it can take root and yield a plant. By soaking nuts and seeds before we eat, we are imitating nature by neutralizing these toxic growth inhibitors by discharging the natural enzymes and energy within them.
Soaking also makes the nuts and seeds easier to digest. The nutrients in them will be easily and fully absorbed by the body. Nuts and seeds are also soaked to get rid of the dirt, dusts and tannins. Please note we are not supposed to use the water used for soaking nuts and seeds.
The water contains inhibitors and toxic substances like enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens.
We can either use warm water to soak the nuts and seeds. Seeds and nuts contain phosphorus in form of phytic acid. It binds to a mineralit and becomes phytate. This process stops nutrients from being engrossed in the digestive system and reduce the digestibility of these foods.
To make these enzymes ineffective we can add little amount of salt in the water before soaking the nuts and seeds.
Benefits of Soaking Nuts and Seeds
Remove Phytic Coating
Phytic acid coats the raw nuts externally. It actually benefits the nuts but not humans. It may lead to gastrointestinal problems and obstruct the absorption of nutrients. Especially, nuts are rich in minerals, which are not absorbed. Soaking nuts before eating removes phytic acid coating.
Nuts and seeds are especially high in phytic acid which can be removed through the process of soaking (and sometimes sprouting) and drying to further reduce the anti-nutrient content. Soaking is still recommended for ease in blending and for nutritional purposes.
Soaking removes the enzyme inhibitors which coats the nuts and seeds to protect them. It is critical to those who are already suffering from digestive problems. Tannins is another element, which may lead to digestive and gastric problems. Besides, there are many with allergic reaction to Tannins. Eating it aggravates the health issues, if the individual is sensitive to it.
So, soaking remove the tannins from the nuts and seeds.
Soaking nuts before eating them also helps to rinse out the colon thus removing the harmful toxins. It also helps in the better absorption of nutrients
Process of Soaking Seeds
Soaking nuts and seeds required two major things. You can either soak in normal water or warm water.
- Warm water
- Sea salt
Take warm water (enough to cover the nuts completely) in a glass bowl or jar and mix sea salt to it. Soak the nuts and seeds for 10 to 12 hours. Drain out the soaked water and completely rinse the nuts.
You can either refrigerate the soaked nuts, after drying. You can dry the nuts in a dehydrator or under the natural sunlight. Once it is fully dried, store in an airtight container.
Alternatively, you can eat nuts within 24 hours or include in cooking or otherwise.
Why warm water and salt?
Ayurveda highlights, soaking nuts and seeds in warm water give added benefits. Soaking in warm water will deactivate all the enzyme inhibitors. It effectively increases the bio-availability of the micro nutrients.
Salt is natural preservative. Adding salt to the nuts and seeds gives more benefits. The salt helps in activating the enzymes that deactivate the enzyme inhibitors present in nuts.
SOAKING TIME OF COMMON NUTS
|NUTS &SEEDS||SOAKING TIME (Hrs.)||SPROUTING TIME (Days)|
|Brazil Nuts||3||No sprouting|
|Flax seeds||½||No sprouting|
|Sunflower seeds||8||12-24 hrs|
Points to note after soaking nuts
- Since the water removes the coatings of enzyme inhibitors, it should be drained.
- Rinse the soaked nuts and seeds properly
- It is also recommended to do a final rinse with a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar or salt water rinse.
Include nuts and seeds in any form in your diet, regularly.