Nuts and seeds are loaded with some of the best nutrition on the planet. In fact, they are thought to be so beneficial that a newly published study has found that eating nuts is associated with a decrease in mortality across the board, and is considered a cost-effective measure to improve cardiovascular health. Other research has shown that people who eat nuts are actually slimmer than those who don’t. But before you shop, you must discover the art of sprouting seeds and soaking nuts for pure nutrition.
Raw Nuts may Not be the Healthiest Nuts
Right now raw foods are prized for their high energy vibration, wealth of enzymes, and the availability of their nutrients, as they should be. But this does not extend to nuts and seeds, and eating them raw poses some big problems.
Nature has endowed raw nuts and seeds with an enzyme inhibitor so they can fall to the ground at summer’s end and lay dormant without rotting until the following spring, the time for germination. The inhibitor is phytic acid, the primary storage compound of phosphorus in nuts, seeds, and also grains and legumes.
Phytic acid strongly binds minerals in nuts and seeds such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc, making them unavailable to anyone eating them raw. When spring rains come, proteolytic enzymes are released that break down the phytic acid, freeing minerals and other nutrients from their bondage.
The raw nuts on conventional grocers’ shelves have not gone through this process, so eating them will provide little of the spectacular nutrition nuts and seeds are know for. What they may provide is indigestion. On top of that, eating raw nuts can neutralize the enzymes the body makes to control inflammation, and it can block protein absorption.
Because of this binding, raw nuts and seeds require a tremendous amount of pancreatic enzymes to break them down, leaving little for the job of house cleaning in the body.
One way to destroy phytic acid is by roasting nuts and seeds, but roasting destroys live enzymes. What’s more, roasting is usually done with the addition of processed seed oils that may be genetically modified. But whether they are genetically modified or not, the chemical bonds of these oils break down at the temperatures used for roasting, and the result is a release of free radicals. Dry roasting destroys enzymes too, and it is so destructive to the flavor of nuts and seeds that they usually come seasoned to make up for the lack of natural taste.
So what do you do?
Sprouting Seeds, Soaking Nuts Mimics Nature’s Process
Sprouting is the term used for soaking nuts and seeds to replicate the spring rains that release nutrients and flavor in nuts and seeds. Once nuts and seeds are soaked, all the nutrition and flavor they possess will become available to enjoy.
People have been sprouting nuts and seeds since they first figured out that little hard seeds turned into soft edible plants when they got wet for a period of time. The process has always been known as ‘sprouting,’ even though not every variety of nut or seed can be fully sprouted.
Sprouting nuts and seeds is easy. Nuts and seeds from the grocery store have already been processed in some form or another, and they are no longer suitable for sprouting. Unprocessed and undried nuts is what’s needed for sprouting, and they are available from several sources online.
- When they arrive, put them in water with bit of sea salt, and leave them there for between 12 and 24 hours. The container of the nuts or seeds you buy will list the soaking time that variety requires.
- Rinse the nuts or seeds, change the water a couple of times, and taste them periodically to determine the stage at which you like them best.
- After soaking is finished, pour off the water and dry them at a temperature no higher than 115 F. Exceeding that temperature will damage their delicate enzymes.
- Be sure they are completely dry before putting them away to avoid mold growth.
The result will be delicious nuts and seeds that have the same crunch as those in the store, but these will be easy to digest, packed with accessible nutrients, and require no pancreatic enzymes.
If this seems like too much of a chore, you can buy sprouted nuts and seeds in most health food stores and at healthy image places like Whole Foods. If the package does not clearly state that they are sprouted nuts or seeds, they are not.
Selling sprouted nuts and seeds online has become a thriving business in the last few years, and organic sprouted nuts are readily available, as are mixes of spouted nuts and seeds with dried fruit and other trail mix kinds of items.
The same holds true for online purchases. Only the nuts clearly marked as sprouted are actually sprouted. The rest they are selling are not.