Nuts are store house of many vitamins, protein, healthy fats (omega -3) and fibre. It helps with both weight loss and weight gain depending upon the diet. Whatever may be the reason but they provide with enormous health benefit.
What is the difference between nuts and seeds: Nuts are actually fruit of some plant that are rich in protein, fats and vitamins whereas seeds are small plants closed within seed coat and are rich in proteins, B vitamins, minerals, little fats and fibre.
For our surprise our favourite ALMOND and WALNUTS are also seeds. A drupe is a fruit that is pulpy on the interior encased in a hard shell that contains a seed. Peaches and plums are drupes, and their interior seed is discarded while the fleshy pulp is eaten. In some cases, however, the seed within the fruit, what is often referred to as a nut, is eaten. Examples of these include almonds, coconuts, pecans, and walnut. Botanically speaking, however, acorns, chestnuts and hazelnuts/filberts are true nuts.
Why there is a need to soak the seeds:
When nuts or seeds get wet they can then germinate to produce a plant. But until rain happens, they ensure their survival with inherent toxic inhibitors that protect the plants from insects and microbes until the perfect conditions for growth are present. The seeds cannot germinate until they have sufficient moisture.
The soaking process neutralizes the phytates and enzyme inhibitors that make nuts and seeds hard to digest. When the inhibitors are not neutralized before you eat them, it can mean a bellyache for some people. But more importantly, these inhibitors prevent the absorption of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc; you know, the healthy nutrients you are eating the nuts to get in your diet! The inhibitors bind to these minerals in our digestive tract, which can cause irritation and potentially contribute to nutrient deficiencies. These inhibitors can even neutralize our own precious enzymes in the digestive tract.
The soaking process also makes additional nutrient more bioavailable. This includes increasing the vitamin C, A, and B content, especially B2, B5, and B6. In our stressed lifestyles B vitamins are constantly used up in the body, which means having increased levels available in the foods you eat is important. B vitamins are essential for energy outflow, prevents ageing, keep gut healthy, proper iron absorption, protein absorption and many more.
Soaking even helps to alkalize the body. How? When nuts are soaked and germinated, their pH is raised. As they become more alkaline, they also try to keep your body alkaline. Why is this important? Bacteria and disease are not able to easily live in alkaline environments.
One of the best parts of soaking is that is activates helpful enzymes that increase nutrient absorption and aid digestion.
How to Use Soaked & Dried Nuts and Seeds
- Enjoy them plain as a snack!
- Make nut or seed milk – e.g almond milk
- Put them on your salads!
- Make homemade nut or seed butter. almond butter or peanut butter
The Bottom Line
Soaked nuts can also be consumed with or without their skin on them. Nuts consumed with peel increases daily fibre intake.
Nuts are one of the healthiest snacks you can eat, as they contain a wide range of essential nutrients. However, their beneficial effects are attributed to nuts that have been minimally processed and have no added ingredients. Many processed nut products, such as peanut butter, often contain high amounts of salt or added sugar. As a result, it’s best to buy nuts with nothing else added.