I'm not talking about us guys just sitting in a tub of water... but rather, soaking things such as almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, pecans, hulled sunflower, and hemp seeds. Up until recently, I had no idea that soaking nuts and seeds was a thing but it makes complete sense.
Let me fill you in.
Like grains and legumes, nuts and seeds can contain substances such as phytic acid and other enzyme inhibitors that interfere with the body's ability to absorb nutrients. These enzyme inhibitors prevent the seeds from sprouting prematurely. However, when put in the human body, they can bind to nutrients to disrupt digestion by reducing the digestibility of these foods.
Soaking and then dehydrating nuts and seeds is said to help break down most of the phytic acid. Therefore, making the nuts and seeds more easily digestible.
It's key to point out that it's the total dose of these enzyme inhibitors, such as phytic acid, that matters.
So diets with already high levels of processed foods only increases the likelihood of nutrient absorption problems.
If that's you, I suggest first taking out processed grains and other foods from your diet before starting to soak your nuts and seeds. That way you get the max bang for your buck when you do soak your seeds. *However, if you want to start soaking now, it definitely won't hurt!
If you are already pretty conscientious about consuming minimally processed foods and still having digestive issues, I suggest starting to soak your nuts and seeds to see if you notice a difference. If so, GREAT! Start soaking!! If not, at least you got a good learning experience from it :)
I recently started soaking my nuts and I've noticed a huge difference in my digestion!
Here's how I did it:
1. Measured 4 cups of a unsalted, raw nuts ( I did a batch of pecans and a batch of walnuts) out into a bowl.
2. Filled the bowl with warm water.
3. Added 2 TBS pink Himalayan sea salt. Mixed it up.
*I also added trace minerals.
4. Let it sit for 12+ hours. Stirred occasionally.
5. Rinsed several times with fresh water.
6. Spaced the nuts out on a baking sheet.
7. Let them dry for 12-24+ hours until they are crispy again.
* If you live in a dry climate, you can get away with just leaving them in the sun with non-bleached paper towels.
** If you live elsewhere, you'll need to bake them at around 150*F or use a dehydrator.
Most nuts and seeds sold at the stores are NOT soaked and dehydrated. Doing so is just too expensive to do on a large scale to make a profit. However, there are companies that do, such as Radiant Life.
I personally have become fond of soaking and dehydrating my nuts and seeds. I feel more connected to them since a lot more time, effort, and thus energy went into preparing them. It's a very grounding feeling when you sit down to eat food that took you over a day to prep. Plus, my stomach feels better too!
1. Evan, Doug. 2020. "The Sprouts Book".
2. Wells, Katie. 2015. https://wellnessmama.com/59139/soaking-nuts-seeds/ .