How to get the best in NUTS. We all know nuts are nutritional powerhouses packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals. But did you know soaking nuts increases their nutritional values and their digestibility?

We all heard of nutrients but anti-nutrients, not much. Consuming anti-nutrients can cause ill effects on both our health and physical performance.

What are anti-nutrients?

Anti-nutrients are found in the outer layer of plant foods such as grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Mother Nature places these anti-nutrients in nuts, seeds and grains in order to survive until proper growing conditions prevail. They act as a defence mechanism and are removed naturally when there is enough rain for them to germinate. These anti-nutrients tie up with digestive enzymes and other essential minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium in the digestive tract and block their absorption by the body. For example, A diet high in unfermented whole grain may lead to serious mineral deficiencies.

We can minimise or eliminate these inhibitors by soaking and rinsing the raw nut and seeds. Once soaked in water, the germination process begins and the enzyme inhibitor is neutralised. This helps encourage production of beneficial enzymes. During this process gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are broken down into simpler components that are more freely available for absorption.

Benefits of soaking

• Neutralise Enzyme inhibitors

• Proteins more readily available

• Increases amount of vitamins, mainly vitamin B

• Double the amount of nutrition

• Break down allows easier digestion

• Prevents mineral deficiencies and bone loss

Soak nuts for about seven hours or overnight, whichever is most convenient. Drain, rinse and peel the skin (Almonds) before you eat. Do not soak in a plastic container as plastic can leach into the water and into your food.

Discard the water that is used to soak your Chickpeas, Kidney beans, grains or nuts. Never use the soaked water in a recipe. What does this mean?

Raw nuts can definitely be eaten raw and digested normally if chewed well and enjoyed in moderation. But to gain maximum nutrition you need to soak them. Remember at the end of the day, it’s not what you eat but what you digest and absorb.