Nuts and seeds have been a fundamental staple of mankind and are a great source of nutrients, vitamins, fats and minerals, but what if there were toxic substances that were present in these seeds and nuts that are detrimental to your health?
Well truth is told there are toxic substances contained in many nuts and seeds and these have been developed through the process of evolution for millions of years. These substances that are present are merely a protection mechanism that the seed or nut has developed to protect itself from scavengers and to keep it safe so that it would have the best chance of germinating and reproducing.
The toxins act as enzyme inhibitors meaning that these substances “inhibit” the natural function of enzymes within the body. Other toxic substances that are present within grains, seeds, and nuts are tannins, phytic acid, and goitrogens, these toxins can be eliminated through soaking.
Why Soak Nuts, grains and seeds?
The primary reason to soak your nuts is quite simply to remove toxins. Once toxins are removed the nutrients from the nuts become more absorbable thus allowing vitamins and minerals to be absorbed faster into the bloodstream. On another note there has been research that indicates that soaking nuts increases their nutritional value. The second reason that nuts should be soaked is to make them more palatable, removing a lot of the bitterness which leaves an after taste in the mouth.
How to Soak Nuts
There has been a great deal in variability in soaking times but here is how we do it at home. All nuts are soaked in spring water or a good source of filtered water this ensures that there are no other contaminants present.
What you’ll need:
- Large clear glass bowls
- Water, either spring water or good filtered water – if you do not have access to these simply use tap water.
- Your selection of nuts
- Salt – this is optional, however there might be a benefit in using salt to speed up the leeching process.
- A kitchen towel or a cheese cloth
Before starting prepare a large glass bowl, preferably glass as it is the most health friendly especially when soaking nuts and seeds. Grab as many nuts are you would like keeping in mind that the water should cover the nuts and seeds about an inch. Soak for the time given below for each type of seed or nut remembering to cover the bowls with a kitchen towel or cheese cloth this is so that nasties don’t drop into the water.
Pumpkin Seeds and Sunflower Seeds
Time: Soak in water, overnight or roughly 12 hours.
Peanuts, Pine nuts, Pecans, Hazelnuts and Walnuts
Time: Soak in water overnight or roughly 10 hours.
Time: Soak in water, 3-6 hours.
Please feel free to give it a go yourself to judge which soaking times work best for you, and please do share your successes!
Which seeds and nuts do you soak?
Let us know in the comments section below.
As always, stay safe, live well, fully and in the moment – embrace life!
Photo Credit: Stacy Spensley