When it comes to nutritious foods, nuts are quite high on the Healthy Food List. There's a lot to love with these nutritious snacks! Nuts are rich in protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E, minerals, plus they are an easy, portable and super-filling snack.
The problem is that your body may not be getting all the nutritional potential of nuts or seeds. Find out why your body may not be absorbing its maximum goodness and what you can do about it!
A natural walnut mechanism
Like any plant or animal in its natural environment, nuts have a number of natural systems incorporated to promote normal growth. A developing nut stores much of its energy in the form of phytic acid. Take advantage of this energy when a nut undergoes rapid growth, such as during germination.
However, this sprouting process is inhibited by the presence of enzyme inhibitors, which remain in the nut after collection. After all, you do not want your almonds to turn into a little tree in the pantry!
While phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors occur naturally within growing nuts, they are not as compatible with the human body. While a moderate intake of phytates may be associated with lower risk of cancer, an excessive intake can interfere with the digestion and absorption of our body.
Phytic acid binds to minerals and prevents our bodies from properly absorbing these major nutrients. The inhibitors of the enzyme in the nuts can also interfere with our natural digestive enzymes, which further reduces our ability to digest and absorb nutrients.
Because nuts have a lot of goodness, we want to extract all its rich benefits when we eat them! However, much of this goodness is essentially "enclosed" by the inhibitors of enzymes and phytic acid, which prevents our body from using the nutrients of the nuts completely. So, what can we do about it?
The benefits of activating your nuts and seeds
Ancient cultures have been activating nuts and seeds throughout recorded history. There are accounts of even the Aztecs using this practice! While this may have begun as a method of preserving food stores, is it also possible that our predecessors have intuited this as a healthier way of eating?
Activation stimulates early germination and budding process within the nut and seed. This has a double benefit; First, the enzyme inhibitors are disarmed so that the plant can begin its next stage of growth. At the same time, phytic acid levels decrease as the nut connects to this energy store in preparation for its imminent accelerated growth.
The good news? The substances that block the absorption of nutrients are deactivated, while the other beneficial nutrients remain intact. We finish with a delicious and nutritious snack that our bodies can easily digest and absorb!
How to activate your nuts and seeds
While you can buy nuts and seeds activated in natural food stores, they tend to be a little more expensive. Alternatively, you can easily create your own home! That is how:
Pour 2 cups of your favorite nuts and seeds into a large bowl (worth making a larger batch at one time). Cover your nuts with filtered water mixed with sea salt (most nuts need about 2 teaspoons of salt). Make sure your nuts are completely submerged in the salt water, with one or two inches on the top spare part. The nuts will absorb water when soaked and can grow mold if they are not kept under water. Most nuts and seeds should be soaked for 7 to 12 hours, although almonds need a little more than 12 to 14 hours. After soaking, drain excess water. Place the nuts on the baking sheets or on the dehydrating racks. We like to use Excalibur food dehydrators. Toast slowly over very low heat (150 ° F / 65 ° C) in an oven or dehydrator for 12 to 24 hours (roasting time will vary depending on the nut you are using). The nuts are ready when they are completely dry (do they pass the crunch test when you bite them?). The nuts will easily spoil and become moldy if they are not completely dry. Store your delicious nuts and activated seeds in an airtight container with the refrigerator.
Do you activate your nuts and seeds at home? What is your favorite trick to do this fast and easy?
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