The Reason Why We Should Soak Nuts Before Eating Them
Nuts are a healthy snack for when munchies strike. Munching nuts is satisfying, but it is not sinful. The American Heart Association recommends nuts as part of a healthy and balanced diet. (1) But should we consume them directly from the package?
Or should we peel and soak some nuts first? For example, in Asia almonds are soaked overnight and peeled the following morning before they are ready to be consumed. So, should we do it? Read on to find out.
What Happens If You Soak Nuts
One thing is certain, the skin od the soaked nuts is easier to be peeled off. Also, there are some changes in the nut, some nutrients are lost with the skin, but there are positive benefits of soaking.
Benefits of Soaking Nuts
1. Remove the Dust
Often, nuts are stored for a long time, and they might be processed in different facilities without ever being washed. Therefore, they might have some dust on them, especially if you buy them loose from your local grocery.
So, logically by soaking them you are going to remove this dust and all the other contaminants.
2. You Will Remove the Skin Easily
Bear in mind that after you have soaked the nuts, the skin will come off much easier. But the should you do that. Should you remove the skin from the nuts before you consume them?
Well, you should know that the compounds flavonoids that lower the lipid levels in the body and improve the health of the gut are present in the skin of almonds.
That is why some researchers recommend consuming almonds with the skin. But in case you have an issue digesting nuts, then it would be better to remove the skin.
3. Lower Phytic Acid Content
You should know that phytic acid is actually a natural antioxidant that comes with many benefits. But, at the same time, it can make issues with the minerals your body takes in from the diet.
This compound in nuts chelates metal ions such as calcium, iron, and zinc in food meaning the phytic acid actually binds to the ions. Also, it is producing salts which are hard to take in in the gastrointestinal tract and insoluble salts.
This deprived the system of the minerals in a usable form.(2) Moreover, the phytic acid inhibits trypsin and pepsin, enzymes which help relieve the protein digestion.
The former helps with the protein breakdown when found in your stomach, while on the other hand, the latter helps digestion of protein in the small intestine. (3) So, by soaking the nuts, you might lower the phytic acid content of nuts.(4)
How Long Should You Soak the Nuts?
The senior Ayurvedic doctor, Dr. Janardhana Hebbar, notes that different nuts require different lengths of time. For example, if you decide to have macadamia nuts, you should soak them for around four hours.
On the other hand, almonds require twelve hours of soaking, hazelnuts need around eight hours, and others such as pecans, walnuts and pine nuts need only eight hours.
The process of soaking is very simple. You need to wash the nuts once and add them in a bowl. Add water in this bowl until the nuts are fully covered. After the needed time for their soaking, you need to wash them once more and munch on them.
In case you are planning to remove their peel, you will discover that the peel gets off easy after a proper soaking. A variation on this method involves adding one spoon of salt in the water.
Just make sure to toss out the water you soaked the nuts in. You should do that since this water is abundant in impurities and everything else found on them. After soaking, you can also dry the nuts in the oven at low heat and munch them with joy.