When you are up for a snack, nuts are always the healthiest option. In fact, the American Heart Association always recommends then as a part of a healthy and balanced diet. The question here is if you should consume them straight from the package? Or, can you do something different?
What you can do is soak them first. For instance, in Asia, almonds are usually soaked overnight and peeled the next morning before they are eaten. Is this a good idea? Let’s check it out!
What Happens If You Soak Nuts?
One thing that for sure happens if you soak them is that they are easier for peeling. Moreover, some changes in them also occur. What happens is that they lose nutrients, but, you can still get some positive benefits as well.
The Benefits of Soaking Nuts
1. Remove the Dust
Nuts are usually stored for a long time and they are processed in different facilities without being washed. So, they might have some dust on them when you purchase them from the local grocery. Thus, if you soak them, you will remove the dust and the other contaminants.
2. Remove the Skin Easily
When you soak the nuts, the skin comes off much easier. It is true that their skin contains all the flavonoids that can lower the lipid levels in the body and improve the gut health. However, if you have some problems with digesting them you can remove the skin easily by soaking them.
3. Lower Phytic Acid Content
Phytic acid is a natural antioxidant that offers a lot of benefits. However, they can cause troubles with the minerals in the body. This compound in the nuts contains ions like calcium, iron, and zinc in food. This means that the phytic acid binds to the ions. Moreover, it produces salts that are hard to take in the gastrointestinal tract and insoluble salts.
This will deprive the system of minerals. Also, the phytic acid inhibits trypsin and pepsin, enzymes which help in relieving the protein digestion.
The trypsin will help with the protein breakdown and the pepsin will help in the digestion of the protein in the small intestine. Thus, if you soak them, you will lower the phytic acid content of nuts.
How Long Should You Soak the Nuts?
The senior Ayurvedic doctor, Dr. Janardhana Hebbar says that different nuts need different lengths of time. So, if you decide to have macadamia nuts, you need to soak them for four hours.
Almonds, on the other hand, need twelve hours, hazelnuts need eight, and others like pecans, walnuts and pine nuts need eight hours.
The soaking process is simple. All you need to do is wash the nuts once and add them in a bowl. Then, add some water to the bowl until the nuts are covered fully. Then, after this time passes you need to wash them again and eat.
If you want to remove the peel, you will see that the peel will be easy to take off after you soak it properly. You can make a variation of this method by adding one spoon of salt in the water.
Last advice we are going to give you is to throw the water out after you have soaked the nuts in. You need to do this due to the fact that the water is impure. Afterward, you can dry the nuts in the oven on low heat and eat!