The Benefits of Soaking Nuts, Grains, Seeds and Legumes




Nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes can survive only under proper growing conditions. The defense mechanism of nature includes nutritional inhibitors and substances that are toxic which can be naturally removed when there is enough precipitation to support a new plant after the grain, seed or nut germinate. You can mimic nature by soaking nuts grains seeds and legumes.

Nuts, seeds, and grains contain nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances (enzyme inhibitors, goitrogens, polyphenols (tannins), and phytates (phytic acid) that can be reduced or even eliminated by soaking.

What are Enzyme Inhibitors?

There exist two types of enzymes – digestive and metabolic enzymes. Metabolic enzymes help the biological processes that the body does, while digestive enzymes break down food. Enzyme inhibitors will warp, denature, and clog an active site of an enzyme.

They can also attach to the enzyme, and that will prevent the intended molecule from attaching. “The habits of traditional people could serve as a guide. They understood instinctively that nuts are best soaked or sprouted before eaten because nuts contain many enzyme inhibitors which can put a strain on the digestive system if taken in excess.”

What are Phytates?

“Phytic acid can be found in the outer layer or bran of all grains. Phytic acid which is not treated can combine with copper, magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc in the intestinal tract and can block their absorption. That is why a diet rich in untreated grains can cause mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern practice of taking huge amounts of untreated bran can firstly improve colon transit time, but it also can irritate the bowel syndrome and many other side-effects.”

What Are The Benefits of Soaking Nuts, Grains, Seeds and Legumes?

  • To reduce and remove phytic acid.
  • To reduce or remove tannins.
  • To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
  • To encourage the production of the beneficial enzyme.
  • To raise the amounts of vitamin B.
  • To make easier digestion and break down gluten.
  • To make the proteins available for absorption.
  • To prevent bone loss and lack of minerals.
  • To neutralize toxins in the colon and clean the colon.
  • To prevent many health conditions and diseases.

“Soaking grains allows lactobacilli, enzymes, and other helpful organisms to neutralize and break down a huge portion of phytic acids in them. Soaking grains in hot water neutralizes enzyme inhibitors that are present in all seeds and increases the beneficial enzyme production. The action of the beneficial enzymes can increase the amount of vitamin B. While soaking, gluten and other proteins that are difficult to digest are broken down into simpler components available to absorb.”

What can be used to soak grains, seeds, and nuts?

We have found many advices for soaking grains, seeds, and nuts in water, hot water, or salt water mixture with lemon juice, whey, or yogurt. Within 7-24 hours the anti-nutrients are broken down and the enzyme inhibitors are neutralized depending on which method you choose. It exists proof that the time when the process works is when sprouting starts.

How long does the process of soaking take?

“At least seven hours of soaking in hot acidulated water will neutralize a huge amount of phytic acid in grains. The easy practice of soaking rolled or flaked cereal grains overnight will improve the nutritional benefits of grains.” “You should soak flour products at room temperature for 12 hours, but to gain better results, soak the products for at least 24 hours.”

Are the grains, seeds, and nuts used wet?

If you prefer eating grains, nuts, and seeds wet, make small amounts and keep them in your refrigerator. Almost everything that is soaked can be dried in a dehydrator or oven on the lowest setting for 24 to 48 hours to get rid of all moisture.

Wheat berries can be soaked for 8-22 hours and then rinsed and drained. Many recipes use the whole berries wet, like cracker dough ground right in the food processor. Sprouted wheat berries also can be dried in an oven or dehydrator at the lowest temperatures and ground in a grain mill and the flour can be used in many recipes.

You can grind up nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes to use as flour in various recipes after drying.

What can you do with legumes?

Soaking any legumes and beans in vinegar and water for 12 hours before cooking is recommended by Maureen Diaz. Beans that are soaked and dried can be ground up and used as flour for different foods. This is good for people who are on a gluten-free diet.

One advice includes placing soaked kelp or Kombu seaweed in the bottom of the pot while soaking legumes. One part seaweed goes to at least six parts legumes. You should do this to improve flavor and digestion, faster cooking, and more nutrients. “You should soak legumes for at least 12 hours in four parts water to one part legume.”

To get better results, you should change the water at least twice. Soak the lentils and dried peas shorter, and soybeans and garbanzos longer. Soaking softens skins eliminates phytic acids, and makes more minerals available. It also improves digestion and promotes faster cooking, because the soak water releases the gas-causing enzymes and trisaccharides in legumes.

Remember to discard the soak water. When bringing legumes to a boil, remove foam. Boil them for 20 minutes with no lid to let steam increase (disperses and breaks up indigestible enzymes).”

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