The Health Benefits of Soaking Almonds
Almonds nutrition may not be common knowledge but almonds are considered by nutritionists, to be the healthiest, most nutritious nuts of all.
Eating almonds will provide you with a rich source of protein containing fiber, omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
Almonds are also difficult to digest because of an enzyme inhibiting substance in their brown coating. The enzyme inhibitor is there to keep the almond more intact until it is ready to sprout into a tree.
For humans, the inability of the nut to release its enzymes interferes with the digestive process makes digestion more difficult, and creating the loss of the almonds nutrition.
Solution? Soaking almonds eliminates the problem.
The key to maintaining the nutrient value is to only use raw almonds.
Soaked almond benefits are practically useless if the almonds are pasteurized or roasted since both processes destroy the almonds healthy enzymes.
No Enzymes — No Digestion!
Unfortunately for us, a recent law requires all almonds grown in the U.S. to be pasteurized. And yet the USDA still allows these processed almonds to be called raw even though they no longer are.
Don’t be fooled. The so-called raw almonds found in health food stores are all pasteurized!
The law is weird. Almond farmers can sell raw unpasteurized almonds from roadside stands or mail order but not to food distributors or markets.
All almonds have the protective brown skin which contains the harmful tannic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Soaking almonds removes harmful tannic acid and enzyme inhibitors making the nuts easy to digest and releasing their full nutritional value. Soaking also makes the nut softer and easier to chew.
Always chew nuts thoroughly, whether soaked or not. Big chunks of un-chewed nuts can be hard on the digestive tract.
In addition, all nuts contain phytic acid in their outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can form insoluble or nearly insoluble compounds with many metal ions, including those of calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. These compounds reduce dietary availability.
Soaking decreases the levels of this phytic acid.
How to properly soak almonds…
Soak the almonds in cool water and drain the soaked water after 20-40 minutes. Add fresh water and continue the soaking for another 8-12 hours.
Be sure the water covers all the almonds. Cover the bowl with something breathable like a cloth towel and leave the bowl in a warm place (room temperature). In the morning you can drain the water and eat them.
Eating 6 soaked almonds in the morning is recommended by many nutritionists. If you have soaked more nuts than six, refrigerate them after draining and drying on a paper towels.
PS. They also taste much sweeter!