It is no secret that nuts and seeds are part of a healthy diet, particularly if you want to lose weight or if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight. Nuts and seeds have all sorts of health benefits, from increased fiber intake to vitamins and minerals that are rarely found in other foods.

 But did you know that you can take the health of your nuts and seeds to the next level? By soaking these foods, you can get even more nutrition out of them. Find out how soaking nuts and seeds can take your weight loss journey even further.

Benefits of Soaking Nuts and Seeds

 The main benefit of soaking nuts and seeds can be discovered when you look at the chemical makeup of these food groups. Both nuts and seeds have high amounts of phytic acid. This chemical is an important part of the nuts’ and seeds’ development, since it stops them from sprouting too soon.

 However, in the human body, phytic acid serves no benefit. It can actually bind to minerals and vitamins, preventing the body from absorbing and using them. This means that your body may not have access to much of the nutrition that you are giving it via nuts and seeds.

 This is why soaking is such an important process. Soaking nuts and seeds breaks down the phytic acid and makes food nutrients more available to the body for absorption and usage.

Health Benefits

 Given the wide range of health benefits and nuts and seeds, you definitely want to make all of those nutrients available to your body. One study shows that sesame seeds, in particular, are an excellent source of dietary fiber, polyphenol, fatty acids, and iodine.

The American Society for Nutrition also notes that nuts should be part of everyone’s regular snacking routine. Not just because they are full of healthy fats and energy-rich—on top of these benefits, the amount of nuts a person eats has a direct correlation to their overall heart health and their risk of cardiovascular disease.

How to Soak Nuts or Seeds

 The soaking of seeds and nuts is not done on a large commercial scale, simply because of the time it would take to go through this process with huge amounts of nuts or seeds. However, with just a couple minutes of work, you can substantially boost the nutritional benefits of your seeds and nuts.

  1.  Place 4 cups of warm, filtered water in a jar or bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and wait until the salt is dissolved.
  2.  Add 2 cups of nuts or seeds, sticking to one variety at a time. They should be fully covered by the water.
  3.  Let the bowl sit on the counter overnight—the nuts and seeds should remain at room temperature or warmer.
  4.  In the morning, rinse the nuts and seeds in a colander. Preheat the oven to 150°.
  5.  Spread the nuts or seeds out in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake them until they are completely dry.
  6.  Store the dried nuts or seeds in an airtight container.

Sources:

The Importance of Soaking Nuts & Seeds

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/beverage1/a/soaking-nuts.htm

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814606007205

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/89/5/1649S.short

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