Soak Those Nuts For Health's Sake!

I am always on the lookout for a healthier way of doing something. Eating nuts is no exception. I've known that nuts are a great source or protein and other nutrients, but they can be a little hard to digest sometimes. And then there's the complaint some have about walnuts...they get canker sores from this nut.

I've talked about this issue in the past, but I thought it might be good to resurrect it in light of some email I've received from a few readers lately around this subject. There's lots of information on the Internet regarding the importance of soaking nuts , but the bottom? The main reason it's so important to soak nuts and seeds before eating them is because they contain natural enzyme inhibitors.

And if you recall basic science 101, you'll remember that enzymes are our friends. They help the body digest what it eats and in the process extract all the nutrients from food.

The purpose of these enzyme inhibitors is to protect the nut or seed until it has what it needs for growing. Nature allows the inhibitors and toxic substances to be easily removed when growing conditions (enough rain and sun) are met. When it rains, the nut gets enough moisture to accommodate germination. The plant then continues to grow with the sunlight.

So by soaking nuts and seeds, these toxic enzyme inhibitors are released. That now means that the life and vitality contained within them is actually increased and now fully available for digestion! In a nutshell then (pun intended), here are all the benefits of soaking nuts and seeds:

• Enzyme inhibitors get neutralized.

• The amount of vitamins your body can absorb increases.

• Gluten breaks down so digestion is much easier.

• Phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of vital minerals, is reduced.

• No more canker sores (from eating walnuts).

Soaking times vary with the nut. Generally the more dense the nut, the longer the soaking time. Ideally, soaking should be done at room temperature. Here is a soaking and sprouting chart:

Soaking and Sprouting Times

I'll close with a concise HOW-TO for soaking and one last thought: If you're not crazy about softened nuts and seeds, then once they're soaked and well drained, dehydrate them. This will return them to a nice crispy state. Just be sure to keep your temperature LOW to retain their enzymes (no higher than 118 degrees).


1. Gather your raw, organic nuts or seeds.

2. Rinse them in purified or distilled water.

3. Place them in a glass or stainless steel bowl.

4. Cover with twice as much water as the nuts or seeds. (1 C nuts to 2 C water)

5. Cover bowl with something breathable (cloth towel, cheese cloth, etc.)

6. Drain and rinse the nuts or seeds every 3 or 4 hours.

The soak water will contain the enzyme inhibitors which is very acidic to the body so make sure to rinse your nuts and seeds well. These nuts can be chopped and used in salads and all sorts of recipes, or just for eating out of hand. I especially like them with golden raisins as a snack.


    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author!

blog comments powered by Disqus