Activating Nuts is worth the effort.
What is this activating process, and is it even necessary?
You may have even heard of this in the past, or you may be thinking they have lost the plot. Why on earth would I need to “activate” my nuts, and what is activating nuts anyway?
If you are that person, or you simply want to know more about this topic, this article is written with you in mind.
Eat Your Nuts
You may know nuts have an array of health benefits and are encouraged to be in any healthy diet, especially for those pursuing a healthy whole foods diet.
They provide healthy fats and a good source of protein, making it a great snack or addition to any meal. They are compact, and can be consumed in a variety of forms.
In the past people have been deterred from consuming nuts due to their high caloric profile and subsequent high fat content. However, not all calories and fats are made the same.
Countless epidemiological studies such as Nut intake and 5-year changes in body weight and obesity risk in adults: results from the EPIC-PANACEA study.
Show an inverse relationship between the consumption of nuts and reduction in overall body weight.
Many of these studies encourage a handful of nuts a day to be incorporated into any healthy diet.
Not only for weight management but also reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. Two of the most debilitating diseases effecting humanity.
In addition, nuts have a low lysine: arginine ratio, which helps lower the risk of developing hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis.
Reducing the risk of disease by eating nuts loaded with high-quality nutrition seems a smart choice to make.
All Nuts Are NOT Created Equal
There is a huge variability in macronutrient composition among nuts. They all contain the major macronutrients: protein, carbohydrate, and fat, with the total protein content being relatively high.
This makes them a good source of protein for vegetarians.
The fat portion within nuts is mainly unsaturated fatty acids with a low content of saturated fatty acids. Translated; nuts are high in the good fats and very low in the bad fats.
Going It Raw
To be noted, we are discussing nuts that are in their raw form or have been roasted/toasted at a low heat (aka. dehydrated). Nuts cooked at a high heat lose most of their nutritional content.
Nuts that are flavored, salted or fried add unnecessary amounts of sugar, salt, or fats to your diet and making the nutritional bonuses of this fantastic food negligible.
The recommended intake is a small handful per day. Moderation as with anything is key. Eating too many nuts add too many calories to your diet.
In saying that, being a natural food that is high in fats, protein and fiber they can act as an appetite suppressant keeping your belly full and your food cravings satisfied.
We have established nuts contain high amounts of good macro and micro nutrients. And that they are a great food choice.
Now let’s get into why the effort of going through the simple process of activating them will make them that much more a good choice.
Nuts contain high amounts of phytic acid. Phytic acid, also known as phytate is a unique natural substance found in plant seeds, and nuts. It serves as the main storage form of phosphorus in the seeds.
When seeds sprout, phytate is degraded and the resulting phosphorus is released. This substance will be used by the young plant helping it to grow.
The negative impact of phytic acid on humans is that it impairs absorption of iron and zinc, and to some extent calcium. Phytic acid affects the only meal currently being consumed not subsequent meals.
Frequent snacking of nuts or, if you have a high-phytic based diet may result in mineral deficiencies over time.
Soak the Phytic Out
So what is involved in activating nuts?
It involves soaking the nuts in warm water and salt for a period, usually 7-12 hours.
This then stimulates the early germination and sprouting process within the nut, seed, legume or grain.
After soaking, simply rinse the Phytic acid away with fresh water.
Once soaked, nuts and seeds are then dehydrated at a low temperature ~65°C (150F) for 12-24 hours before eating.
Dehydration may be used for grains and legumes as well, but not required, as they are usually boiled or sprouted in preparation for eating.
Soaking the nuts, grains or legumes have been shown to increase the nutrient value of the food, along with breaking down the problematic compounds that help enhance their digestibility.
Therefore, an exceptional way to yield all the nutrients from a nut and enhance the digestibility as well. This is further encouraged if you suffer from things like bloating, cramping and nausea.
Activating helps prevent these symptoms and enhances the absorption of the nutrients.
Not only are the nutritional benefits exceptional the whole process is easy and absolutely fool-proof. Below are instructions on how to activate your own nuts at home.
Place nuts, legumes or grains into a large bowl
Cover with filtered water mixed with sea salt (approximately two teaspoons of salt)
The nuts, legumes or grains should be completely submerged in the salt water (the ingredients will absorb water as they soak and may grow mold if not kept under water)
Depending on the food, soak for 7-12 hours
After soaking, strain away the excess water (legumes and grains can be cooked and consumed at this point)
Seeds and nuts are now prepared to be slowly roast at very low heat (65°C) in a dehydrator for 6-24 hours.
The food is ready when they are completely dried out. Eat them straight away or if for future use they must be stored in the fridge.
Activating the nuts makes them more vulnerable to mold and rotting. To increase the lifespan they must be kept in the fridge.
Activating nuts is a simple process that will be a wholesome, nutrient rich food to enhance your bodies health. Happy munching!
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