Nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients, healthy fats, and fiber, and if they’re not already a part of your diet, you should definitely consider adding them. With them you can make easy, delicious and satisfying snacks, and they can add a huge load of essential nutrients to meals and smoothies that lack them. If you already eat them regularly, or if you want to start doing it to take advantage of their enormous nutritional benefits, do not forget to activate nuts and seeds in the right way . If you don’t know what that means, read on to learn all about this process.

Why you should activate nuts and seeds and how to do it

If you eat roasted walnuts, consider switching to raw and dried. Unfortunately, during the roasting process, the natural oils in the nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, cedar nuts, etc.), often turn rancid and this can lead to various problems of Health.

Many companies use cheap oils to roast their nuts and seeds, too. To preserve the integrity of your nuts, without sacrificing the delicious roasted flavor, you should buy them raw and grill them yourself, making sure to eat them as soon as possible (but wait for them to cool before doing so). That’s called activating nuts and seeds, and you’ll be doing it the right way.

Why should nuts and seeds be activated?

To get the most out of all that nuts have to offer, you must first soak them for several hours or overnight in a process known as activation .

Nuts and seeds contain something called phytic acid – the way plants store phosphorus. It binds minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and manganese in the digestive tract, making them unavailable to us.

If we consume too many foods that contain phytic acid on a regular basis, we run the risk of developing mineral deficiencies and potentially osteoporosis. Eating a few nuts here and there probably won’t affect you, but if you’re someone who eats handfuls a day, then you should consider activating your nuts.

Some animals have phytase in their bodies, the enzyme that breaks down phytic acid, but unfortunately humans do not. Fortunately, we have the tools at our disposal to recreate this enzyme in order to effectively obtain all the nutrients and minerals that these nuts and seeds have to offer.

Soaking, sprouting, and / or fermenting nuts and seeds helps neutralize phytic acid.

Nuts and seeds also contain enzyme inhibitors

Enzyme inhibitors occur naturally, preventing nuts and seeds from germinating prematurely. In nature, nuts and seeds can lie dormant for a long time awaiting the ideal germination conditions – heat and humidity. Inhibitors clog and essentially deactivate an enzyme’s active site, so ungerminated nuts can be difficult to digest.

Soaking and activating the nuts and seeds lowers the phytic acid and essentially turns off its enzyme inhibitors, making the enzymes available to us. Soaking the nuts tells them that it is time to germinate so that these elements can be turned off and the germination process begins.

How to activate walnuts

  1. If you eat a lot of these nuts, you can save time by activating your nuts and seeds in large batches, although you can do this daily if you prefer.
  2. Pour 2 cups of your favorite nuts or seeds into a large bowl (except for the hemp and chia seeds, which are fine on their own).
  3. Cover your nuts with filtered water and 2 teaspoons of sea salt. Make sure they are completely submerged with about 2 inches of water above them.
  4. Most nuts and seeds should be soaked for 7-12 hours, with the exception of cashews, which have 3-5 (and if left longer will become slimy) and almonds, which can take 12-14.
  5. After soaking, strain the excess water and rinse.
  6. If you have a dehydrator. Place the nuts on the racks of the dehydrator, if not, you can use baking sheets in an oven and slowly dry the nuts at 150 degrees F or 65 degrees C. Drying time will vary between nuts.
  7. When the nuts and seeds are completely dry, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Unless you plan to eat them that day, make sure they are completely dry, otherwise they spoil quickly.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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