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Soak Your Nuts!

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NutsNuts are rich in protein, omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and fiber. Unfortunately, they can be difficult to digest because of tannic acid and an enzyme inhibiting substance in their brown coating. The enzyme inhibitor is there to keep the nut more intact until it is ready to sprout into a tree. In addition, all nuts contain phytic acid in their outer layer or bran (this is also the case for grains). 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.

The solution is to soak your nuts. Soaking removes harmful tannic acid and enzyme inhibitors making the nuts easy to digest and releasing their full nutritional value. Soaking decreases the levels of this phytic acid. It 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. This requires that the enzymes have not been destroyed by pasteurization. Do your research when purchasing raw nuts.

Soaking time varies, but for almonds, walnuts, and pecans 8 hours is usually sufficient. Adding some sea salt to the water will aid in the process and flavor. Afterwards, the nuts can be drained and stored in the refrigerator to keep for a few days. To preserve, you can dehydrate or bake under 200 degrees until crisp. Enjoy!

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