To Activate Or Not: The Truth About Nuts And Seeds

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

If you’re looking for a health snack, you can’t do much better than a small handful of nuts. Nuts and seeds in general are a powerhouse of nutrients. Nuts can be the perfect option if you’re trying to round out your nutrition and eat healthy. For one, nuts and seed are full of nutrients and micronutrients that are essential to keeping us healthy and in shape.

In recent years, nuts and seeds have grown in popularity and most people are undoubtedly familiar with the roasted variety. However, to get the most out of the nuts and seeds in your meals or snacks, you should opt for raw, organic choices. Actually, dried nuts in their raw form are some of the best snack options you can have.

Why should you stay away from roasted nuts? Well, roasting actually removes some of the healthier oils from the nuts themselves. The process of roasting removes the very best parts of the nuts, so stick to raw nuts and seeds if you want to see a true impact to your health.

 

What is “Activating?”

In recent years, a new trend for preparing and consuming nuts has hit the mainstream — that is, activating nuts before you consume them. Activating is a relatively new trend when it comes to nuts and seeds, so you may not be familiar with the process. In order to active your nuts, you must soak them in water. This process is time consuming and is usually performed overnight.

Soaking and activating nuts operates on a principle concerning a component found within nuts and seeds, phytic acid. Phytic acid is how phosphorous is stored within a plant, and it helps minerals bind when those nuts are consumed. When you eat nuts, minerals inside such as iron or zinc will be easier to digest if you activate the phytic acid. Activating is suggested if you eat nuts as a staple and depend on them for your dietary needs. The process of activating helps us create an enzyme which aids the digestion of nuts in a more efficient way.

When it comes to enzymes, nuts have some built-in as part of their growing process. These enzymes will keep a nut from germinating at the wrong time, and they actually inhibit the growth of the nut itself so it will sprout during the proper season. This enzyme is part of the reason you should consider activating your nuts when eating them for their health benefits. These naturally occurring enzymes actually take away from nuts and make it harder for your body to process them.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

How to Properly Activate Nuts

In order to properly activate nuts and seeds, they must first be soaked overnight. When you soak nuts, it tackles the phytic acid levels and dilutes them. Once the phytic acid is handled, the enzymes then are made inoperable and dormant. When you soak nuts, it actually triggers the nut to begin the process of sprouting — but don’t worry, you’ll eat them before they ever get that far along.

Soaking and activating nuts and seeds diminishes the phytic acid and essentially turns off their enzyme inhibitors, making the enzymes available to us. Soaking dried nuts tells the nut that it is time to germinate so it can switch off these elements and begin the sprouting process.

When soaking nuts, use filtered water and add a handful of salt. Sea salt tends to work best. Be sure that the nuts are fully submerged in water and remove any floaters if you have them. Nuts and seeds should be soaked overnight, but some people have reported results in as little as eight hours.

Once your soak is complete, you’ll drain the water and rinse your nuts. With larger nuts, a colander works really well for this task, just try to shake out the excess water as much as possible. The next step is drying the nuts. If you have a dehydrator, that will work best, but you can also dry your nuts in the oven. All you need is a baking pan or cookie sheet. Heat the oven to 150 degrees and dry them slowly. Depending on the nut, the drying time will vary.

 

READ ALSO: Reduce Your Cancer Risk With Nuts!

 

Once the nuts have been dried out, remove them from the dehydrator or oven and then put them in storage. Be sure they are stored properly and completely dry, otherwise they will grow mold and go bad.

That’s it! That’s all you have to do to activate your nuts and seeds to get the most nutrition out of this valuable resource.

References:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov