Raw Nuts Are Fantastic Healthy Snacks. Activated Nuts are Even Better
Author: Sandy Abram Date Posted:20 September 2017
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Packed with protein, healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals, nuts are a nutritional powerhouse! They also contain something that can interfere with your digestion and the absorption of these nutrients. Discover what and how activating nuts can help
Nuts are a favourite of mine! They’re cute and crunchy, super versatile, handy, yummy, a nutritious snack and a healthy addition to salads, smoothies and about a million other dishes, both sweet and savoury. They’re full of nutrients such as energising protein and vitamin E that is oh-so good for our skin. They’re good for your eyes, heart, brain, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and mood. But there is a down side, however. Nuts naturally contain agents that help protect them in nature, but that aren’t so kind to us…
The problem with nuts and phytic acid
When nuts are soaked, it causes their in-built germination, or sprouting, processes to kick into action. Germination is the natural sprouting of a nut or seed when the conditions are perfect, usually after lying dormant for a length of time. For a seed or a nut in the ground, when the levels of light, oxygen, nutrients and temperature are right, this is great. From tiny acorns, mighty oaks grow, as the ancient saying goes.
But if in its natural growing environment, the nut or seed gets soaked with rainwater, triggering germination when the conditions aren’t right, then it’s not beneficial for the little nut or seed to begin sprouting. So nuts have a clever natural defence system to prevent premature germination and sprouting. This system involves natural chemicals including enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, but both of which are toxic to us in high doses.
Enzyme inhibitors in nuts can however interfere and inhibit our own digestive enzymes. This can mean that our digestive systems don’t absorb all the wonderful nutrients that nuts have to give us, whilst phytic acid can overwhelm our digestive system, and cause us to feel bloated and nauseous. If you’ve ever eaten a large amount of nuts at once, you may know what I’m talking about. You know, that definite heaviness in your stomach.
So, what Are Activated Nuts?
However, there is good news, and it doesn’t mean that you have to stop eating nuts! The enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid can be neutralised by soaking the nuts in warm salty water, resulting in activated nuts. It’s believed that the Aztecs and Aborigines soaked nuts and seeds in saltwater, suggesting that this is an ancient practice.
Today, activated nuts are raw nuts that have been sprouted or germinated by soaking and gentle dehydration processes. The salt is necessary to neutralise the enzyme inhibitors. It is possible to do this at home, but you need a dehydrator and around 24 hours of drying time, and you need to watch out for mould growth. For those that want life a little simpler you can dig into my favourite 2Die4 Live Foods Activated Organic Nuts & Seeds which have been activated by the professionals and now available at Wholesome Hub.
Are Activated Nuts better for you?
Activated nuts are not only great because they don’t contain enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. They’re also great because they do contain more readily available nutrients. The process of activating causes the levels of proteins and essential vitamins to rise above those of un-activated nuts. They’re easier to digest and because they’ve started to sprout, they’re alive again and full of nutrients!
What else can you activate?
It’s possible to activate and sprout grains and beans too. In fact at Wholesome Hub we have Rude Health's activated oats and flours such as Buckwheat, Whole Wheat and Spelt avaiable. These require an acidic liquid such as vinegar or lemon juice to remove the phytic acid, which is present in these foods in far higher levels than in nuts.
Activated nuts are a great source of nutrients for all of us, but especially for those on a plant based diet, and who rely on nuts as a source of protein. So get creative with your activated nuts and enjoy these crunchy little nut-lets of nutrients and flavour!