benefits of soaking

Benefits of soaking grains, nuts and seeds

Benefits of soaking grains, nuts and seeds

soaking benefits

Why soaking is important
Nuts, seeds and wholegrain are a healthy addition to our meal. But all grains, nuts and seeds contain anti-nutrient which needs to be neutralized before eating.
All grains contain phytic acid or phytates in the outer layer which when consumed untreated will hamper the absorption of important minerals in our body.
Eating grains, legumes and nuts without proper cooking or processing may lead to food allergies and irritable bowel syndrome.
Well, soaking is the solution.
Soaking of grains is not new to Indians who have been using this technique to make many traditional recipes at home. Soaking rajma and chana is always a step carried out before turning them into delicious curries.
Dahi (curds), pickles, Idly, dhoklas, kanji, sprouted matki…the list is endless in Indian cuisine which involves soaking, sprouting and fermentation of grains and legumes.

Nutritional inhibitors and toxins:
Some of the inhibitors found in grains, nuts and seeds are phytic acids (phytates), tannins (affects absorption of nutrients) and goitrogens (affect thyroid function).

A note on phytic acid: Phytic acid or phytates is a form of indigestible phosphorous and is considered anti-nutrient. Grains have more phytic acids than nuts & seeds which contain enzyme inhibitors that block digestion.
But wait, there is a good fellow called Phytase which is a natural enzyme present in grains, nuts and seeds. Phytase helps break down the phytic acid and increases the nutritional quality of grains, nuts and seeds. Cooking alone does not help release phytase or in breaking down phytic acid from grains and nuts.
Processing techniques such as soaking, fermentation and sprouting is an effective method to eliminate phytic acid to great extent.

benefits of soaking

A simple acidic solution such as lemon juice, kefir, acv or whey is required to soak grains as they contain more phytic acids than nuts and seed which can be soaked in warm water and a pinch of salt to break down the enzyme inhibitors.

Soaking grains, nuts and seeds helps to;
• Reduce phytic acid, and other anti-nutrients.
• Improve body’s ability to absorb certain minerals better.
• Neutralize enzyme inhibitors from seeds and nuts.
• Encourage production of healing bacteria for good gut health.
• Increase the amount of vitamins
• Reduce anti-nutritional enzyme inhibitors.
• Break down gluten
• Make the protein more easily available.
• Increase availability of minerals.
• Reduce toxins
• Decreases cooking time and make them more light & soft.

“Soaking not only make grains, nuts and seeds healthy but it also increases the flavor, taste and texture.” Says Ms. Payal Talesra, a practicing nutritionist.


Disclaimer: The following article is my interpretation of information I gathered from my nutritionist, internet references and friends working in the same field.
The views and nutritional advice expressed here are not intended to treat or prevent any disease or to replace the advice of your doctor.

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