Getting the Good Stuff: Soaking Seeds and Nuts for Better Nutrition

Nuts and seeds are amazing. They are highly nutritious and recommended as go-to snacks anytime, but especially when you are on a Two Week Detox Program. To receive the full benefits of seeds, nuts and grains, Dr. Nuzum recommends soaking them for better nutrient uptake.

Raw nuts and seeds are protected by phytic acid, polyphenols (tannins), and other enzyme inhibitors that prevent them from germinating in the wrong conditions. Our digestive systems do not have the enzymes needed to break down phytic acid, so eating them results in inflammation and indigestion. Additionally, the enzyme inhibitors blocks our intestines from absorbing all of the available nutrition.

By soaking seeds and nuts, we reduce the phytic acid content and make their nutrients more available to the body. Soaking them in warm water neutralizes most of the enzyme inhibitors and increases our availability to absorb the nutrients, especially B-vitamins.

Soaking these nutritional jewels also results in better flavor and even texture. The bitter taste often associated with nuts disappears as tannins are stripped away. Soaking them also leaves most nuts and seeds with more a buttery consistency, making them more suitable for use in smoothies and sauces.

So, Why Soak Nuts and Seeds?

  • Remove or reduce phytic acid
  • Neutralize enzyme inhibitors
  • Remove or reduce tannins
  • Increase uptake of vitamins, especially B vitamins
  • Promote production of beneficial enzymes.
  • Ease digestion
  • To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
  • Prevent mineral deficiencies
  • Neutralize toxins within the colon and cleanse the colon
  • Prevent disease

The chart below shows soaking times for the most commonly used nuts and seeds. For every two cups of grains or seeds you are soaking, add one tablespoon of salt. Soak them for the recommended amount of time and then rinse the brine off before using them for cooking. If you are not going to use them right away, dehydrate them for later use.

Nuts Soaking Time
Almonds 12 Hours
Chia 2 Hours
Cashews 2 Hours
Flaxseed 2 Hours
Pecans 8 Hours
Pine nuts 2 Hours
Pistachios 4 Hours
Pumpkin 6 Hours
Sesame 4 Hours
Sunflower4 Hours
Walnut8 Hours
Peanuts 8 Hours

Dehydrating your soaked nuts and seeds is easy. Spread them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit until they are completely dry. This can sometimes take more than 24 hours, so plan accordingly. A better method is to use a food dehydrator, one that is on a timer, or will turn off after all excess moisture has been removed from the nuts.

The act of soaking seeds has been passed down from our ancestors, who used to use warm salt water from the ocean and the warmth of the sun to prepare nuts, seeds and grains. This is an important nutritional step that has been lost in our culture.

However, to get the most nutritional value, it is extremely important. So, soak those seeds and nuts!