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Old 04-18-2012, 02:09 PM   #1
Sara Mathews
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Soak your Nuts!

Now that I have your attention...

Anyone soak/sprout your nuts? Been researching and would like to try, wondering if it's really worth the effort and wondering about shelf life.

I eat AT LEAST 1/4 cup a day, walnuts, almonds, macadamia, sunflower, pecans, etc. Been wondering about the small amount of phytate and enzymes.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:38 AM   #2
Nicolas Castonguay
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Re: Soak your Nuts!

There is definitely an added bonus to doing that, both soaking and sprouting.

Sprouting: You can look at it this way: A seed is basically the initial food source of the plant from which it will grow. However, the aim of a plant isn't necessarily for the seed to grow as soon as it hits the soil, typically it favours travelling farther away to spread as much as possible. Or, you can simply think that the seed itself needs protection so it won't break down in an adverse environment (cold, wind, rain, etc.) So basically, the seed is an inactive part of the plant. When the seed sprouts, that's where it becomes metabolically active. The plant does not have full roots, but is growing them, neither does it have leaves to do photosynthesis, it needs to grow them. How does it find it's food source then? From the seed. It basically starts digesting the seed to absorb the nutrients/minerals. In other words, it digests itself. The implications for us? Simply, the nutrients are more bio-available. We do not have to expand as much energy to break down the seed into useful macro nutrients.

If you want a concrete example with numbers: Let's assume a seend, whether unsprouted or sprouted, has 100 calories. If it is unsprouted, or body must generate 5 digestive enzymes, each asking 5 calories of effort. Therefore, we gain 75 calories from the unsprouted seed. However, if it is sprouted, it still has the same amount of calories, but they are more bioavailable, so our body must only generate 2 enzymes, each asking 5 calories of effort. Therefore, we gain 90 calories from the sprouted seed.

You can even try it out. Don't ask me to find you the source, I don't remember from which book I read it, but here's the deal: Unsprouted quinoa is "surrounded" by a sheath of starch (polysaccharides, which is the energy source of plants, and this is a complex carbohydrate). When you sprout the quinoa, this is converted into simple sugars so the plant can readily use it. The noticeable result for us? Sprouted quinoa tastes sweeter. It's subtle, but it's still there!

That's for sprouts :-) I'm running out of time for soaking, but there are some benefits as well, basically it's washing off protective enzymes on the grain/nut to make it easier to digest and, again, absorb the macronutrients.
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