When it comes to nuts, they are definitely at the top of the healthy food list. Packed with good fats, protein and fibre, they are a great way to add crunch to your meals and an easy on-the-go snack. Only problem being that you might not be reaping their full benefits as digesting and absorbing all the nutrients is a more difficult task than eating them.
Just like we need energy to grow, so do nuts. They store most of their energy in the form of phytic acids. When a nut undergoes their growth phase, aka germination, it taps into this energy. Nuts also contain enzyme inhibitors which stops this growth so that the nut doesn’t continue to grow into a tree. Even when this process stops, both the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors remaining in the nut are what make the nuts difficult to digest.
Much of the nuts goodness is where the energy is, essentially ‘locked up’ by enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, making it hard for the digestive system to extract all the healthy nutrients. Inside the human body, phytic acid can also bind to minerals such as iron, magnesium and calcium, impairing our ability to absorb them. The enzyme inhibitors can also interfere with our natural digestive enzymes, further reducing our ability to digest food and uptake all the nutrients. So how can we enjoy all the benefits of nuts without it disturbing our digestion? This is where activating the nuts comes in.
Activating nuts is a 2 stage process:
- Firstly, you soak the nuts in salty water for a period of time; usually 7-12 hours (or overnight).
- Then you dehydrate the nuts to extract or the water out, using a dehydrator or baking on very low heat for 12-24 hours. This process reduces the levels of phytic acid and deactivates the enzyme inhibitors, making them not only easier to digest but more crunchy and delicious!
This same soaking process before cooking also goes for beans and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils, resulting in less digestive upset and more health benefits.
Whilst this is a fairly easy process, it is a very time consuming one. Fortunately, we have brands such as 2die4 Live Foods, aka the original activated nut company who do all work for us. In addition to their easy to digest nuts, they make organic cacao snacks, nutritious mueslis and a whole range of yummy things. All 100% certified organic and premium quality. They also use solar technology to provide over 50% of our electricity needs, reducing their carbon footprint making them even more lovable. If you are yet to try 2die4 Live Foods, you certainly should because they are, to die for.