Did you wonder why your mother insisted you soak your almonds before consuming them? Here’s why… It has nothing to do with taste; it is simply the healthier option.
The brown peel of almonds contains tannin that inhibits nutrient absorption. Once you soak almonds the peel comes off easily and allows the nut to release all nutrients easily.
Soak a handful of almonds in half a cup of water. Cover them and allow them to soak for 8 hours. Drain the water, peel off the skin and store them in plastic container. These soaked almonds will last you for about a week.
Benefits of soaked almonds:
1. Help with digestion - Soaking almonds helps to release enzymes such as lipase that in turn help with digestion of fats.
2. Help with weight-loss - The monounsaturated fats in almonds curb your appetite and keep you full. So feel free to snack on them because they'll help you avoid binge-eating and trigger weight-loss.
3. Almonds keep your heart healthy, reduce bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) and increase good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein).
4. They are a good source of antioxidants: Vitamin E present in soaked almonds works as an antioxidant that inhibits free radical damage that prevents ageing and inflammation.
5. Fight Cancer: Soaked almonds contain Vitamin B17 that is vital for fighting cancer.
6. Flavonoid, present in almonds suppresses tumour growth.
7. Help in lowering and maintaining glucose levels and regulating high blood pressure.
8. Soaked almonds contain folic acid that reduces birth defects.
We know that nuts are considered to be a super food i.e. food that is rich in nutrients and beneficial for our health and well being. In addition to nuts, seeds also have tremendous health benefits. Rich in energy, protein, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and the all important omega-3 fatty acids, nuts and seeds almost seem to be complete foods.
Just 1 ounce a day of nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and peanuts can diminish inflammation and provide satiating fiber, protein and immune-boosting minerals.
Nuts and seeds contain healthful mono- and polyunsaturated fats. These fats are essential to health by managing inflammation and maintaining the normal structure of every cell in our bodies.
Nuts and seeds provide our bodies with fiber, key to the digestion process. The "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" published research that found an additional 25 percent reduction in cholesterol levels after nut consumption that could not be explained from the composition of healthy fat alone. Researchers speculated that fiber and mineral content in nuts were responsible.
Nuts and seeds contain minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and phosphorus needed for bone development, immunity and energy production. One ounce of sunflower seed kernels contains 100 mg of magnesium. Calcium is a mineral needed for bone development, but it is also needed to send signals to cells and produce energy.
Including nuts and seeds in your diet promotes a healthy and balanced mind and body. A healthy body and a healthy mind are in co-existent. When either one is off balance we need to realign them to restore the balance. We need to ensure that all the food groups are adequately represented in our diet with nuts and seeds being an integral part.
Read more for a specific details on the benefits of different nuts and seeds (source: Joy Bauer)