Growing up, when I would visit my grandparents’ home, I would always see soaked almonds in water. I asked them why they soak them and they said, “so you can peel the skin.”
I then asked, “why do you want to peel the skin?” and their response was “because it’s healthier for you, it’s easier to digest.”
It didn’t make sense to me at the time. But they were right, the digestion was easier.
However, I would still consume raw almonds that were not soaked because it was just easier and faster.
But, I was “young and dumb” and later research clearly shows that soaked almonds and nuts, are healthier for you.
This is because the brown peel of almonds contains tannin which inhibits nutrient absorption. Once you soak almonds the peel comes off easily and allows the nut to release all nutrients.
Additionally, nuts, in general, have phytic acid, which is also found in grains and legumes. Just as with grains and legumes, soaking nuts is essential for proper digestions.
When eating nuts that haven’t been soaked, the phytic acid binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract and can not be absorbed in the intestine, which can lead to mineral deficiencies.
By soaking, you are breaking down the phytic acid so it can be absorbed properly. In fact, many of the older cultures – Middle Eastern, Greek, and Asians will regularly soak grains, nuts, and legumes in water, overnight.
They figured this out thousands of years ago and modern science has confirmed the benefits.
Nuts also have high amounts of enzyme inhibitors. This is another reason why unsoaked nuts are hard to digest. Soaking nuts can neutralize the enzymes allowing for proper digestion.
How To Soak Nuts
It’s really very simple. Just put your raw almonds in a bowl. Pour water on them until the almonds are covered. And you can add in some salt to the water, which will help neutralize the enzymes.
Do this overnight or at least 8 hours. Then, just peel the skin with your fingernails and enjoy.
And you can do this with other nuts — pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts.
You can just leave the nuts in the water for a couple of days. Then just replace the old salt water with a fresh one every 2-3 days.
The end result is better absorption of all nutrients and improved digestion as well.