Why You Need to Soak Your Almonds
Almonds are considered a ‘superfood’ because of the high amount of nutrients in them, like vitamin E, fiber, manganese (which helps your bones and regulates your blood sugar), omega-3 fatty acids and proteins.
They are not actually nuts, but seeds. They grow on trees, inside a shell.
They also are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which makes them very satiating, helping prevent you from overeating.1
However, as beneficial as they can be for your health, eating raw almonds could harm you if you don’t take the necessary precautions before eating them.
Almond peels are full of tannin, which inhibits nutrient absorption by interfering with the proper digestion of proteins and carbs.
This brown skin is there to protect the almond until it germinates. Therefore, the seed won’t release its enzymes until the inhibitor has been removed, limiting the amount of nutrients your body receives and making it harder for it to digest the almonds.
What can you do about it?
Never roast them – you’ll kill their enzymes in the process.
You must soak them.
First, after soaking almonds, their peel can be removed easily, leaving them tannin-free.
However, if you don’t want to remove the skin, you’ll also get the benefits from soaking your almonds, since they will be getting the moisture needed to release their nutrients and your body will digest them better.
Almond skin is made of insoluble fiber, which helps to clean the digestive tract. And they also contain antioxidants and vitamin E, which protect cells from being damaged by free radicals.
Second, by soaking your almonds, you break down the phytic acid in them so it can be absorbed properly. Phytic acid has been shown to decrease osteoporosis risk.2
Just put them in a glass jar with water at night and rinse the next morning.
Take it to the next level
To further unlock the benefits you get from soaking your almonds, sprout them.
Sprouted almonds will be softer and easier to digest, since they release the enzyme lipase (which helps in the digestion of fats)
To sprout them, soak your almonds overnight – for around 10-12 hours – then rinse them and put them in a glass jar in the fridge. It will take them 1 to 3 days to sprout and they will last for a week.
- Wien MA, Sabaté JM, Iklé DN, Cole SE, Kandeel FR. Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Nov;27(11):1365-72. Erratum in: Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Mar;28(3):459. PubMed PMID: 1457434.
- A.A. López-González, F. Grases, P. Roca, B. Mari, M.T. Vicente-Herrero, and A. Costa-Bauzá. Journal of Medicinal Food. December 2008, 11(4): 747-752. doi:10.1089/jmf.2008.0087.