Have you noticed the new thing on the shelves when you go into health stores called activated nuts? It’s ok if you haven’t noticed or you have and just walked on by because of the price tag…but now they’ve pushed it further to start producing activated nut butters and these babies don’t come cheap – newsflash folks, you can actually make them yourself. I made them myself last week and I must say it was pretty simple and the nuts tasted even better:-)
Do we stop eating nut now and why activated nuts I hear you ask? Not in the least – here’s the thing, nuts are high in protein and essential fats, and packed with fibre, antioxidants and minerals but they also contain natural chemicals that could interfere with your digestive system and prevent you from absorbing all of that nourishing goodness. The image above shows the difference between activated almonds on the left and non-activated almonds on the right. So what are these chemicals?
Enzyme Inhibitors are beneficial to nuts, as they prevent the nuts from prematurely sprouting, however they also act on our digestive enzymes, preventing their proper digestion and absorption. Nuts and seeds can naturally survive for long periods of time while waiting for the perfect conditions of warmth and moisture to germinate. Soaking nuts and seeds in salty water is the best way to break down the enzyme inhibitors thereby making the nourishing goodness available for easier absorption.
Nuts and seeds also contain small amount of phytic acid, which our digestive system is also unable to break down. Phytic acid binds to minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, chromium, and manganese in the digestive tract, making them unavailable.
When we consume foods with phytic acid, our ability to absorb the minerals is impaired and mineral deficiencies and bone loss may result. Eating large amounts of raw nuts (more than a handful or a cup) could then make you feel heavy, bloated or even nauseous. Not only this, but it puts a massive strain on our digestive system, which may already be fragile. It is very important to remove the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that are present in the nuts.
Nuts and seeds are living foods that just need a little bit of a nudge to make their incredible nutrition more available and more digestible. Activating your nuts is pretty simple to do; all you need is your nuts, water, salt, oven/dehydrator and some time. Check out the steps to activate your nuts at home in my next article and save yourself some money!