Nuts and seeds, known as nutritional powerhouse, are delicious, convenient and can be enjoyed by people of all age groups. With an impressive number of vitamins, minerals, and fats they have immense health benefits for our body.
Therefore, it is vital to ensure that these nutrients are absorbed well by our body. Just having a good digestion is not enough.
Nuts and Seeds: You need to absorb, not just digest!
Begin your day with a handful of nuts and seeds to have an energy-filled day. The question that now arises is how to consume them. Nuts and seeds should be soaked overnight before consumption. While soaking comes with many benefits, the most important is the layer of Phytic acid found on them.
What is Phytic acid?
Phytic acid is a natural layer that is found on seeds, nuts, and grains too. It is considered as an anti-nutrient as it binds minerals in the digestive tract, making them less available to our bodies, thus interfering with absorption. Phytate (the acid) works as a store box of phosphorous.
Just like some fruits and vegetables have a peel around them, similarly, seeds and nuts have a layer of Phytic acid to protect them from being spoilt, explains Lavleen Kaur, a dietitian and clinical nutritionist.
As we plant from a seed, we wash them. During washing, the layer of the acid gets cleaned, making it easier for germination to begin and the plant to grow.
Is Phytic acid good for your body?
No! Micronutrients that are found in good amount in the nuts and seeds like calcium, iron, zinc, selenium do not get absorbed in our body if we consume them raw. Soaking them overnight is the best way you can wash away the phytic acid.
Soaking them overnight also reduces the amount of Tannic acid. This is same as ‘tannin’ commonly found in tea and coffee. Tannin is the culprit in iron absorption and can cause Anemia in those who consume it in high amount.
Now that we have talked about why we should soak nuts, let us look at their health benefits and the proper way of consuming them.
While you are soaking the nuts and seeds, ensure that you use a glass or clay bowl.
- Pumpkin seeds – You can soak a tablespoon of the seeds. They are a rich source of potassium and magnesium that leave an impressive impact on our skin and hair. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of fiber that can prevent you from constipation. It reduces inflammation in the body and helps in treating arthritis. Reduces blood pressure as well as treats insomnia.
- Sunflower seeds – You can soak a tablespoon of the seeds. Sunflower seeds are rich source of selenium and Vitamin E. These seeds are rich in antioxidants, aid in weight loss, build up heart health, detoxify the body and are good for skin.
- Sesame seeds – You can soak a tablespoon of the seeds. Sesame seeds are a good source of calcium. They leave a warm effect in the body as they generate heat and energy. These seeds trigger hair growth, have anti-ageing properties, help in digestion, and control blood pressure.
- Watermelon seeds – You can soak a tablespoon of the seeds. They are high in calories so must be consumed in moderation. Watermelon seeds are a rich source of zinc, proteins, vitamins, potassium and many more. They leave impressive benefits on the skin, hair, and control sugar level as well.
- Almonds – 5 almonds are generally good for all ages to be soaked for a day. They contain essential fiber, Vitamin E, protein, and magnesium. Almonds help in controlling heart ailments, digestion, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Walnut – 1 walnut can be soaked for a day. Walnuts are rich source of fats, fibers, minerals and vitamins. Helps in keeping the heart and brain healthy. Walnuts also help in strengthening bones, benefits hair and skin.
- Black Raisin – 2 black raisins can be soaked for a day. They are a rich source of iron. Can help prevent anemia, boosts immunity, regulates blood pressure, and helps in digestion.
All the above ingredients can be soaked overnight and be consumed the next morning after draining out the water.
More seeds: Flaxseed, Chia, Sabja, Gond katira
A few more seeds like Chia seeds, sabja seeds, flax seeds and gond katira can also be soaked however in different bowls because they all swell up after soaking at different timeframes.
- Flax seeds – You can soak a tablespoon of the seeds. Can also be consumed in powdered form. Flax seeds have a warmer effect on the body and when soaked they turn into gel form. They are rich source of Omega 3 and fiber. They help in keeping heart healthy, lower blood pressure, keep joints healthy, boost immune system, regulates hormonal imbalance and many more.
- Chia Seeds – You can soak a tablespoon of the seeds. Rich source of iron, calcium, vitamin C and potassium. They help in weight loss, joint pains, reducing inflammation, digestion, controlling blood sugar level and many more.
- Sabja seeds – You can soak a tablespoon of the seeds. Rich source of protein, carbs and fiber. They boost digestion, control blood sugar levels, promote hair growth, fight skin infections and many more.
Sabja seeds and chia seeds are like cousins but have different benefits and usage. Both belong to the basil family. Chia seeds are black and white in color whereas Sabja seeds are totally black in color. To know more differences, visit my article Chia seeds vs Sabja seeds.
- Gond katira (edible gum) – It can be added in curd, smoothies or even milk, leaving a cooling effect in the body. In summers, it is good to prevent heat strokes and nosebleeds. It also helps prevent heart ailments, gives strength to pregnant women, benefits skin and hair as well.
All nuts and seeds have uncountable benefits and they nourish the body with an abundance of minerals, vitamins, potassium and whatnot. They give our body the needed push and become an energy booster for the entire day.
*Disclaimer: Not all seeds or nuts may suit everyone’s body or digestive system. Also, the quantities mentioned are general in nature. Work with a dietitian or nutrition professional to figure out the right amount.
Watch Dietitian Lavleen talk about more details
You need to absorb, not just digest!
The right way to consume nuts and seeds, the nutritional powerhouse. You need to absorb, not just digest! #seeds #nuts #nutrition #eatright ———————————————— Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dt.lavleen/ For personalised online programs, download our app: http://onelink.to/dietinsight How we work? https://dietitianlavleen.com/how-we-work/ Why Lavleen? https://dietitianlavleen.com/meet-dt-lavleen/ Need help getting started? Call 9870481482 or Click to WhatsApp https://wa.me/+919872617668Posted by Lavleen Kaur on Tuesday, 28 April 2020