Soak it up, buttercup!

You more than likely know someone with an intolerance for nuts. You’ve seen the labels on packaging that warn of items being manufactured with or around nuts. But have you ever wondered what the big deal is, giving nuts such a bad rep?

Nuts, are naturally high in tannins, enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. “But what are those?”, you ask. Do read on….

Tannins are an organic chemical compound found in items such as wine, almonds, tea and many other plants found in nature. Their innate purpose is to deter animals from eating them before they’re ripe, and when consumed, they can lead to stomach and throat irritation, which make them one of the causes behind nut intolerances.

Enzymes are naturally-occurring proteins that cause beneficial chemical reactions throughout the body. Enzyme inhibitors are found in most plant foods as a protective barrier against insects. But, when consumed, the body must work much harder to efficiently break foods down to their simplest form during digestion and distribute nutrients to where they’re needed.

Phytic acid is considered an “anti-nutrient” because of its natural ability to block the absorption of minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium. With almonds being an amazing source of all of those nutrients, it would make sense to want to encourage that absorption, not block it as phytic acid will do.

Now that you have a greater understanding of the causes of such nutty reactions to almond intake for many people, I bet you’re wondering if there’s something that can be done to counteract the culprits. Of course there is!

Soak! Those! Nuts!

Raw nuts and seeds are considered “live food” and will more than likely sprout and grow when planted. By soaking them, their life force is activated and they will instinctively sprout, which will further add ease to digestion and nutrient absorption. Soaking also helps to break down  the otherwise harmful effects of almonds by reducing tannins, neutralizing enzyme inhibitors and removing phytic acid.

So, with a little time and patience during the process (or investment in nuts that have already gone through the soaking/sprouting process, such as those available through The Raw Deal), people with intolerances can rejoice! And savor these nutty gifts of nature in a more enjoyable, nutrient-filled way.