Traditional methods such as Ayurveda and Chinese medicine suggest soaking almonds overnight and eating the peeled nuts the next morning. Tannin, an enzyme inhibitor in almond skin, actually inhibits nutrient absorption from the flesh as well. Soaking almonds allows easy removal of the bitter skin, facilitating enzymatic digestion by exposing the nutrients to stomach acids.
Almond fanatics across the world will tell you that the best way to eat almonds is after soaking it, preferably overnight. Once the skin is pliable and slips off, the almonds are soft, easy to chew, and good to go!
But how important is soaking almonds before eating for your health? What good does it do?
To Soak Or Not To Soak – Let’s Find Out!
Ancient healthcare traditions like Ayurveda emphasize the value of healing cuisines and the need to prepare raw foods in certain ways before consumption.1 Soaking almonds overnight and consuming them in the morning is a long-standing practice in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine.2
Almonds soaked overnight are often ground with fresh milk, saffron strands, cardamom, and sugar to make a nutritious almond milk, which is considered an excellent coolant.
How Does Soaking Help?
Almonds are a powerhouse of nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamin E, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium. Soaked almonds are supposed to give these benefits at full blast. And how they do this can be traced to the biophysics of digestion.
- Dry almonds contain an enzyme inhibitor in the skin, which actually protects the nut before germination. This inhibitor, known as tannin, inhibits nutrient absorption too.
- Once soaked, the brown, almost bitter, seed coat or skin comes off. This enables the release of nutrients and also makes the process of eating the nut much easier on the stomach.
- The stomach enzymes can now work freely and maximum absorption of the nutrients will take place.3
Ayurvedic practitioners also believe that eating soaked almonds first thing in the morning can help regulate the hydrochloric acid your stomach releases. This keeps your acidity levels in check and aids protein digestion through the day, thus protecting you from heartburn and other gastric symptoms.
While eating almonds whole and dry may not necessarily cause you any harm, you could be drawing many more benefits by soaking this superfood. So soak up your daily quota of almonds in water overnight and have them in the morning after peeling off the skin. You could even whip up a delicious almond milk with the soaked ground almonds.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Johari, Harish. (2000). Ayurvedic Healing Cuisine. Healing Arts Press: Rochester.|
|2.||↑||Janick, J. ed., 2010. Horticultural Reviews, Volume 38 (Vol. 38). Wiley-Blackwell.|
|3.||↑||Chen, Chung‐Yen, Karen Lapsley, and Jeffrey Blumberg. “A nutrition and health perspective on almonds.” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 86, no. 14 (2006): 2245-2250.|