Almonds are very healthy, should you soak them to take advantage of their nutrients?
Raw almonds have a slightly bitter taste due to their tannin content.
Photo: Kafeel Ahmed / Pexels
Almonds are nutrient-dense nuts with most of their fat being monounsaturated. They can be enjoyed raw or toasted. The Raw almonds are nutritionally comparable to dry roasted.
Many people prefer to soak them before eating them, we will see if this action offers health benefits.
These small fruits contain vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, fiber, biotin, minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and also phytonutrients.
One ounce provides about 165 calories, 6 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat (80% monounsaturated, 15% polyunsaturated and 5% saturated), 6 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber, explains the School Nutrition Source. of Harvard Public Health.
Why soak almonds?
Facilitates your digestion
The hard texture of almonds can hinder their digestion, soaking them softens them and thus makes it easier for the body to break them down.
Improve its flavor
Raw almonds have a slightly bitter taste due to their tannin content. Soaking lessens the bitter taste and the buttery flavor is more predominant, so for some people they are better enjoyed.
Can Soaking Increase Nutrient Absorption?
Almonds also contain antinutrients that can affect the digestion and absorption of certain nutrients, such as calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium.
Some people consider “Activate” the almonds soaking them in water for 12-24 hours at room temperature can reduce antinutrient levels as in the case of beans and other legumes.
Unlike what happens with legumes, research has shown that soaking lowers phytic acid levels by less than 5%.
Fragment the almonds into smaller pieces when chewed or cut allows more nutrients to be released and absorbed, especially fats.
Chopping the almonds before soaking them, decreases the levels of antinutrients but also the concentrations of minerals.
So soaking can help fat absorption but decrease the availability of minerals.
Do you have to soak them?
Both soaked and unsoaked almonds are rich in nutrients and you can enjoy their benefits in both cases. Soaking them is optional, it can help digest them and increase the absorption of some nutrients.
How to soak almonds
- Place the almonds in a bowl with enough warm water to cover them completely.
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt for every 1 cup of almonds.
- Cover the bowl and let the fruit rest overnight or for 8 to 12 hours.
- Drain and rinse and pat the almonds dry with a paper towel.
If you wish you can roast them in the oven.
Store the almonds in a cool, dark, and dry place. Stored below 40 ° F will keep them in good condition for approximately two years.
Why are almonds good for your health?
Almonds can reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing total and LDL cholesterol and by exerting effects anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.
Plant sterols can interfere with absorption of cholesterol and bile acids.
The unsaturated fats in almonds favor a improved lipid profile, especially if consumed instead of saturated fat and refined carbohydrates.
They favor the intestinal health since phytonutrients support the growth of beneficial microbes.
Avoid bitter almonds
The bitter almonds they are not safe to eat. Bitter almonds contain a toxin known as amygdalin glycoside. When ingested, this toxin breaks down into several compounds, including hydrogen cyanide, a compound that can cause death.
Sweet almonds do have some amygdalin, but in small amounts that are insufficient to produce dangerous amounts of hydrogen cyanide.