Soaking Grains, Seeds, Nuts And Legumes For Better Health And Digestion
Posted Jan 18 2009 3:01am
Since writing my last article about the importance of soaking oats, I’ve since learned that it’s also important to soak all grains, seeds, legumes and nuts to make them easier to digest. So from now on I’m going to try and soak everything before I eat it. Nuts may be the biggest challenge because I like to snack on nuts throughout the day, and it may take a while before I remember to pre-soak them.
But if you think about it, dried nuts have a shelf life of around 10 years. So of course our body is going to have a little trouble digesting something as tough as that. Pre-soaking the nuts breaks down their natural preservative making them more easily digestible which means more nutrients for your body and less work for your liver, kidneys and colon.
If you want to look up more information about soaking seeds, nuts and grains, Daniel Reid is a fantastic resource. I just found out about him through a friend of mine today (while I was having the conversation about the importance of soaking nuts!), and will definitely be looking up his books in the future. He’s exceptionally knowledgeable on nutrition and Chinese Medicine. Here is the link to his website.
To soak or ferment?
The idea of “fermenting” foods is also a new concept to me. I learned about how fantastic fermented foods are for our body reading the Body Ecology Diet.
And it’s interesting how the topic of fermenting is cropping up more and more in my circle of healthy friends. Today I learned that while soaking oats is highly beneficial to the body, fermenting them is even better. Fermenting neutralizes the phytic acid which is important because if you consume the phytic acid in food, it can bind to the phosphorous in your body and prevent mineral absorption. Long story short - fermenting grains is just better for your health, plain and simple.
And fermenting oats is really easy. All you need to do is add a spoonful of kefir, yogurt, lemon juice or vinegar to your oats when you’re soaking them.
I started my new soaking and fermenting routine tonight in preparation for breakfast tomorrow morning. All I did was to mix equal ratios of water and oats, then one heaped tablespoon of yogurt (I’d use kefir but it’s not available where I live!). I then added a spoon of chia seeds for omega-3 because it’s good to soak seeds overnight too. Then a gave it all a big stir.
And for those of you who are worried about your cat or mice in the house eating your oats, you can leave it in the fridge overnight, or just cover it with a cat safe plate like I do.