Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The ART of Soaking Nuts and Seeds

Prior to the agricultural revolution man had lived in a state of hunting and gathering, much of which is still seen in tribal cultures tucked away far from public interaction. Like the Kitava, studied by Staffan Lindeberg, who live in perfect health and live long lives. The Paleo diet, coming from the word Paleolithic, describes a type of diet that man had prior to the agricultural revolution, prior to the point in our history that introduced grains and legumes and forced man to work the earth. 

This was not a revolution, but a de-evolution, as man was healthy and strong up until his enslavement and attachment to grains. Today we know much about the devastation of land, the desertification of land (i.e. turning of land into desert), due to agricultural practices that force grazing animals off the land. To learn more, please consider watching Allan Savory eye opening TED Talk.


Paleolithic diet in general:

What is it?
Lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, root vegetables, eggs, nuts etc.
What is it not?
Grains, dairy products, refined sugar, fats and oils.


Introductory video presentation!

Firstly, all nuts and seeds come with a protection mechanism to ensure the survival of the next generation.

These 'protection mechanisms' are digestive inhibitors and toxins - Phytic Acid and Lectins (respectively).

These protections are designed to inhibit digestion by bacteria, insects and animals. That's why you may find whole seeds in your stool if nut chewed correctly (corn? I didn't eat no corn!).

Soaking nuts, seeds, grains and legumes, essentially provide conditions suitable for germination, by which cause the seeds to release their toxins.

It's pretty simple, all life carries two modes. A growth and repair mode, and a 'protection' mode (Well known in Epigenetics). Thing is, when a cell, for example, is in a protection mode (i.e. inflamed) it cannot express a growth and repair behavior. So, when your organ or tissue suffers damage, it switches its Epigenetic expression to one where  it starts utilizing cellular energy (ATP) in order to produce enzymes like cellular antioxidants. This is in essence the inflammatory response, and in order to switch on the 'growth and repair mode', one must shutdown the inflammatory response by dealing with the reactive environment.

Soaking your seeds prior to consuming them will reduce drastically the toxic defenses and enhance the nutrient content present in the seed and enhance the BIO-AVAILABILITY* of the nutrients for digestion by both probiotic bacteria in the gut and gut digestive enzymes. This increases absorption of nutrients from the nuts and seeds. Otherwise, if not soaked, those anti-nutrients (phytic acid) will grab hold onto trace minerals and cause malnutrition in the long run.

Soak for a minimum of 8 hours.

What I do, is I prepare a bowel of nuts and seeds before I go to bed and leave them soaking throughout the night. So by the time I wake up in the morning, I can rinse the nuts and seeds, fill it up with fresh water and eat later on. Ideally, 24 hours produces the best results for soaking bigger nuts then small ones.

A list of nuts and seeds I prepare:

Almonds (sweet once soaked)
Pecans (delicious soaked!)
Brazil nuts (take only 2-3 a day, they are high in selenium)
Walnuts (white and crunchy, just like a brain)
Pumpkin Seeds (usually requires less soaking then nuts)
Sunflower Seeds (also requires less soaking then nuts)

I'm now trying out pistachios and I have tried Macadamia nuts (which are great too).
The amount varies, but I just take a respectable handful and over time developed a desired amount depending on my tastes and how fast I eat through them.

Tips for storage:

Always keep in water once soaked, otherwise the air will make them go rancid.

If you wish, you could dehydrate them in a dehydrator, though the water content that the nut and seed soak up is beneficial for digestion.

If you end up having too much soaked and it's past the 24 hours, go ahead and place the surplus in a glass jar with water into the fridge. The cold environment will store them for a good while (have never checked how long, but so far a week was good for me until I finished eating them).

Tips for accelerating germination process:

Add sea salt and/or lemon. The salt will help draw nutrients out of the nuts and seeds and the lemon will help with the pH balance.
Please considered using lukewarm fresh water when soaking them, this will also accelerate their germination. Only use cold water when you want to slow their process and for storage.


We are living beings requiring LIVE food.
RAW food is beneficial, as no heat has been applied,
therefore, all the light energy in the cells
and all the electron charge in the antioxidants
are at optimal availability.

Final note: Always choose RAW nuts and seeds. Roasted nuts or seeds are damaged goods, they won't soak fully in the core.
Though, for roasting the nuts has always been a traditional practice that enhances the flavor of the nuts or beans.

To learn more about the benefits of a RAW diet

I soak a bunch and I carry some around with me in a small glass jar. It's an excellent snack and filled with life!

Joel Jacobson

Foot Notes:
* BIO-AVAILABILITY is an important word to remember as a nutritionist.

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