Sunday, March 14, 2010

Why soak almonds and walnuts?

Since losing my weight 3 years ago, I have been eating roasted almonds every day. Recently I keep hearing Dr. Oz talk about eating walnuts, and soaking them, but he never says why or for how long, so I started to search around to find out whether I should be soaking my almonds or not. What I learned was that raw almonds, soaked, will probably be better for me. I choose almonds over walnuts because they have a better balance of protein/carbs/fats that fit with my Shaklee 180 but walnuts are good for getting Omega 3's. I make sure I get those with Vitalizer and OmegaGuard.

Here is some of what I found on 

To Soak or Not to Soak... 
Although eating nuts and seeds, even when roasted, can be very healthy, it may be beneficial to purchase your nuts and seeds raw and then soak them in clean water for a few hours before eating them. Soaking raw nuts and seeds stimulates the process of germination, which increases the vitamin C, B, and carotenes (pre-vitamin A) content. It may also neutralize phytic acid, a substance present in the bran of all grains and seeds that can inhibit some absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc. Raw nuts and seeds also contain enzyme inhibitors that are neutralized by germination.
If you choose to soak your nuts and seeds, please follow these general guidelines:
  1. Getting ready: Use raw, preferably organic, nuts and seeds. Make enough for three days only. Use a glass or stainless steel bowl or jar (plastics may contain toxins). Rinse your nuts or seeds (purified or distilled water is generally preferred).

  2. Soak them: Place your nuts and seeds in in the bowl or jar and then cover it with something breathable, like a towel or pantyhose. Let them soak according to the following schedule (all times approximate).

    • Almonds, germination time 8 – 12 hours at room temperature
    • Cashews, whole, germination time 2 – 2 1/2 hours at room temperature
    • Sesame seeds, germination time 8 hours at room temperature
    • Sunflower seeds, germination time 2 hours at room temperature
    • Walnuts, germination time 4 hours at room temperature
    • All other nuts, germination time 6-24 hours at room temperature
    Over the course of the soaking, drain and rinse the nuts or seeds two (2) or three (3). Each time you do this, make sure you rinse them until the water drains clear. This is especially important with nuts and seeds that soak for longer amounts of time.
  3. Afterwards: After you've soaked them, you may want to do a final rinse with grapefruit seed extract or organic apple cider vinegar, as these can will clean them of bacteria without being absorbed. You now have germinated nuts and seeds! You're ready to eat them. You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three (3) days.
Vegan / 
Vegetarian Nuts & SeedsIf the idea of soaking your nuts and seeds seems too time-consuming an endeavor for you, don't worry—many nutrients cannot be heated out of foods, like protein, vitamin E, and fiber, which are found in ample quantities inside nuts and seeds of all kinds, both cooked and uncooked.


  1. I appreciated your post very much. I, too, heard this from Dr. Oz without further information. That's when I found your post. My one remaining question is - Do you have to dehydrate them after soaking or can they be eaten after the final rinse? I see other references to dehydrating, but Dr. Oz says they are chewier after soaking. What do you suggest?

  2. Thanks for your comment! I would just eat them after the final rinse myself. Can't wait for the new season of Dr. Oz!!! What about you? :)

  3. I was in the same boat with all your questions, thanks for doing the leg work.
    One more question, how much are we required to eat in a day, week???
    Trisha from Adelaide Sth Australia

  4. You're welcome. I eat between 12 - 18 almonds per day but I think it depends on your weight and if you are maintaining or losing weight.

  5. And how many soaked walnuts should be eat, if we are eating both walnuts and almonds daily?
    Thanks Deb from Toronto

    1. I guess it would depend on your calorie level allowance to stay lean and healthy! I have chosen to stick with almonds with occasional walnuts.