(NaturalHealth365) Many natural health enthusiasts wonder is it really worth it to sprout nuts, seeds and grains for maximum nutritive absorption? Well, according to many holistically-minded physicians and natural food experts, the answer is a resounding YES.
Here’s a surprising food fact for you. Did you know a chemical so harsh that it was banned by the National Motorcycle Association could be coating those ‘raw’ almonds you’ve been eating for your daily snack? Propylene oxide and phytic acid are two synthetic and natural toxins contained not only in almonds, but in most commercially sold nuts, grains and seeds today.
How can I avoid eating toxins and increase the nutritional value of my snacks?
What’s a nut lover to do? Food science research suggests that sprouting nuts and seeds can reduce harmful toxins, difficult to digest proteins and anti-nutrients as well as improve nutrient absorption. Simply put, if you want to receive the greatest nutritional value from your nuts, grains and seeds – start sprouting to minimize the risk of toxicity and make your snack easier to digest.
Are your nuts and seeds really raw? Nut lovers should note that many nuts claiming to be raw are not and have actually been pasteurized.
Pasteurization with synthetic compounds and naturally occurring toxins will be reduced with sprouting methods. While sprouting will remove a significant level of anti-nutrients from pasteurized nuts, beneficial nutrients from actual raw nuts will be enhanced more.
While you aren’t likely to find raw nuts such as almonds in most supermarkets, small farm stands and online marketplaces offer truly raw sources.
Why should I be concerned about phytic acid?
Phytic acid, the storage form of phosphorus contained in many nuts, seeds and grains interferes with the bioavailability and absorption of magnesium, iron, copper and especially zinc. While animals such as sheep and cows can break phytic acid down, human digestive enzymes experience difficulty with this enzyme inhibitor.
Thankfully, sprouting can help reduce phytic acid and promote mineral absorption of these foods.
Grains get a bad name these days too, but if prepared by sprouting, their nutritive benefits are activated. Gluten, a form of protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt make them difficult to digest. Sprouting not only activates nutrients within these grains, but also pre-digests gluten – making it easier to metabolize.
Here are some sprouted superfoods for nut and seed lovers
Pumpkin seeds are the only alkalizing seed and may improve your emotional well-being. Known to contain an appreciable amount of tryptophan, this amino acid is converted to serotonin and niacin to help you relax, improve mood and enjoy a restful slumber.
Walnuts benefit the cardiovascular system by soothing blood vessels, regulating optimal cholesterol ratios and blood pressure.
Almonds help elevate antioxidant levels, reduce inflammation, support mood and improve heart health.
Here’s the good news. Sprouting is really not hard to do – in fact, anyone can do it. If you’re interested in learning how – we highly recommend you learn from an expert like, ‘Sproutman’ Steve Meyerowitz. He is the author of a great book called, “Sproutman’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook” – which teaches you how to ‘turn nuts, vegetable seeds, grains and beans into gourmet food’.
Tell us about your success. If you are already sprouting and want to share your personal story with others – be sure to post a comment below. Even if you’re new to sprouting and have a question – we’d love to hear from you – so post your question in the comments section below.
About the author: Christine M. Dionese L.Ac, MSTOM is an integrative health expert, medical journalist and food writer. She’s dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health. Christine practices, writes and speaks on environmental functional medicine, epigenetics, food therapy and sustainable living.